For season 2024 the Brisbane Lions are again supporting two developing young footballers – Nessa Cooney-Hunt and Hunter Staples – who represent the Fitzroy Football Club in the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) competition.

The Lions have long maintained a strong association with Fitzroy FC and enjoy following the progress of the club’s sponsored players each year.

The men’s and women’s teams play alternate weeks in front of enthusiastic supporters at the famous Brunswick Street Oval in Fitzroy.

The men’s senior and reserves teams are playing in the VAFA Premier Division this year for the first time in FFC history. And while it doesn’t look so much like it on the ladder, the teams have been competitive each game with victory within reach until late in most games.

Fitzroy holds the distinction of being the only community club in the Premier division, with all competing clubs either private school or university aligned.

Coach Travis Ronaldson had this to say about 20-year-old student, Hunter Staples:

“After some challenges with injury over the last couple of years, Hunter is reaping the rewards of his first full senior preseason, playing every game thus far in the senior team in Fitzroy's first season in A grade,” Ronaldson said.

“Hunter is professional in his preparation, and this has seen him take big steps forward on field in 2024.

“Spending time in the midfield, as well as on the wing, Hunter is aggressive at the footy, has a penetrating long kick and is a strong tackler. We look forward to Hunter's continued development over the course of the season.”

The Fitzroy-ACU women’s teams are enjoying a strong season in Premier B Division, with the reserves current sitting on top of the ladder and the seniors just shy of the top two.

The FFC’s popularity with women players has led to the equivalent of one full team sitting out most weeks this season – a welcome headache.

Senior coach Nathan Jumeau said 18-year old Nessa Cooney Hunt is proving a much appreciated member of the senior team – particularly as she is continuing the tradition of players transitioning from the Fitzroy Junior Football Club.

“Nessa plays a really important hybrid forward role and has great goal sense, particularly for a young player,” Jumeau said.

“She is growing each game into being a great senior footballer.”

The Club are proud to have Hunter and Nessa continue this important connection with Fitzroy FC.

We wish them well for the remainder of the season and will follow their ensuing careers with interest.

You can follow Fitzroy FC’s progress by visiting or following the Club on Facebook and Instagram.