TelstraAFL Live Pass
Main content

Latest Player News

Player Reviews: Part 9

It's time for the final part of our Player Review series. Today we're looking at players with guernsey numbers 41-47.

1:05pm  Sep 30, 2016

Clarke says goodbye

Justin Clarke attended the 2016 Club Champion on Saturday night to bid farewell to the Club.

11:24am  Sep 6, 2016

Gallery: Club Champion

All the best photos from our 2016 Club Champion event on Saturday 3 September, 2016.

10:35am  Sep 6, 2016

Latest Player Video

Thanks Clarkey!

7:38pm  Sep 3, 2016

Clarke's Message to Fans

4:49pm  Mar 31, 2016

Clarke on Retirement

3:12pm  Mar 31, 2016

Unassigned Content List



195 cm
95 kg
2019 AFL Fantasy Points

Player Bio

At a Glance

Junior Clubs: Booleroo Melrose Wilmington (SA)
Clubs: Brisbane Lions
Debut: Rd 5 2013
Recruited from: Booleroo Melrose Wilmington (SA)
Brownlow Votes: 0



After being drafted from relative obscurity at the 2011 AFL Rookie Draft, Booleroo product Justin Clarke rapidly became one of the most promising young key defenders in the AFL competition.

Unfortunately, Clarke was forced to retire in March 2016 after ongoing concussion symptoms from a head knock during pre-season training. The 22-year-old defender lost parts of his memory and was unable to exercise for several months since the knock.

Clarke has since thrown his support behind breakthrough Queensland Brain Institute research and a national awareness campaign around concussion - #NoBrainNoGame.


Hailing from the small country town of Booleroo - which is located three hours north of South Australia - Justin Clarke has become widely recognised for his all-round sporting ability.

• SANFL club North Adelaide have tried to lure the 18 year-old to join them in the city, while Woodville Cricket Club have also been keen to secure the right-arm fast bowler.

• North Adelaide eventually convinced Clarke to leave the family’s 1200ha cropping farm at the foot of the Flinders Ranges to play one SANFL reserves game in July. Despite being named in their best players, he returned home immediately afterwards to focus on Year 12 and run around for local side Booleroo Melrose Wilmington (BMW).

• He was named captain of BMW's senior colts side in 2010, but was quickly called up to fill in for the A-Grade side and never returned to the colts. He went on to be named centre half-back in the Northern Areas Football Association Team of the Year.

• Clarke also impressed off the field and in the classroom. He got his pilot licence in 2010 and applied for the Air Force, but was told he was too tall. He has also considered studying aerospace engineering and physics. He was also one of only six 2009 Premier's Anzac Spirit School Prize winners who were selected for a trip to Europe.

• He agreed to join the Lions’ pre-season training squad at the beginning of December in a bid to make it onto the Club’s rookie list.

• His potential proved enough for the Lions, who snapped him up with the Club's first round selection (Pick No.4 overall) at the 2011 AFL Rooke Draft.

Season By Season

Season By Season

• Justin Clarke carried extra load as a leader this year with the long-term injury to Dan Merrett.

• In Merrett’s absence, Clarke was forced to play closest to goal where he watched the game unfold from the last line of defence and also called the shots for the inexperienced back six.

•  The 21-year old was ranked 9th in the league for one-percenter’s (138) in a very solid season at the Club.

• With another pre-season under his belt, the South Australian will be looking to progress further in his development.

Season by Season

• Clarke followed up his impressive 2013 Season with a huge 2014 Season Campaign.  

• Clarke played in all Rounds for the Lions in 2014, and he impressed many as a key-defender who lined up on the oppositions key-forwards. One standout game he played was against Richmond in Round 16. The then 20 year old lined up on Jack Reiwoldt and was able to keep him quiet with only two goals. In this game Clarke was able to amass 15 disposals, six marks, six rebounds and a game-high 11 one per-centers.  

• The young man is developing into one of the keys to the future of the Lions defence. It was exciting to see his development in the 2014 Season, and it is exciting to see what is to come in 2015.

Season By Season

• After demonstrating terrific form with the NEAFL side in 2012, Clarke got his first taste of senior AFL action during the NAB Cup pre-season series where he matched it against some of the best forwards in the competition. 

• Although he ultimately missed out on a place in the Lions' triumphant NAB Cup Grand Final side, he received a far greater reward by being elevated to the senior list on the eve of the home-and-away season.

• He remained in the NAFL for the opening month of the season, before getting the call-up to play his first senior AFL match in Round 5 against Melbourne at the Gabba. His debut was made even more memorable given the Lions came away with a win.

• With Matt Maguire sidelined with a calf injury, Clarke was relied upon heavily and rarely let his team down. Such was his impact that he became a regular fixture in the senior side. He played 14 of the next 15 games - missing Round 9 due to a one-match suspension. 

• Clarke's form was so impressive, that Senior Coach Michael Voss was afforded the luxury of playing regular full-back Daniel Merrett up forward. He was incredibly unlucky not to be granted an AFL Rising Star nomination for his efforts down back. 

• Clarke's breakthrough season came to a premature end, however, after he injured his shoulder during the team's Round 20 match against Richmond. It would require a full reconstruction.

• Despite playing just two thirds of the season, the raw prospect from Booleroo still managed to finish 15th in the Club Best & Fairest.

Season By Season

Season By Season

• Although still quite raw, Clarke quickly established himself as the Lions Reserves’ rock in defence, often being given the task of playing against the opposition’s best tall forward.

• He added 13kg to his frame over summer, but showed he hasn’t lost any of his athleticism with a string of exciting performances in the NEAFL. Reserves Coach Nathan Clarke even labelled his Semi Final performance on NT Thunder’s Darren Ewing as “Phenomenal…unbelievable!”

• Clarke played out the entire season with the Reserves, and was a key reason behind their stunning season which culminated in the 2012 NEAFL Premiership. .

• He was also part of the Reserves’ Inter-Conference Championship triumph one week later against Queanbeyan in Canberra.


By the numbers

  • 2019 Season Average
    Games Played
    • Kicks
    • Handballs
    • Disposals
    • Marks
    • Hit-Outs
    • Tackles
    • Goals
    • AFL Fantasy

2019 Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 0 - -
Handballs 0 - -
Disposals 0 - -
Marks 0 - -
Hit-outs 0 - -
Tackles 0 - -
Goals 0 - -
AFL Fantasy 0 - -

2019 Season Breakdown

Rd Opponent Result K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
TOTAL W: 0 - L: 0

By the numbers

  • Career Average
    Games Played 56
    • Kicks 5.8
    • Handballs 4.8
    • Disposals 10.6
    • Marks 4.4
    • Hit-Outs 0.0
    • Tackles 1.3
    • Goals 0.0
    • AFL Fantasy 43.4

Career Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 14 West Coast Eagles Rd 7, 2013
Handballs 11 Fremantle Rd 14, 2014
Disposals 22 West Coast Eagles Rd 7, 2013
Marks 12 West Coast Eagles Rd 7, 2013
Hit-outs 1 Fremantle Rd 14, 2015
Tackles 5 Geelong Cats Rd 2, 2014
Goals 1 Port Adelaide Rd 4, 2014
AFL Fantasy 88 West Coast Eagles Rd 7, 2013

Career Breakdown

Season Club K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF


Frees For
Frees Against
AFL Fantasy points


Club Awards

Lions Reserves Premiership Player 

Other Awards

BMW Senior Colts Captain

Northern Areas Football Association Team of the Year