Former Academy product Wylie Buzza is set to return to his Queensland roots, putting pen to paper as the Club’s first key VFL signing for the 2022 season.
It’s a move that has the former Geelong and Port Adelaide recruit buzzing, as he looks to make an impact on the young VFL side and his own football career.
“I’m very excited to be coming home to play footy,” Buzza said.
“I was pretty thrilled to hear that Brisbane were so eager to get me to the Club to help the younger group develop in the VFL space, but also for my own footy.
“I still have some big ambitions with what I want to do with my career, I don’t think it’s over. I still want to get back to the top level and I don’t think there’s any better Club in the country to give me that opportunity.
“I’ve continually been watching Brisbane over the years and what they’ve done with their young guys and how they’ve all developed into top grade footballers gives me confidence that through that system I’ll be able to put my best foot forward and revive my AFL career.”
The Gatton local kickstarted his AFL career down south when he was drafted by Geelong out of the Brisbane Lions Academy in 2015.
It was there he made his AFL debut, kicking two goals in Round 15, 2017. Developing something of a cult persona, the Academy product played out four seasons at Geelong before moving to Port Adelaide for the 2020 season before being delisted by the Club.
VFL Head Coach Mitch Hahn said that former Geelong and Port Adelaide recruit will bring plenty of maturity to the young VFL side.
“We’re really excited to bring Wylie on board for the 2022 VFL season,” Hahn said.
“He comes to the Club with a lot of AFL knowledge and experience that will be key in helping our younger group to continue to develop.
“We like the way he plays. He’s strong and aggressive, and has got plenty of flexibility with positions he can play which is something that was really appealing to us.”
The opportunity presented to Buzza at the Lions is not dissimilar to that of a rookie position, where he will train alongside his AFL listed counterparts, including a few familiar faces.
“It definitely eases the nerves going to a new place when you already know a few guys,” Buzza said.
“I was in the Lions Academy and played for Queensland with Harris Andrews and Eric Hipwood, and I’ve got a great relationship with the three Geelong boys, Nakia [Cockatoo], Linc [McCarthy] and Darcy [Ford].
“Linc has already reached out to me, Nakia lived around the corner from me down here in Geelong, and then Darcy and I played a lot of VFL footy together at Geelong, so it’s going to be very nice to be back with those guys and seeing them a bit more often again.”
It’s not just the familiar faces around the Club that has Buzza looking forward to returning to the Sunshine State, with the Academy product looking forward to reconnecting with family and friends at home.
“It’s been six years since I’ve lived in Queensland, and my partner and I are both Queenslanders,”
“The opportunity to be back around family and friends has us pretty excited because we’ve probably been starved of that the last two years.”