Sandgate Hawks Junior AFC club has proven to be an excellent breeding ground for aspiring AFL players with four ex Sandgate junior players selected to play in the premiership winning Brisbane Lions reserves team. The Brisbane Lions reserves side had a successful 2012 campaign by beating Northern Territory Thunder in the grand final of the AFL Northern conference division.

Sandgate junior Isaac Conway was selected to play in that side with his three Sandgate team mates, Sam Gribble, Aden Rutledge & Josh Stiller joining him the following week when the Lions beat Eastern Conference winners Queanbeyan at Manuka Oval.

All four players are part of the exclusive Brisbane Lions AFL academy that nurture and help develop potential AFL stars of the future. The players were joined by Lions Academy manager, Luke Curran, recently, at the Lemke Rd club to present a signed Lions guernsey to the Hawks Sporting Club.

“It reflects well on Sandgate Hawks Junior club that these players have taken the next step in their AFL development being chosen as top up players for the Lions reserves.” said academy manager Luke Curran.

This sentiment was backed up by Hawks Sporting Club President Barry Boyle & vice president Aaron Widt, who acknowledged the great achievement by the boys and said it was a credit to the junior organisation and the quality of the junior Hawks coaching staff. “Its great to see Hawks players come through to compete at the highest level” Widt said

The Lions Academy was setup about four years ago to identify and develop athletes that may have the potential to play AFL at the highest level.
“We normally had about 4-6 players drafted each year and hope to improve on that as the academy matures” Curran said. Currently approximately 200 kids aged 12-18 years of age attend the Lions Academy
“Developing AFL footballers is one thing but the academy ethos is to also develop fine young men that can maximise their potential” said Curran.
All four players currently play for Aspley in the NEAFL. Left to Right Aden Rutledge, Josh Stiller, HSC President Barry Boyle, HSC V/president Aaron Widt, Lions Academy manager Luke Curran, Sam Gribble & Isaac Conway.


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