Wednesday, 19 May, 2010

Ruckman Matthew Leuenberger will turn his hand to coaching tomorrow (Thursday) as the Brisbane Lions recognize the sustained commitment and excellence of Brisbane Boys College in the AFLQ Independent Schools competition.

Leuenberger will coach a Lions team in a nine-a-side Recreation Football Challenge against the BBC U14 side on the front oval (Moggill Road) at BBC at 12.50pm.

The match is a follow-on from last year’s challenge against Nudgee College, led for the Lions Nudgee old boy Jamie Charman, and is a part of a new tradition emerging in AFLQ ranks.

Playing for the Lions will be Sean Yoshiura, captain of 2008 school captain at Ipswich Grammar and an Independent Schools competition participant, Broc McCauley, a graduate of The Southport School, plus  Tom Collier, Claye Beams, Niall McKeever, Ryan Harwood, Aaron Cornelius and Sam Sheldon.

Also, Travis Johnstone, Ash McGrath, Michael Richitelli, Brent Staker, Todd Banfield and Justin Sherman will be on hand to watch the game, and to interact with the BBC players and spectators.

“BBC have been an absolute stalwart of the Independent Schools competition and we felt it was appropriate to give them this opportunity,” explained AFLQ Game Development Operations Manager.

“The competition has been an outstanding success over the years, and if we can give a little something back to those schools who have supported us then we are only too happy to do so,” he said.

The Independent Schools Competition, introduced in 1991, has been a breeding ground for a large group of AFL players, including Queensland Team of the Century members Michael Voss (Trinity College) and Mal Michael (St.Peters) and their Brisbane Lions AFL premiership teammate Jame Charman (Nudgee College).

As the competition heads into its 20th year in August, BBC have won a total of 35 premierships – many more than any other school - and boast four AFL graduates – Clint Bizzell, Hamish Simpson, Courtenay Dempsey and Jake Spencer.

Lions premiership ace Chris Scott also attended the school after heading to Brisbane to join the AFL but, given that he was already playing with the Brisbane Bears at the time, did not play in school colors.

In the first year of competition in 1991 BBC won the Open competition, known as the Jason Dunstall Cup, and the U15 competition, known as the Stephen Lawrence Shield after Dunstall’s ex-Hawthorn premiership teammate.

In total, BBC have won the Dunstall Cup eight times in 1991-93-94-2001-03-04-05-09, and the Lawrence Shield eight times in 1991-92, five times in a row from 2001-04, plus 2009.

Also, they have won the U14 Clint Bizzell Cup, introduced in 1996, seven times in 1999-2000-02-04-05-06-08, and the U13 Robin Hull Cup, introduced in 1993, no less than 11 times in 1993-94-95-97-98-99-2001-05-06-07.

Plus, their Year 7 side won the U13 Division Two flag in 2002.

Other AFL players to have played in the Independent Schools competition have been Brett Voss (Trinitity College), Marc Woolnough and Kurt Tippett (All Saints), Brad Miller (Cannon Hill Anglican College), David Hale and Andrew Raines (Marymount College), Josh Drummond (Matthew Flinders College), Cheynee Stiller and Brendan Whitecross (St.Patrick’s College), Ben Warren (Genesis Christian College), Jesse White and Shaun Hampson (John Paul College), Scott Harding (Anglican Church Grammar School), Marty Pask (Brisbane State High), Brad Howard (St.Joseph’s Toowoomba) and Steve Kenna (St.Mary’s Toowoomba).

Also, Dunstall, Lawrence, Scott and Keating are among a group of ex-AFL players who are past students of independent schools in south-east Queensland who have not participated in the competition.

Others include Jason Akermanis (Nudgee), Clark Keating, Aaron Keating and Brad Moran (The Southport School), Nick Riewoldt and Steven Lawrence (All Saints), Tom Williams and Marcus Allan (St.Joseph’s Gregory Terrace), and Scott Clouston and John Williams (Brisbane Grammar).

Reid explains that “Rec Footy” has been developed to provide an opportunity fr all Australian Football enthusiasts to enjoy participating in a game that has strong parallels with the traditional game. 

It is easy to play, is not physically demanding, can be played by all ages and genders and, most importantly, has an emphasis on fun and safety, he says. 


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