LUCY GIFT-WRAPPED FOR PANTHERS
Friday 19 December 2008
Morningside coach John Blair doesn’t need a present on Christmas Day – his gift came early with the signing of gun key forward Austin Lucy last night.
It gives the Panthers an explosive front half with Lucy joining State teammate Kent Abey in the same attacking division.
The duo worked beautifully in tandem in Queensland’s stunning success against Tasmania 18 months ago and will strengthen an outfit that went within an ace of winning last year’s AFLQ premiership.
Lucy only missed representing Queensland last year because he broke his jaw the week before the clash with WA.
His jaw was broken in two places midway through a game against Redland, yet he finished by kicking seven goals in the last quarter of that match.
Despite working hard up the ground, he has been in the top 10 goalkickers in the competition with the Zillmere Eagles for the last two seasons.
He was a co-captain at Zillmere at the age of 19, was drafted by Essendon and spent one year on their senior list without playing a game in 2006, and been the key to Zillmere’s chances each week despite his tender age.
His presence in the Morningside forward line will a huge bonus for Abey, who has booted more than 60 goals for each of the past two years despite receiving the opposition’s best defender each week.
With small forward Hayden Wilson now having half a season under his belt after returning from a knee reconstruction and the medium-sized Matt Logan turning into a reliable goalkicker in 2008, the Panthers should be an even more potent outfit in the new-look Velocity Sports Cup.
Lucy’s decision to remain in Queensland is another boost for local football after he was heavily courted by South Australian clubs.