Lions scouting future talent before move to Springfield
TRAVELLING countless kilometres from the Sunshine Coast to train and play, Shannon Campbell sees a huge advantage having one Brisbane Lions home base at Springfield.
She said moving to Springfield over the next 18 months would provide a centralised base for the Lions AFL women's (AFLW) team matching the best sides in the country.
"I'm going to have a look and see how it's going,'' Campbell said, enjoying today's visit to Springfield Anglican College with rising teammate Dakota Davidson.
"I haven't had a chance to get here living on the coast.''
The pair cast a keen eye over the Springfield stadium groundworks underway across the road where the Lions will train and play in the future.
The Lions currently train at Yeronga or Wilston Grange with plans to relocate to Springfield, subject to the stadium being completed.
"It's earmarked for 2022. Hopefully we can get on this ground,'' Campbell said.
The next AFLW season is scheduled to kick off in February 2021.
Maroochydore-based Campbell is a founding member of the Lions side which made its AFLW competition debut in 2017.
Working for AFL Queensland, she is heavily involved in development programs for juniors.
As she shared some kicking and passing tips at the Springfield Anglican College oval, she was clearly comfortable helping others.
"Under 17s is usually what I focus on so it's exciting to work with the kids and give them the experience of learning footy or some more experience in playing footy,'' she said.
"There's a lot of young girls that have a lot of talent, the boys as well.
"It's exciting to see some new things happening and moving out to Springfield and getting to this local school.''
Campbell shared what she looks for in future Aussie rules players.
"It's all-round skills and their personality as well,'' she said.
"A lot of the time the talented kids they don't have the effort as well. So it's someone who is well-rounded that has the talent but also is willing to put in that work.''
In her fourth year with the Lions, Campbell is keen to see QAFL women's matches being played on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
"It's exciting to get back into the local footy again,'' she said.
Campbell owns a piece of history being the first Lions player to kick a goal in the AFLW competition.
"I was very lucky to get that to be honest,'' she said of her 2017 six-pointer against Melbourne in 2017.
"I got a 50 metre penalty so it took me within my range thankfully.''
Campbell said the increasing popularity of women's Aussie rules was encouraging.
"And it's going to keep growing year on year,'' she said.
"It's good to get those young kids out to the games as well, and seeing the crowd and how they light up when we play well.
"It gives those boys and girls an opportunity now to play professional AFL if that's what they want to go with.''