Welcome to World Footy News Friday, June 21 2024 @ 09:58 am ACST

Young Samoan star invited to Lions Academy


Like many young Samoans growing up in Queensland, 15-year-old Lamont Kalolo grew up playing rugby league, even making it to the Under-14 junior representative level. But unlike many of his Polynesian cohorts, he’s chosen to give Aussie rules a go instead.


“(AFL) really boosted my confidence. It made me think that maybe there’s something more if I keep doing this,” Kalolo said in a recent interview with the Courier-Mail.


A natural athlete who plays at both full-forward and centre half-forward, Kalolo’s hard work is getting him places -- specifically, a spot at the Brisbane Lions AFL Academy program.


While he enjoyed initially getting involved in AFL, Kalolo wasn’t quite ready to give up rugby just yet. But after a talk with his parents, he decided to just pursue one sport after starting at Woodcrest State College, located in the outer southwestern suburbs of Brisbane. The Lions first took notice of Kalolo’s development after he made the Metropolitan West regional side last year.


Kalolo is excited to start with the Lions Academy and was impressed with the recruiters that he got to know over the past few months.


“They don’t just want to build on your skills, they want you to build on your mindset, how you want to look in the future, and what you want further on in life. They want to help you get something out of it.”


The young star is also keen to show that his fellow Samoans can succeed at a high level in Aussie rules.


“Most Samoans are built for rugby. You rarely see a Samoan playing AFL. That makes me want to go harder to be seen, and maybe Samoan families can see that.”