Former Ipswich Grammar School captain Sean Yoshiura is taking a historic step forward in the AFL.
Former Ipswich Grammar School captain Sean Yoshiura is taking a historic step forward in the AFL. Rob Williams

Lions snap up local, Yoshiura

THOSE who have watched former Ipswich Grammar School captain Sean Yoshiura play sport know he’s something special.

With athleticism, stamina and leadership qualities, Yoshiura has excelled in sport and academically.

So it was hardly surprising that the Brisbane Lions snapped up the first-year Bond University student in yesterday’s AFL Rookie Draft.

“He’s an exceptional, good all-round sportsman,” IGS deputy headmaster Mike Connors said, sharing the buzz of excitement surrounding the teenage talent.

Connors said the former GPS champion and Australian cross country representative was a standout during five years at IGS.

“It’s always been his passion. He always wanted to try and make it at AFL level,” Connors said of the year 12 school captain.

Yoshiura played Aussie rules for IGS in a non-GPS competition before the athletics season.

“It’s no surprise what he’s achieved,” Connors said.

“The thing about the young man is that he’s got his head screwed on well. He was a good role model for all the boys at the school.”

Yoshiura, 18, was unavailable yesterday while finishing exams at the Gold Coast.

However, the Lions were celebrating signing the first Japanese-born player to an AFL list.

Yoshiura, Pick number 74, was born in Japan and moved to Australia when he was seven.

In a historic day for Ipswich Grammar, the Lions and the AFL, Yoshiura was one of the Brisbane club’s six selections yesterday.

The Lions also drafted Gippsland Power midfielder Mitchell Golby (Pick No.16), Eastern Ranges midfielder/ forward Josh Dyson (Pick No.32), Irish international rookie Niall McKeever (Pick No.67), Labrador product Claye Beams (Pick No.76) and Southport ruckman Broc McCauley (Pick No.78).

Yoshiura, Beams and McCauley were taken with the club’s Queensland Priority selections.

Lions National Recruiting Manager Graeme Hadley was pleased with the club’s choices.

“We have drafted a combination of inside midfielders and outside midfielders with a blend of pace and toughness,” Hadley said.

Yoshiura, 184cm tall and weighing 68kg, was a member of Mt Gravatt’s 2009 QAFL Grand Final side.

Lions recruiters were also impressed with Yoshiura’s athletic record. He represented Australia in the 2008 World Schoolboys Championships in the Czech Republic.

“Sean is a lean and developing midfielder who can also play at either half-back or half-forward,” Hadley said.

“He played a game with the Brisbane Lions Reserves earlier this year and performed very well.

“He’s also an outstanding endurance athlete with a very good athletics pedigree.”

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