Academy hot prospects
The searing Brisbane heat probably wasn’t the ideal environment for a couple of promising Hyundai Lions Academy youngsters to experience their first ever AFL training session on Tuesday.
But Queensland AFL hopefuls Cain Tickner and Isaac Conway certainly weren’t complaining.
The two Academy prospects have been invited to train alongside the Lions’ squad at selected sessions over summer to provide an insight into what’s required to compete at the elite level.
They will be involved in a restricted program designed to further assist their junior development.
Both Tickner and Conway are now determined to make the most of their opportunity heading into 2013.
“It was a tough first session and it takes a lot out of you,” Conway said.
“It’s all about developing myself. It’s a good (opportunity) to train with the Lions twice a week and see what (the AFL’s) all about.”
“I want to get a good fitness base under my belt, and hopefully get my time around 11 minutes for the 3km.”
“It should put us in good stead for next year.”
Conway, a midfielder who prides himself on winning the contested ball, said he is relishing the chance to mix it with some of his childhood heroes.
“Claye Beams is my favourite Lions player, and Simon Black as well of course,” Conway said.
“Also players like Brent Moloney, I want to learn a bit off him (because) he’s a clearance player like myself.”
Tickner, meanwhile, is hoping to overcome an injury interrupted 2012 and make an impact at next year’s U18 National Championships.
“I played one (Lions Reserves) game last year, but had a few troubles with my knees so ended up missing about a quarter of the season,” Tickner said.
“But this is my first training session here with the Lions.”
“I really just want to prepare for the U18 National Carnival, and just get my knee - and the whole body - right, and get myself a good fitness base.”
“To be able to learn from guys like Simon Black, Jonathan Brown, Daniel Rich and Andrew Raines is great. If I could ever become half as good as them one day, I would be very happy.”