Seven Hyundai Help for Lions Academy players have been given an incredible opportunity for their burgeoning football careers by training with the men’s AFL team for the past two weeks.
Bruce Reville, Saxon Crozier, Carter Michael, Blake Coleman, Tahj Abberley, Jack Briskey and Noah McFadyen have been training under Senior Coach Chris Fagan and his coaching staff.
Academy Operations Manager Luke Curran said the Club takes part in this initiative each year and the experience is invaluable for the emerging players.
“They get to see firsthand the skill level and game knowledge at the elite level; communication between players and also the physical (running and strength) demands,” Curran said.
“It also helps build good connections for when the boys might be available to play in our NEAFL team next season around their Academy and National Championship games.”
The seven players include 19-year-old Bruce Reville, who plays as a running half back or half forward and has trained with the AFL group during the 2019 season.
Saxon Crozier is another, he played in a NAB All Stars Futures game on AFL Grand Final Day and can be found on either the wing or half back.
Carter Michael also played in a Futures game and is a midfielder with a strong left boot.
Blake Coleman, brother of 2019 NAB AFL Draftee Keidean, is amongst the group and often plays as a medium forward.
He’s not the only player training alongside his brother, with Noah McFayden, younger brother of Connor, a medium forward with a strong mark, training alongside the team.
Tahj Abberley is a small defender with a left boot and played three games for Aspley’s NEAFL side last year, including two finals.
Toowomba’s Jack Briskey is a medium-tall defender who is new to football but athletically promising.
Curran, alongside Academy Coach Josh Hunt, hopes this experience will only motivate the players further.
“We hope that it improves their footy IQ, positional and games understanding leading into the 2020 season,” he said.
“We really hope that it excites and motivates the boys further to develop a growth mindset and continue working on improving all aspects of their games on and off the field at every opportunity.”
Curran credited the AFL coaching group and players for making the Academy boys feel welcome.
“After the first day nerves the boys have fitted in pretty well,” Curran said.
“Aside from the physical differences they have adjusted well and shown some good signs of being able to mix it with the AFL guys in the different footy activities they’ve done.”