Rayner commits to Lions
CAMERON Rayner has given a huge show of faith in Brisbane’s AFL future and his ability to overcome homesickness by re-signing six weeks after being taken at No.1 in the draft.
The 18-year-old Victorian will remain at the Gabba until at least the end of 2021 with the two-year contract extension, before he’s even played a game.
The Lions have been plagued by the go-home factor in recent years, with 2016 No.2 draft pick Josh Schache requesting to return to Victoria before joining the Western Bulldogs in last year’s trade period.
Brisbane were crippled when homesick youngster Elliot Yeo, Sam Docherty, Jared Polec and Billy Longer left the club in 2013 before becoming key players for their new clubs.
But Rayner’s re-signing and the recruitment of contracted Queensland star Charlie Cameron from Adelaide are positive steps in the wooden-spooners’ player retention efforts.
Rayner, who’s living with Lions chief Greg Swann, moved to allay concerns about homesickness by lauding the Brisbane lifestyle.
“I’ll be up in Brisbane for four years now which is very exciting,” Rayner told the club’s website.
“The team’s looking like it’s going in the right direction and I want to be a part of that.
“It’s pretty nice in Brisbane. You can walk around in a t-shirt and shorts all day.”
Coach Chris Fagan said the teenager had shown a desire to learn during his first two months at the club.
“Cam’s highly competitive nature, his team-first approach and willingness to work hard have been highlights over his first couple of months,” he said.
“Above and beyond everything else he is a terrific person who is hell-bent on earning the respect of his teammates for the way he goes about his life and his football.”
(C) AAP 2018