Lions defender on his way back from leg injury
AFL: Noosa product Jack Payne is itching for game time after injury cruelled his maiden campaign with the Brisbane Lions.
The 19-year-old defender was taken with pick No.54 in the draft but missed the entire season due to a stress fracture to the tibia.
"It was disappointing," he said.
"I was pretty annoyed by it but it (the shin) is starting to come good now and hopefully it (2019) is going to be a good year."
Payne admits "there were times I was a bit down" but said he received plenty of support from the club.
And now he's moving ahead.
"The year I've had is in the past and I'm looking forward to getting out there and playing some good footy and hopefully I can make the seniors team one day," he said.
He's on modified training until Christmas, completing most of the drills but with lighter running sessions.
Payne will then work on his fitness and he aims to feature for the Lions in pre-season matches against Hawthorn and North Melbourne.
He'd like to press his claims for a debut on the big stage this year but, at the moment, would simply savour the chance to play at any level.
"Whether it's in the NEAFL (with Brisbane Lions reserves) or with the AFL side, I'm just looking forward to playing footy.
"It's been so long that I've actually played a game so I'm just looking forward to getting back into it."