Marc Lock in AFL debut
TERRANORA’S Marc Lock will become just the fourth Tweed-raised footballer to play AFL when he makes his premiership debut for the Gold Coast Suns at Brisbane’s Gabba tonight.
The 19-year-old follows in the footsteps of Hawthorn’s David Hale, Saint Kilda’s Sam Gilbert and the more obscure Wayde Mills for the Brisbane Lions.
Neil Mackay, Tweed Daily News columnist and Palm Beach Currumbin High School AFL Excellence Program coach, saw the young talent playing for the Coolangatta Blues as a 13-year-old and invited him to the school.
Lock, the Suns’ inaugural captain and member of the club’s leadership group, impressed Mackay as a student with his hard work.
“He is very determined, very focused. He was a bit of a sponge, he wanted to absorb as much information as he could, and he had a really good work ethic,” Mackay said.
“The story I always tell is that he rang me one Christmas holidays and asked for
some extra work and I was happy to help him. He met me at my home at Salt two or three times over the Christmas holidays and I would take videos of him kicking, then give him drills to help improve. That is the sort of effort some of these young boys go through to ensure they make it.”
Mackay said he was proud to have played a part in Lock’s development.
“We are extremely proud. Another boy from the school, Claye Beams, is making his debut for the Brisbane Lions. To have two graduates (debut) in two weeks, we are rather chuffed that is happening. At the moment there are five boys from PBC at AFL clubs, so it is good to see how hard they work so they can make it through and get the reward.”
“It is a privilege to be a part of that journey the kids take. To see some of them actually make the elite level is fantastic.”
Lock has impressed at the Suns with his actions-not-words attitude and commitment on the playing field, attributes that earned him the club’s first best-and-fairest award.
“Mark is definitely an action man, he doesn’t talk a lot. He is not one of those out there sort of blokes. He is someone who knows what’s required, then goes about it and leads that way. He is a ‘do as I do’ type of bloke and that has shown in him being either captain, or in the leadership group in all of the club’s three years,” Mackay said.
Mackay said Lock, who plays as a negating midfielder capable of pushing forward and pinching the odd goal, should be feeling confident ahead of his debut tonight.
“I haven’t chatted to him since he found out he has been picked, there would be enough people doing that, but I hope he is confident,” he said. “And he should be feeling that way, the whole idea of doing all that work is that then you should have a really confident approach to the game. He has build the foundation and should be confident in what he can do.”
Tate Dhuku was another Tweed footballer who was drafted to an AFL club. He was chosen by the Lions was and on their list for a few years, but never cracked a senior game.