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Academy players set to shine in NEAFL

Cody Stackelberg kicks the ball at last week's pre-season session. - Brisbane Lions
Cody Stackelberg kicks the ball at last week's pre-season session.

In 2019 eight Under-19 Lions Academy players will have the opportunity to play for the Lions NEAFL side as they push for a spot on the AFL list.

Get to know the players who will be joining our NEAFL team this year:

Cody Stackelberg

The Aspley Hornets Junior played 11 games for the Lions NEAFL team in 2018 as an eighteen-year-old. Often found in the midfield, he possesses strong leadership qualities after captaining the Lions Academy side in the 2017 and 2018 Academy Series campaigns.

Academy Coach Josh Hunt’s comment:
“Cody is a strong bodied inside midfielder who thrives on the content and physical side of the game.”

Justin Currie

Justin Currie, a Coorparoo Junior, showed potential in his five games for the Lions NEAFL side in 2018. The 18-year-old, who stands at 181cm, is an elite powerful runner. He has also played for the Lions Academy team in their past two Academy series campaigns.

Academy Coach Josh Hunt’s comment:
Justin started playing footy late, but he has a great scope. He will continue to improve as his experience increases.”

Keidan Coleman

Keidan Coleman, an eighteen-year-old Morningside Junior, is a bit of an “X Factor” rebounding off half back. He was a regular in the Lions NEAFL side last year and played for the Allies in the 2018 Under 18 National Championships.

Academy Coach Josh Hunt’s comment:
Keidan is an eye-catching player with great game sense and awareness. In his games he played with the Lions NEAFL side last year he showed some really encouraging signs.” 


Keidan Coleman playing for the Lions NEAFL side in 2018.

Darcy Marsh

Darcy Marsh is another Coorparoo Junior who often plays at small forward. In 2018 he was rewarded with Allies squad selection for the Under 18 National Championships after a strong campaign for the Lions in the Academy series. Unfortunately, his campaign was cut short before the carnival, rupturing a tendon in an Allies practice game.

Academy Coach Josh Hunt’s comment:
“Darcy is very clean at ground level and provides great energy and pressure. Despite his injury setback, he had a terrific attitude towards his injury rehabilitation. He was then able to play two NEAFL games for the Lions, including their elimination final against Aspley.

Ethan Hunt

At 185cm tall, Ethan Hunt is an athletic half-back flanker, who can move up the ground to provide some added run and line break if needed. The 18-year-old former Coorparoo Junior played three NEAFL games early in 2018, before breaking his hand against the NT Thunder, which cut his season short.

Academy Coach Josh Hunt’s comment:
“Ethan has great athletic ability and power which allows him to play on tall and small types.”  

Jesse Quint

Jesse Quint often plays as a small defender or midfielder. His strong performances in the 2018 Academy series earned him his selection in the Allies squad at the Under-18 National Championships, where he predominately played as a small forward.

Academy Coach Josh Hunt’s comment:
“Jesse has terrific leg speed and is another eye-catching player that can break lines with his speed and penetrating disposal.” 

Toara Marango

Toara Marango had a standout 2018 representative campaign for the Lions Academy, after being named the Series MVP while playing as a key defender. His performances earned him a selection for the Allies squad at the 2018 Under-18 National Championships. The former Sandgate junior is strong and powerful, standing at 190cm.

Academy Coach Josh Hunt’s comment:
Toara is powerful and raw, but his ability to read the play and intercept or spoil made Toara almost impassable for our opposition during our 2018 Academy series campaign.”

Tom Matthews

Tom Matthews is a skilful, agile player with strong endurance. The 18-year-old played four games for the Lions NEAFL side in 2018 and played for the Lions in the 2018 Academy Series and earned selection for the Allies at the Under 18 National Championships.

Academy Coach Josh Hunt’s comment:
When playing at his best Tom is confident and can out-marking his opponents, while also breaking lines with his powerful kicking.”


Tom Matthews stretches out ahead of last Wednesday's pre-season training.

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