Senior Harris Andrews (2014-) (Vice-Captain)

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Premiership Player
Feb 15, 2008
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
This is my favourite quote from the below article

“Enough that he’s happy and we can bring other talent to the club, that’s what he wants,” Swann said.

Brisbane Lions coup: Hamstring injury one day, five-year deal the next for ‘next captain’, Harris Andrews

Lions young gun Harris Andrews has locked himself into a stringent five-week rehab of his hamstring injury, but there’s another reason why fans are salivating about his prospects, reports Mark Robinson.

Mark Robinson, Chief Football Writer, Herald Sun

September 9, 2020 7:00am
Harris Andrews has agreed to a new long-term contract
Harris Andrews has agreed to a new long-term contract

It’s been a week of “fives” for Brisbane’s All Australian backman Harris Andrews.
Distressingly, last Friday night he tore his hamstring and will miss the next five weeks.
Without any further setback, he will return for the preliminary final weekend if the Lions survive that far.
A silver lining is that on Tuesday Andrews revealed he had agreed to a new long-term contract which will keep him at the Lions for the next five years.
“It’s been a rollercoaster week,” he told News Corp.
And, he says, he anticipates being a one-club player.

“I just love what this club is about,’’ he said. “I’m grateful the club supported me at the start of my career, I love the playing group, the coaching staff and everything about the club.’’

An Academy player — he was taken at No. 61 in the 2014 national draft after North Melbourne made a bid for him which was matched by the Lions — he has been the ultimate bargain get.
Andrews has been identified as the next captain of the club.
Andrews has been identified as the next captain of the club.
Lions’ chief executive Greg Swann is thrilled with the signing.


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“He is the next captain,’’ Swann said.
“The way he carries himself, he’s always team first, he’s incredibly popular, he’s brave how he plays and he’s a natural leader.
“You want to know how good he is? Just look at Hodgey’s comments about him.’’
AFL great Luke Hodge said of Andrews: “I would say he’d be close to the best defender I’ve played with.”
Swann: “That’s as high as it gets.’’
Asked how much you pay a 23-year-old dual All Australian who just might be the most valuable player at the club, Swann said: “Enough”.

“Enough that he’s happy and we can bring other talent to the club, that’s what he wants,” Swann said.
A ballpark figure would have Andrews earning between $600,00 and $700,000 in the first season of his contract.
Contracts and finances aside, Andrews has started the laborious rehab of his hamstring, an injury many believed had derailed Brisbane’s season.
Fagan is not one of them.
“For starters, it‘s not a massive blow. We’re a team, not the Harris Andrews Football Club,” Fagan said.

Andrews agreed. He feels it is insulting to his teammates.
“Someone is going to come and play my role and the back six will respond,” he said.
“We’re not a one-man team, I’m a product of what the midfielders do and the guys around me, like Darcy Gardiner and Ryan Lester, it’s their ability to play their role and get the job done which allows me to play my game.”
This season’s most profound hamstring ping happened in the third quarter of last Friday’s match against the Magpies, when Andrews was involved in a marking contest near the interchange bench.
Luke Hodge and Andrews during their time together at the Brisbane Lions.
Luke Hodge and Andrews during their time together at the Brisbane Lions.
He limped off and applied the ice bag, knowing immediately the seriousness of the injury.
Disappointed, he encouraged his teammates from the sidelines and cast an eye on Fagan’s coaching.
“I’m not the person to sook about it,’’ he said.
“There was the frustration when I got home after the game, but you have to move on quickly
“As a leader, you can’t be seen sooking about it.
“I’ve started the rehab program as diligently as I can and I will just try to help out on game days, in meetings, and it’s a good opportunity for me to grow as an athlete but also as a footballer and my understanding of the game will improve.”
His intrigue about Fagan on the sidelines came because Andrews, at only 23, has set his sights on being a senior AFL coach.
A self-confessed “footy head”, he started a commerce degree but left that at the end of 2018 for a teaching degree at Australian Catholic University.
His academic transformation came after talks with Fagan and football boss David Noble and others at the club, all of whom had completed their teaching degrees.
They convinced him that teaching would aid his coaching aspiration.
Lions coach Chris Fagan would be thrilled with news of the contract extension.
Lions coach Chris Fagan would be thrilled with news of the contract extension.
“I spoke to them about pathways to becoming a coach … and there’s a lot of different aspects of teaching which can relate to coaching,” Andrews said.
“I’ve a pretty strong desire to coach.”
So, not one to dismiss an opportunity, the purposeful Harris spoke to Fagan on Monday about what role he could undertake over the next five weeks.
“The focus is on getting the body right, but I’m not much use if I just worry about that,” Harris said.
“I’ve got to make sure I’m worrying what other guys are doing, where I can help, just keeping involved. Just doing what I can.
“It hasn’t been specified what I will be doing on game day, but it will be something, whether I’m sitting in the box, or down on the bench.
“It’s a good opportunity for me to be a sponge and take in as much as I can.’’
Harris has captaincy traits all about him: Selfless, a want to improve and learn, and has respect from all at the club.
And while his hamstring injury might be the centre of discussion about Brisbane’s standing as a premiership contender, Harris has a perspective beyond his 23 years.
“There’s a lot worse things going on in life for other people, so it’s important not to get too bogged down with the hamstring,” he said.

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The Ghost Who Walks
Sep 20, 2004
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Brisbane Lions star Harris Andrews on his journey to the top

IT’S a well-earned players’ day off when Harris Andrews calls for a chat.

In a season of stops and starts and hubs and quarantine, these days are golden for the team. No training, no media, no expectations that footy should be front of mind.

A rare moment of being that person you want to be outside of existing as a footballer.

And it’s a day – rightfully – that most players cherish as an escape from the footy machine.

“Nah mate, not a problem at all, happy to have a chat,” the Lions defender replies to an apology for disturbing the peace.

We’re here to discuss the coaches and the way they’re getting the best out of this young Lions squad aiming to break a 17-year premiership drought. But as the conversation carries on, Andrews the Leader becomes the obvious talking point.

He speaks with passion and enthusiasm about the theories behind learning, about growth mindset and embracing failures to reinforce success.

He sounds like a 300-gamer.

In reality, he plays just his 113th match next weekend in a prelim final against Geelong or Collingwood.

“I suppose I know I might come across as more mature than the average 23-year-old,” he says.

“But for me I know how lucky I am to be playing a game that I love for a living and I think part of that maturity is just making sure I do things right and help other people to do the same.”

It’s the reason that whenever anybody within the Brisbane footy fraternity talks about the club’s next captain, the answer is never anything but Harris Andrews.

And it’s the reason he earned the nickname ‘Dad’ when he lived with teammates Hugh McCluggage and Jarrod Berry after they moved from Victoria as 18-year-olds.

“Yeah it was just a little nickname the boys came up with,” he says.

“They moved up here and I sort of took them under my wing and they started calling me that.”

It’s nothing to headline a story off. A little in-joke between mates in a Brisbane share house. But it does speak to the character of a skinny kid who has arguably become the best defender in the game, that teammates just two years his junior saw him as a father figure.

Already a two-time All Australian and the seventh-most capped player to pull on a Lions guernsey from the 22 that ran out against Richmond, the Queensland product could be forgiven for focusing squarely on what’s happening on the field.

But it’s that maturity again that already has him planning for a life after playing.

A life, he hopes, that will be all about coaching.

“I was doing a commerce degree and it wasn’t really working out for me,” he says.

“So I went to (general manager of football) David Noble and we discussed what I wanted to do after footy. I said I wanted to be a coach so we settled on doing an education degree.

“It’s slow going, having to play footy full time, but you just work your way through it

“Uni’s a good break from the footy club for a lot of the boys. Before COVID hit you’d go into campus and go to the lectures and it made you feel like a student rather than a footballer for a while.

“I’m lucky that I’ve got my mates from school around, not having moved away from home. But for the boys who moved up here from Victoria or South Australia or wherever, it’s a chance to broaden your social group and get out of that footy bubble. Even on our days off the playing group spends a lot of time together so to have that extra social side to it is a really good thing mentally. I think it really benefits them.”

For every question asked, and every answer offered, the overwhelming feeling that comes back is one of team betterment – rarely does the conversation swing in a way that makes it about the individual.

Asked recently about when he was at his happiest in life, it was that selflessness that has the Lions so high on his captaincy potential that shined through.

“After a good team win,” he said.

“The last couple of years it’s been enjoyable to watch the young players come in and get their first wins or playing good games and developing.”

A 23-year-old. Already talking about how much he loves seeing the ‘young players’ come through.

It’s a development mentality that’s been forged by his own journey to the AFL.

One full of hurdles, of some self-doubt, and of having to adapt to make it to the big time.

And it all started, oddly enough, in Fitzroy.
Long story, so only posted a section.


The Ghost Who Walks
Sep 20, 2004
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Andrews prepares for biggest battle of his career

Harris Andrews is setting himself for the biggest challenge of his career as he prepares to quell Coleman medallist Tom Hawkins in Saturday night's preliminary final at the Gabba.

The All-Australian full-back admitted on Monday that Geelong's All-Australian full-forward defeated him when they met at the SCG in round six, with Hawkins kicking three goals as the Cats took the Lions apart after half-time.

Hawkins has kicked 22 goals in seven battles with Andrews, however, he was kept goalless when the pair met at the Gabba in round 22 last season, giving the 23-year-old some hope he can keep the finals veteran quiet.

"He was able to get a hold of me earlier in the year and kick a few goals so no doubt I will take a few learnings from that night," Andrews said.

Andrews is playing in his first preliminary final while Hawkins will have a point to prove, having being suspended for last year's preliminary final against Richmond, with the dual premiership Cat set to play his 25th final.

The Lions defender had no problems reeling off what makes the 32-year-old such a tough opponent.

"His leading patterns and ability to get into spots where it is quite an easy kick for the kicker and his body work is obviously fantastic ," Andrews said.

"I am going to have to be on at all times because they look for him inside 50 and he has had a lot of shots over the last couple of weeks. We will be able to go back and see what has worked in the past against him and what hasn't worked and hopefully implement that on Saturday night."

The Lions defender, who was outstanding against a Lynch-less Richmond in the qualifying final, said he would not be expected to do the job on his own, with the contribution of every player vital.

He will also lean on the experience of four-time premiership Hawk Grant Birchall, who has been able to offer advice, as Luke Hodge did before him, to the emerging Lions players.


The Ghost Who Walks
Sep 20, 2004
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Star Brisbane defender readies himself for key battle on Coleman Medallist

On Saturday night at the Gabba, Coleman Medallist Tom Hawkins will sidle up to dual-All Australian Harris Andrews in what shapes as a key preliminary final match-up.

The Geelong spearhead, who is a father of daughters Arabella and Primrose, is eight years older than the Brisbane vice-captain and in the latter stages of his time in football.

Yet when their teammates are bellowing encouragement with the battle at its fiercest, it is Andrews who will be answering to the calls of “Dad”.

That’s what he’s known as to his younger teammates. More broadly, he is simply called “Chief”.

Andrews, 23, has performed at a level of maturity above his age since beginning his career in 2015. But it was during his time living with Hugh McCluggage and Jarrod Berry that the nickname stuck.

“He’s a 20-year-old with a 30-year-old’s mannerisms. That’s been picked up by a few other boys and that’s pretty much his nickname now,” McCluggage said in 2017.

When the moniker was put to Andrews at the Gabba this week, the defender shook his head.

“It is a bit of a stitch-up,” he told The Australian. “I took those boys into my place when they first moved up here and that gag has been running since then.

“It is not such a bad tag and footy clubs, in a way, once a tag catches on, it just sticks around.”

According to Berry, living with Harris on their arrival in Brisbane was crucial to the youngsters from regional Victoria settling into their new surroundings.

Like every share house, they had their moments. Andrews, Berry said, hosts a mean barbecue, aside from that one time where he nearly blew up his own home.

For a man who has made a career out of spoiling the best forwards of his generation, the defender had a decent rebuttal to that tall tale.

“We were at my place, actually, and the boys didn’t do a great job actually of cleaning the barbecue. I bet he didn’t mention that to you,” he said.

“But what happened is that we turned it on and there was a bit of crap sitting around on the frame of the grill and, the next thing you know, the fire is coming out of the barbecue and it nearly singed the eyebrows off.

“I got stuck into them afterwards.”

Andrews will find himself in football’s version of a hot kitchen when he plays on Hawkins in front of an expected crowd of nearly 30,000.

When they clashed at the SCG in June, Hawkins kicked three goals. And the champion Cats forward boasts a tremendous record against Brisbane, though Andrews has only been around in recent seasons.

Hawkins has kicked 53 goals from 17 outings against the Lions at an average of 3.1 goals per match, which is his best against any club.

But the Geelong spearhead is mindful of the talent of Andrews, who has claims to being the best key defender in the competition for the past two years, as his All Australian status suggests.

“He is obviously a great player and he has some great strengths,” Hawkins said.

“His ability in the one-on-ones is as good as anyone and the way he reads the game is second to none. He is a great player. We have played on each other a bit over the past four or five years.

“I will take confidence from the last time we played and also look at what I did on the weekend and also just go out there and try to play my game and just see what the game presents.”

Andrews credits his time living with McCluggage and Berry for accelerating his promotion to the Lions leadership, with the defender promoted to vice-captain aged just 21.

“It felt like it did a lot of good for me as well in the sense that I was trying to build my leadership as well and, by helping these young guys try to improve and how to go about trying to perform in an AFL environment, that made me a better player and a better leader, so I am really grateful for having those guys in with me and obviously they are really good guys as well and we had some good times,” he said.

The opportunity ahead of Brisbane is significant. The Lions won their first final in more than a decade when they defeated Richmond earlier this month and are vying for a spot in a decider for the first time since 2004.

“It is a great opportunity for us after last year, where we lost those two finals in a row, which was quite disappointing,” Andrews said. “To get back to that same position and be able to capitalise in that first week of finals is exciting and it is a show of growth in our group.

“For Brisbane in general, and the community, having the grand final and even the whole AFL season up here has been massive.

“I think the growth in junior levels, we probably haven’t experienced it this year because of COVID, but in years to come, I imagine it will get bigger.”

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The Ghost Who Walks
Sep 20, 2004
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
2020 Player Review: Harris Andrews

A second All Australian blazer in 2020 confirmed Harris Andrews’ mantle as the premier key defender in the AFL.

“The Chief” led a Lions’ defence that continued to improve as the season wore on. He was ranked in the top three in the AFL for contested defence one-on-ones, spoils, and one per centers.

The vice-captain was a model of consistency throughout the year but perhaps his best performance came against old foe Jeremey Cameron of the GWS at Giants Stadium in Rd 7. Andrews was considered the best on ground in the Lions’ 20 point win as he blanketed the Coleman medalist, keeping him goalless in the first half before Giants coach Leon Cameron swung some changes. Andrews also spent time on wrecking ball ruckman Shane Mumford as he collected 14 possessions and took seven intercept marks.

A hamstring injury against Collingwood in round 15 kept him out until the finals but he returned to produce an inspired performance in the 15 point qualifying final win over Richmond.

He continued his solid form with a solid showing against newly crowned Coleman medalist Tom Hawkins to be one of Brisbane’s best in the disappointing preliminary final loss against Geelong.

At just 23-years-of-age Andrews has yet to enter his prime despite already being considered the game’s best defender.

He signed a bumper contract extension midway through the season that ties him to the Club until the end of 2025.


The Ghost Who Walks
Sep 20, 2004
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Harris Andrews backs Charlie Cameron to fire against Geelong

Brisbane’s All-Australian defender Harris Andrews backed his teammate to improve this week and challenged the rest of the squad to play better.

“The whole team, in general, has to play with a bit more energy,” Andrews said.

“The first three goals of the game, we were going pretty well.

“You could see that energy and we were thriving with it and then the Swans came hard and were able to win the ball around the contests and getting it inside their forward line pretty quickly.

Andrews admitted he had to play a more aggressive game, especially against a physical side like Geelong.

“I was pretty unhappy with my game (last week), to be honest,” he said.

“I just have to be more aggressive and play more down the line.

“Certainly last year when we played (the Cats) in Sydney, they came out and physically dominated us.

“We’ll be ready for their best.”

Ahead of the AFL Tribunal’s decision regarding Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield, Andrews said the Cats will prove to be a challenging contest, with or without their star midfielder.

“It does (help us) a little bit if he’s not playing but at the same time, Geelong’s not the Patrick Dangerfield Footy Club,” he said.

“We recognise they’ve got some extremely talented footballers among their team and if Patrick is playing, or not playing, they’re going to be a really strong team regardless.”


The Ghost Who Walks
Sep 20, 2004
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
The In-Form Lion Flying Under The Radar

Andrews was another to play at his absolute best against Port, keeping Charlie Dixon goalless in a dominant performance.

It came seven days after Carlton spearhead Harry McKay totally outplayed him, kicking six goals.

It was nice to get back to playing the footy I know I can play.

"Having that resilience and being able to not go on a rollercoaster of emotion is important.

"The last couple of years playing I've learnt to deal with the ups and downs.

"Early on I was probably having a bit more downs than ups and probably let it affect my mood during the week.

"The fact I've grown and matured and learnt to deal with those lows is something I'm somewhat proud of."

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