By JESS WEBSTER
Former Brisbane forward Matt Hammelmann is determined to return to an AFL list at the end of next year after putting pen to paper with Redland last week.
The 21-year-old Morningside product was delisted by the Lions this year after 12 AFL games in three seasons with the club, and will return to the Bombers in the hope of earning another shot at the elite level.
Hammelmann made his NEAFL debut for Brisbane in 2013 and club debut with Redland in 2014 as he came through the Lions and AFL Academy ranks.
While disappointed at his exit from the Lions, Hammelmann said he is looking forward to leaving no stone unturned in 2018.
“I think I improved across my three years at the Lions but the biggest thing I learned is the competitiveness you need to make it at the next level,” he said.
“That’s probably one thing that let me know, but I think I improved that every year and I just want another chance to show that.
“Obviously I’d like to be drafted again. Being delisted from the Lions has given me more motivation to make it at the next level.
“I think Redland has given me a clear pathway to do that, so I’m very excited.”
At 198cm and 99kg, Hammelmann will form a dangerous partnership with former Brisbane teammate Jackson Paine in the Bombers attack, who led the competition for contested marks last season.
With a number of former Lions Academy players now at the Bombers, and former development coach Leigh Harding leading the side, Hammelmann is excited to reunite with some familiar faces.
“I’ve worked closely with him (Harding) when he was a development coach at the time, and he has always been good. He knows what he is doing and I think he’s brought a lot of the Lions’ concepts in Redland, so it’s been an easy transition for me,” he said.
“That’s probably the main thing that got me across the line at Redland. I just know a lot of people there, and I’ve been coached by the coaches as well as all the boys that have come through the Lions Academy.
“There are some exciting times ahead I think.”
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