AFL: Another player will roll off the Brisbane Lions Academy production line this week, with Matthew Hammelmann set to debut against Richmond at the MCG on Saturday.
The 20-year-old key-position player will be the fifth Lion to get a first start this season after an excellent last month in the NEAFL.
Hammelmann will get his chance just a week after fellow academy graduate Eric Hipwood played his first AFL game in the defeat to the West Coast Eagles at the Gabba.
The former rookie-listed player has been upgraded for Ryan Harwood, who picked up a knee injury against the Eagles.
Hammelmann was told the news yesterday by coach Justin Leppitsch and he was excited to be taking his senior bow.
“I’ve obviously been a Lions supporter all my life, so it’s a big day for me this weekend,” he said.
“Hopefully I’ll do us proud.”
Meanwhile, Hammelmann’s teammate Josh Walker said that despite losing the past nine matches, the spirit in the Lions camp was good.
“I get the feeling the mood’s worse outside the club than it is in,” he said.
“We’re copping a bit in the media, but internally the guys are still sticking together pretty well.
“It’s not like everyone’s walking around all week heads down, the energy’s still pretty good for where we are.
“We might not have the support of the outside world but we do have each other and we’ll try and stick together through the hard times.
“That’s all you can do really.”
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