AT HOME: Sunshine Coast’s Tom Fullarton and Brisbane Lions teammates at a Community Camp at Immanuel Lutheran College. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
AT HOME: Sunshine Coast’s Tom Fullarton and Brisbane Lions teammates at a Community Camp at Immanuel Lutheran College. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

Basketball convert works towards AFL debut with Lions

AFL: Almost two years after switching sports, Caloundra product Tom Fullarton says he’s gaining momentum and aiming to debut with the Brisbane Lions this season.

The 21-year-old, who was on the Sunshine Coast for the club’s Community Camp this week, is enjoying a promising pre-season.

The 200cm forward is primed for a bumper 2020, after leaving the Brisbane Bullets midway through 2018 to renew his childhood passion for footy, with the Lions.

“I’ve been here for about two years and the first year I got pretty unlucky with injuries,” he said. “My body was still adapting to the different style of footy.”

“But I’m really starting to come along now and learn the game.”

COMMUNITY CAMP: Brisbane Lions player, Eric Hipwood, Dayne Zorko, Tom Fullarton and Rhys Mathieson, with students at Immanuel College. Photo: Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
COMMUNITY CAMP: Brisbane Lions player, Eric Hipwood, Dayne Zorko, Tom Fullarton and Rhys Mathieson, with students at Immanuel College. Photo: Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

Fullarton had shown plenty of promise for the Lions feeder team in the North East Australian Football League in 2018 and 2019 and he’s eager to force his way into the main squad.

“It’s been good to get a few NEAFL games under my belt … hopefully this year I can play some consistent footy and slowly work my way into the senior side.”

“My goal is to debut and … find my role in the team and to continually improve.”

“That’s the ultimate goal I had as a kid, to play AFL, and I’m going to keep working hard until it happens.”

Fullarton’s endurance base has helped him fit in.

“And it’s continued to improve (since linking with the club),” he said.

“Athletically, I feel like I’m up to the level.”

Fullarton was selected as an All-Australian at under-15 level but still came to the Lions with relatively limited experience, because of the years he focused on basketball.

So, he’s had to work hard in some areas.

“Just learning the different game styles and plans the Lions have.”

“When I was a young fellow, I just went out and had a kick with my mates on the weekend. So it was really the technical side of things, I hadn’t learned.

“And also the physical aspect. But I’ve put on a few kilos since I’ve got to the club and I’ve worked out to use my body and my athletics to my advantage.

“So, I’ll just keep working on those things.”

Fullarton was among a selection of Lions visiting students at Immanuel Lutheran College on Tuesday.

“It’s great to come back to where I grew up (the Sunshine Coast) and share a bit of (AFL) knowledge with the kids,” he said.



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