Classy half-back and proud Dalabon man hailing from Barunga, Keidean Coleman will celebrate his 50th appearance in the Maroon, Blue and Gold on Saturday against the Gold Coast SUNS. 

Coleman has been a mainstay in Chris Fagan’s side after a positional switch to the backline in 2021 took his career to new heights. 

“It’s a good achievement and I’m proud of myself but also for my family who have been there to support me on this journey,” Coleman said. 

“I’m really happy for them as much as it means to me as well.” 


Debuting in the Covid-19 affected 2020 season, Coleman was used in the forward line for the Round 15 match-up against the Collingwood Magpies. 

“My debut against Collingwood was pretty funny because I used to be a mad Collingwood supporter,” he said. 

“I remember running out and I was looking around, you know The Gabba compared to the MCG is a bit smaller but I remember looking up at stands and it was crazy. 

“I saw my family and they had big smiles on their face which was really touching.” 


Known for his tackling ability and forward pressure, Coleman booted his first goal in his third game, a Round 17 clash with the Sydney Swans. 

That night he had nine disposals and seven tackles as the Lions claimed a 32-point win over the Swans. 

“First goal up in Cairns, very tropical weather, a bit slippery and rainy,” Coleman recalled. 

“I remember the ball got kicked over my head, I thought it was going out, but it bounced up. 

“I got the handball ran towards goal, saw the Swans player coming over and thought he’s going to smother it so I sold a bit of candy and kicked it. 


“All the boys got around me and it’s a moment I’ll cherish for ever.” 

Coleman’s positional switch came against Fremantle in Round 8, 2021 and he fitted into his new role like a glove. 

“My first two years I was learning my forward craft but we were over in Perth and the defence coach at the time Murray Davis and Fages (Chris Fagan) told me they were going to try me down back.” 

He became a weapon that Fagan would call upon when composed ball-use and silky skills were required as the Lions transitioned out of defence. 

A defender in his Brisbane Lions Academy days, Coleman’s path to the AFL was not a straight-forward one. 

Overlooked in the 2018 AFL Draft, Coleman thought about giving up the game before a return home to Katherine saw his passion reignite. 

The trip home and a chat with his mum reminded Coleman of the belief that people close to him had, that one day he would be a star. 

And after 50 games he has delivered in spades. 

Playing his milestone game as part of Sir Doug Nicholls Round, Coleman is excited and honoured to share his special day. 

“I’m very honoured, it is a very special round Sir Doug Nicholls Round for indigenous people around Australia,” Coleman said. 

“It is a great round to celebrate the culture and Sir Doug Nicholls and what he brought to the game but I’m very excited. 

“It hasn’t really hit me yet, but I’ve got a lot of family who are very excited.” 

A superb 2019 season for the Lions NEAFL side culminating in a premiership, rose Coleman’s stock amongst the AFL talent scouts. 

In 2019 AFL Draft, Coleman was selected at Pick 37 by the Lions matching a bid from Essendon to secure the classy left-footer’s services. 

A Lions Academy product and member of the 2018 Allies side, which took part in the Under 18 AFL National Championship, Coleman has been around the club since he was 16 years old. 

Four years on and Coleman is considered one of the rising young talents with his ability to dissect opposition defences and hit targets with pin-point accuracy. 

A key player in the Lions line-up and has used his skills in big moments in both the home and away season and across the finals series. 

Coleman has played in six of the Lions finals but he believes that the 2022 finals wins were some of his most memorable games. 

“The game that really stands out to me is that Richmond final and the Melbourne finals from last year. 

Mainly because we were coming in as underdogs even though we were playing at the Gabba for the Richmond game. 

“Everyone was ecstatic from the players, the coaching staff and all the other club stuff but when the siren went it was crazy and hopefully there’s more to come.” 

Barunga is in the Nyirranggulung Ward and is located 80 kilometres south-east of Katherine on the Central Arnhem Road.