Key forward Conner Ballenden has been selected by the Brisbane Lions at Pick 43 at the 2017 AFL Draft.
With New Zealand heritage, Ballenden’s size, marking ability and prowess around the goal was underlined at the 2017 NAB AFL Combine. The key forward won the kicking test, being the only prospect to kick a perfect score from six kicks.
In 2016, Ballenden travelled to New Zealand with the AFL Academy to take on the New Zealand National side at QBE Stadium in Albany, Auckland.
Ballenden joined the Lions Academy at 12 years of age and is said to have one of the best kicks amongst the 2017 Draft pool, rarely wasting a shot on goal.
In 2017, Ballenden played alongside the Lions Premiership NEAFL team, kicking two goals in the Grand Final to help the Lions come away with a narrow three-point victory.
The 18-year-old is no stranger to the Club, having spent two weeks training with the Senior Lions squad during the summer as part of the AFL Academy program.
Steve Conole, Recruiting Manager, says:
“Connor has been recognised as a highly decorated player during his under-15, under-16 and under-18 years. He’s a brute of a kid who’s gone all the way through our Academy program. Connor is still learning much of the game, but when he begins to get his motor up and fill out that big body he will be valuable in a number of roles for the Lions.”
Connor Ballenden: 198cm, 95kg, 29/3/1999
- Lions Academy
- Key Forward
- Only player to kick a perfect score in the kicking test at the NAB AFL Combine.
- Part of the Lions NEAFL side’s premiership victory in 2017