Bri joins Brisbane Lions in AFLW

Originally published on Brisbane Lions website

The Brisbane Lions AFLW team proudly welcomed their second other sportrookie Brianna McFarlane into the Den today.

The 17-year-old toured the Lions facilities with Coach Craig Starcevich, Women’s CEO Breeanna Brock and new teammates Emma Zielke and Sophie Conway.

McFarlane’s raw talent and athletic ability was what persuaded Brock and Starcevich to give her this opportunity.

The Yamba teenager, with a strong soccer background, only returned to playing football this year after last playing with the lower Clarence Eagles in 2012. Within six months McFarlane went from picking up a Sherrin, to playing for Coolangatta Tweed in the QWAFL competition, representing NSW/ACT in a series against Tasmania, to selection for the Eastern Allies.

In total she has played ten football games in 2018 and was invited to test at the recent AFLW Combine in Melbourne.

McFarlane admits everything has happened very quickly.

“It’s pretty exciting, it hasn’t really kicked in yet,” she told lions.com.au this morning.

On field, she can play a variety of roles for the team.

“I get thrown around a bit everywhere, just wherever they need a player, but mostly centre-half forward or up in the forward line,” she said.

Starcevich said he is looking forward to developing her natural skillset and has been impressed by what he has seen so far.

“She won QWAFL Mark of the Year in what was her first game for the Coolangatta and went on to kick ten goals in her seven games,” he said.

“Bri is a natural athlete and her kicking and handball skills are very good, especially when considering the limited time she’s had on field.

“We are excited by her potential.”

Brock said McFarlane will be a great asset for the team.

“Bri has a very easygoing nature about her,” Brock said.

“We are looking forward to putting a lot of work into her as we believe she’s got a big future with us.”

Bri becomes the second North Coast junior to reach AFLW level, following in the footsteps of Nikki Wallace (Sawtell Toormina Saints) who played for the Lions in the inaugural season of the competition.

Click here to watch Bri’s interview with the Brisbane Lions website.