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Brisbane Lions sponsors group of young guns in 2018

01-Jun-2018

Each year the Brisbane Lions underlines its support of the Fitzroy Football Club by sponsoring a player who’s come through from the juniors.

Last season they upped the ante by nominating not just a male player of potential, but a female player as well. And this year they’ve gone one better.

“When our Board Chairman Andrew Wellington was lucky enough to catch the Roys’ brilliant win against Old Geelong earlier in the season, he was so impressed with Ted Clayton’s work in the centre that he actually mentioned it at the Western Bulldogs President’s function that night,” says Brisbane Lions Victorian Manager Sam Lord.

When advised that Ted made up one side of a dynamic duo with twin brother Bill, the Brisbane Lions’ Chairman was only too happy to take them both on in a dual-sponsorship deal.

     
   

(photos: Bill Clayton shows his classic technique from the 50 metre mark; Ted and Bill Clayton (front) sporting the famous Fitzroy Football Club player beanies; Ted Clayton, always cool under pressure, gets his handball out)

Red Roy thinks all readers will agree that the Lions generosity has fallen on fertile ground with both boys regularly named in the best in what’s so far been a stellar run for the Roys.

Coming off her three-goal haul and second best afield last week, Ruby McDermott is the female player nominated for 2018 sponsorship by the Brisbane Lions.

With characteristic enthusiasm displayed by so many of our female footballers, Ruby (pictured centre, with her teammates) was ecstatic about the honour. “Wow,” she said. “That’s awesome!”

For Ted, the fact that the sponsorship is coming from outside Fitzroy, andfrom an AFL club at that, means a lot. Bill agrees, echoing his brother’s sentiment and saying “getting some recognition for outside the club is really gratifying. And it’s really nice being able to share this with Ted.”

Although the Claytons support Collingwood, they have two strong links with the Lions. Their junior coach from under 13s to under 17s was Paul Broderick who played over 100 games for Fitzroy, and family friend Hugh McCluggage currently plays for Brisbane.

Bill and Ted are also renowned at the Club and wider afield for achieving near-perfect ATAR scores. Indeed, they attribute some of this success to the fact that they trained and played while studying for year 12 at Northcote High School.

“Footy worked perfectly with school,” says Ted. “It gave me a way to forget about study without demanding too much time.

“It also gave a good structure to my weekends. I'd stay in on Friday nights to study and prepare for the game, and then go out and have fun after the game each Saturday.”

The year 12/footy mix wasn’t an issue for Bill either. “The only time there was really a clash was when I had an English SAC the day after Silly Sunday,” he says. “Needless to say I took the morning off so that I was in prime condition for the afternoon SAC.

“In all seriousness though, I thought that footy was very beneficial for my studies.”

For Ruby, being supported by an AFL Club only reinforces her idea that the recognition and opportunity for women will only grow.

“Being able to play footy at the senior level is a dream come true,” says Ruby. “This sponsorship inspires me even more to show the world what women can do.”


 

 



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