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Reuben's pride in the jumper

Zorko talks to Reuben In the lead up to Multicultural Round, Zorko spoke to Reuben Williams to find out some more about his background.

On the eve of the AFL’s Multicultural Round, Reuben William has been given the news of his senior debut by Lions captain Tom Rockliff.

William is the first player of Sudanese heritage to debut for the Lions and the third player behind Majak Daw and Aliir Aliir to make his AFL debut.

Taken at pick No. 20 in last year’s Rookie Draft, the attacking defender is a product of the Lions’ successful Hyundai Help for Kids Lions Academy.

William’s father Deng died during Sudan's civil war, which ravaged their homeland from 1983-2005. Reuben, his mother and siblings arrived in Australia as refugees in 2002, settling in Brisbane.

The 18-year-old’s passion for Australian Rules grew when his mother took him and his siblings to Zillmere to get them off the couch and outside.

“She was sick of us sitting at home doing nothing, so she took us to the Zillmere Eagles Football Club to give us something to do and it went on from there.

“It’s definitely been the only sport for me.”

William was part of Queensland's successful under-18 team last year, vice-captaining the side.

He told teammates and football staff today that he was living out a childhood dream.

“I really don't know what to say. I wasn't really expecting this so it's caught me a bit off guard,” he said.

“I'll go out there and put on the jumper with pride.”

Throwback Thursday

  Rockliff is fully committed

  Inside the Den: Reuben William to debut

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs