Hyundai Help for Kids Lions Academy Coach Josh Hunt is well aware of the leadership qualities which 21-year-old Harris Andrew has developed throughout his days at the Academy.

Last weekend Andrews became the first Academy graduate to Captain the club, leading the team last Saturday in the JLT Community Series opener.

Hunt was excited to see how quickly Andrews has transitioned to the demands of professional football and believed that he exemplified the positive influence that the Academy has upon the Club’s future players.

“It’s great to see the standard that Harris has been developing in the playing group so quickly,” Hunt said.

“It’s a real ‘feather in his cap’ to be chosen by his peers and coaches to lead the side.

“For him to lead the side is massive and also for the Academy, that we have guys of that calibre coming through.”

Andrews was joined by fellow Academy graduate and new draftee Jack Payne last weekend.

Payne came up against Lance Franklin and proved to hold himself well in defence, including an impressive tackle on the Swans star.

“It’s a bit of a baptism of fire for him to get to play around Buddy, always tough work,” he said.

“From all reports, he has had an amazing pre-season and has exceeded expectations."

Selected with the Lions’ final pick in the 2017 Draft, the young Academy graduate has coaching staff impressed and eager to see what results he can produce in 2018.

“He just went from strength to strength and obviously playing against NEAFL and AFL quality players is only going to hold him in good stead,” Hunt said.

The Lions Academy is set to play an intra-club this Saturday before their first competitive hit-out against the Gold Coast SUNS the following weekend.