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Clarke relishing big jobs

Justin Clarke was praised by his coach for doing a 'terrific job' on Riewoldt

10:28am  Jul 7, 2014

Clarke commits to Lions

Justin Clarke has re-signed with the Lions for a further three years

8:33am  Oct 14, 2013

Clarke learns from best

Justin Clarke has been a revelation for the Lions in defence this season

1:10pm  Jul 12, 2013

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42

Justin
Clarke

Height
195 cm
DOB
18-11-1993
Weight
93 kg
Debut
2013
Games
2015
4
Career
40
Goals
2015
0
Career
1
2015 AFL Fantasy Points
Total
176
Avg
44
JustinClarke

Player Bio

At a Glance

Junior Clubs: Booleroo Melrose Wilmington (SA)
Clubs: Brisbane Lions
Debut: Rd 5 2013
Recruited from: Booleroo Melrose Wilmington (SA)
Brownlow Votes: 0

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Introduction

After being drafted from relative obscurity at the 2011 AFL Rookie Draft, Booleroo product Justin Clarke has rapidly become one of the most promising young key defenders in the AFL competition. At 195cm with terrific speed (he ran 2.97sec for 20m at the State Draft Combine in 2011), he looks to be a long-term prospect for the Lions' backline.

Background

Hailing from the small country town of Booleroo - which is located three hours north of South Australia - Justin Clarke has become widely recognised for his all-round sporting ability.

• SANFL club North Adelaide have tried to lure the 18 year-old to join them in the city, while Woodville Cricket Club have also been keen to secure the right-arm fast bowler.

• North Adelaide eventually convinced Clarke to leave the family’s 1200ha cropping farm at the foot of the Flinders Ranges to play one SANFL reserves game in July. Despite being named in their best players, he returned home immediately afterwards to focus on Year 12 and run around for local side Booleroo Melrose Wilmington (BMW).

• He was named captain of BMW's senior colts side in 2010, but was quickly called up to fill in for the A-Grade side and never returned to the colts. He went on to be named centre half-back in the Northern Areas Football Association Team of the Year.

• Clarke also impressed off the field and in the classroom. He got his pilot licence in 2010 and applied for the Air Force, but was told he was too tall. He has also considered studying aerospace engineering and physics. He was also one of only six 2009 Premier's Anzac Spirit School Prize winners who were selected for a trip to Europe.

• He agreed to join the Lions’ pre-season training squad at the beginning of December in a bid to make it onto the Club’s rookie list.

• His potential proved enough for the Lions, who snapped him up with the Club's first round selection (Pick No.4 overall) at the 2011 AFL Rooke Draft.

Season by Season

Season by Season

• Clarke followed up his impressive 2013 Season with a huge 2014 Season Campaign.  

• Clarke played in all Rounds for the Lions in 2014, and he impressed many as a key-defender who lined up on the oppositions key-forwards. One standout game he played was against Richmond in Round 16. The then 20 year old lined up on Jack Reiwoldt and was able to keep him quiet with only two goals. In this game Clarke was able to amass 15 disposals, six marks, six rebounds and a game-high 11 one per-centers.  

• The young man is developing into one of the keys to the future of the Lions defence. It was exciting to see his development in the 2014 Season, and it is exciting to see what is to come in 2015.

• After demonstrating terrific form with the NEAFL side in 2012, Clarke got his first taste of senior AFL action during the NAB Cup pre-season series where he matched it against some of the best forwards in the competition. 

• Although he ultimately missed out on a place in the Lions' triumphant NAB Cup Grand Final side, he received a far greater reward by being elevated to the senior list on the eve of the home-and-away season.

• He remained in the NAFL for the opening month of the season, before getting the call-up to play his first senior AFL match in Round 5 against Melbourne at the Gabba. His debut was made even more memorable given the Lions came away with a win.

• With Matt Maguire sidelined with a calf injury, Clarke was relied upon heavily and rarely let his team down. Such was his impact that he became a regular fixture in the senior side. He played 14 of the next 15 games - missing Round 9 due to a one-match suspension. 

• Clarke's form was so impressive, that Senior Coach Michael Voss was afforded the luxury of playing regular full-back Daniel Merrett up forward. He was incredibly unlucky not to be granted an AFL Rising Star nomination for his efforts down back. 

• Clarke's breakthrough season came to a premature end, however, after he injured his shoulder during the team's Round 20 match against Richmond. It would require a full reconstruction.

• Despite playing just two thirds of the season, the raw prospect from Booleroo still managed to finish 15th in the Club Best & Fairest.

• Although still quite raw, Clarke quickly established himself as the Lions Reserves’ rock in defence, often being given the task of playing against the opposition’s best tall forward.

• He added 13kg to his frame over summer, but showed he hasn’t lost any of his athleticism with a string of exciting performances in the NEAFL. Reserves Coach Nathan Clarke even labelled his Semi Final performance on NT Thunder’s Darren Ewing as “Phenomenal…unbelievable!”

• Clarke played out the entire season with the Reserves, and was a key reason behind their stunning season which culminated in the 2012 NEAFL Premiership. .

• He was also part of the Reserves’ Inter-Conference Championship triumph one week later against Queanbeyan in Canberra.

Stats

By the numbers

  • 2015 Season Average
    Games Played 4
    • Kicks 5.7
    • Handballs 5.7
    • Disposals 11.5
    • Marks 4.7
    • Hit-Outs 0.0
    • Tackles 1.0
    • Goals 0.0
    • AFL Fantasy 44.0

2015 Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 7 West Coast Eagles Rd 4
Handballs 7 North Melbourne Rd 2
Disposals 13 North Melbourne Rd 2
Marks 7 West Coast Eagles Rd 4
Hit-outs 0 - -
Tackles 1 West Coast Eagles Rd 4
Goals 0 - -
AFL Fantasy 48 West Coast Eagles Rd 4

2015 Season Breakdown

Rd Opponent Result K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
1 Collingwood L 74 - 86 7 6 13 4 0 1 2 1 0 0 44
2 North Melbourne L 133 - 51 6 7 13 4 0 1 1 1 0 0 46
3 Richmond L 58 - 137 3 6 9 4 0 0 0 1 0 1 38
4 West Coast Eagles L 65 - 118 7 4 11 7 0 0 2 1 0 0 48
5 Gold Coast Suns - - - - - - - - - - -
6 Carlton - - - - - - - - - - -
7 Port Adelaide - - - - - - - - - - -
8 Essendon - - - - - - - - - - -
9 St Kilda - - - - - - - - - - -
10 GWS Giants - - - - - - - - - - -
12 Western Bulldogs - - - - - - - - - - -
13 Adelaide Crows - - - - - - - - - - -
14 Fremantle - - - - - - - - - - -
15 Sydney Swans - - - - - - - - - - -
16 Melbourne - - - - - - - - - - -
17 North Melbourne - - - - - - - - - - -
18 Geelong Cats - - - - - - - - - - -
19 Gold Coast Suns - - - - - - - - - - -
20 Carlton - - - - - - - - - - -
21 Adelaide Crows - - - - - - - - - - -
22 Hawthorn - - - - - - - - - - -
23 Western Bulldogs - - - - - - - - - - -
TOTAL W: 0 - L: 4 23 23 46 19 0 2 5 4 0 1 176

By the numbers

  • Career Average
    Games Played 40
    • Kicks 5.7
    • Handballs 4.8
    • Disposals 10.5
    • Marks 4.3
    • Hit-Outs 0.0
    • Tackles 1.3
    • Goals 0.0
    • AFL Fantasy 43.2

Career Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 14 West Coast Eagles Rd 7, 2013
Handballs 11 Fremantle Rd 14, 2014
Disposals 22 West Coast Eagles Rd 7, 2013
Marks 12 West Coast Eagles Rd 7, 2013
Hit-outs 0 - -
Tackles 5 Geelong Cats Rd 2, 2014
Goals 1 Port Adelaide Rd 4, 2014
AFL Fantasy 88 West Coast Eagles Rd 7, 2013

Career Breakdown

Season Club K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
2015 Brisbane Lions 23 23 46 19 0 2 5 4 0 1 176
2014 Brisbane Lions 119 106 225 88 0 7 16 34 1 0 934
2013 Brisbane Lions 87 63 150 64 0 6 9 15 0 0 618

Legend

K
Kicks
H
Handballs
D
Disposals
M
Marks
HO
Hit-outs
FF
Frees For
FA
Frees Against
T
Tackles
G
Goals
B
Behinds
AF
AFL Fantasy points

Awards

Club Awards

Lions Reserves Premiership Player 
2012

Other Awards

BMW Senior Colts Captain
2010

Northern Areas Football Association Team of the Year
2011