Mitch Hinge had an unforgettable 2019 season after waiting more than two and a half years on the Club’s rookie list to make his AFL Debut. His chance came in Round 9 against the Adelaide Crows at The Gabba. Mitch, one of six children from a small town in regional South Australia, had most of his family fly up for the special occasion.
That afternoon, working hard in the defensive line, he had 14 disposals and three marks and enjoyed his first Gatorade shower after the Lions were able to defeat the Crows by one point.
The following week he travelled to Perth to play against Fremantle at Optus Stadium. Hinge kicked his first AFL goal and had 14 disposals for the afternoon. but heartbreakingly for the Lions they were on the receiving end of a one-point difference.
The 21-year-old did not return to the senior side for the remainder of the season but played an important role in the NEAFL’s premiership side.
Ryan Bastinac started his fourth season with the Lions strongly, with selection in Round 1’s blockbuster against the reigning premiers West Coast Eagles. That afternoon he had 14 disposals, nine marks and one goal. He retained his spot playing on the midfield/wing for the following week to defeat his former club North Melbourne. However, Round 3’s win over Port Adelaide at the Gabba would be Bastinac’s final outing in the senior side in 2019.
The 28-year-old played the remainder of the season in the NEAFL team and produced consistently outstanding performances. In their preliminary final against the Sydney Swans, ‘Basti’ had 39 disposals, 2 goals and seven clearances. He would go on to have the honour of leading the team in their NEAFL Grand Final over the Southport Sharks and was awarded the Neville Fallon Award as the Reserves Best and Fairest at the recent Club Champion evening.
In his third season at the Lions Jacob Allison worked hard to push his way through the NEAFL team to reclaim a spot in the senior side. After producing strong performances in the NEAFL playing in a wing/halfback role he earned a recall to AFL in Round 12 against Carlton at Marvel Stadium. The loss to the Blues that day was hard for all players and staff. Allison had 11 disposals and one goal for the afternoon.
He kept his spot in the team for Round 14’s clash against St Kilda, after the Club’s mid-season bye. The 56-point-win over the Saints was regarded as one of the Club’s finest performances in recent years, with an almost faultless third quarter. That afternoon the 21-year-old had 13 disposals. It would be his final appearance in the senior side in 2019.
Allison, like Bastinac and Hinge, played a crucial role in the Club’s undefeated NEAFL team. In their Grand Final win over the Southport Sharks he had 30 disposals, five marks and two tackles.