An Aussie rules player from Logan has been recruited to the Lions reserve grade side, a stepping stone to the big time of the AFL.
Last Tuesday, former Park Ridge Pirate Nathan Colenso, 20, signed his first semi-professional contract at the Brisbane Lions headquarters and had his official photoshoot in his new playing strip.
The Brisbane Lions reserve grade side is a pathway to the professional team. Reserves play in the semi-professional Victorian Football League.
“I was just ecstatic to be honest, I didn’t think I would ever be in this position, but I’m grateful for the opportunity and determined to make the most of it,” Mr Colenso said of the moment he picked up his guernsey for the first time.
Mr Colenso last played with the Park Ridge Pirates when they won the premiership in 2018.
He then moved to the Morningside Panthers in 2019 to play in Queensland’s best competition, the QAFL state league.
At 17-years-old, he became one of the youngest players to win the QAFL Rising Star Award in 2019 and has since been named twice in the team of the year.
“They watched my work and were really impressed with it, and they offered me the contract from there,” he said.
As a reserve grade player, he will train with the Lions squad two days a week and another day with his own squad.
He will also be able to travel with the main squad.
The VFL fixtures are arranged to reflect the schedule of the main AFL teams wherever possible, so when the Lions are playing away, the reserve grade team will join them on the road to play the corresponding opponent in the VFL.
Mr Colenso’s time in reserve grade could be a platform to get into the AFL, but he is not getting ahead of himself and is keen to enjoy the journey without placing too much expectation on himself.
“I would love to get into the system [Lions team] as early as possible and set my life up,” he said.
“I’ll try into my late 20s if I have to.”