Narangba teen on track to become AFL star

Dominic Paino wins a ruck against Redlands.
Dominic Paino wins a ruck against Redlands. Contributed

NARANGBA teen Dominic Paino could be on the fast track to the AFL at just 14 after being selected in the Hyundai Brisbane Lions Academy.

Paino will be one of 220 players in the academy next year, meaning he gets high performance training from Lions staff, and the Brisbane club will get the first crack at him if he manages to stay in the academy until the draft in 2015 or 2016.

At 14, he already towers over most people, at 195cm.

To put this in perspective, the tallest player to ever play AFL football is Aaron Sandilands, at 211cm.

The Morayfield State High School student will start training with the academy early next year, and will be reassessed annually as coaches judge his progress.

Dominic said he knew his journey to the draft would be a tough one but he thought he had what it took to succeed.

"It'll be hard because there are a lot of really good ruckmen out there that all want to do the same thing," he said.

"I'm tall but I'm not a big built guy so I've got a bit more speed than most other ruckmen."

Paino's coach last year agreed, predicting big things for the tall teen.

"I reckon if he keeps the attitude he has right now he can play AFL without a doubt," he said.

"He's got a great attitude, great discipline and a really good work ethic.

"He's very skilful too, which is obviously a great asset ... just an ideal footballer that any coach would love to coach."

The Lions Academy may not start until next year but Paino is already seizing opportunities with both hands.

He travelled to the Gold Coast Suns' Metricon Stadium last week to take part in the NAB Rising Stars Draft Combine, undergoing physical testing with AFL coaching staff, including Greater Western Sydney Giants coach Kevin Sheedy.

Paino lives and breathes footy, watching every game he can during the season. If two games he wants to watch are on at the same time he will record one and watch them one after the other.

Paino said he was proud and overwhelmed by his selection for the academy and hoped to use it to improve his rucking as well as general game sense, hand and foot skills.

Brisbane North Club development officer Lachlan Harris said Paino's height would be his main strength.

"He came through (Northern) Raiders last year and was pretty raw when he came in but he's got a lot of upside," he said.

"Tall players are rare as hen's teeth in Queensland."

Anyone interested in playing Aussie rules should visit

Topics:  afl

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Cousins reunited after 50 years

Long lost cousins Merilyn and Glenda.

Cousins reunited after 50 years

Centrelink complaints increase by almost 50%

Complaints to Centrelink have been up in 2015-16.

Complaints to the Commonwealth Ombudsman about Centrelink increased.

Life destroyed after man takes teenage former lover captive

Man sentenced for three-day ordeal involving rifle and machete

Local Partners

Shannen Doherty reveals fear of dying in post on chemo

Actor Shannen Doherty shared this image of her lying in a hospital bed after a chemotherapy session.

Actor has been fighting cancer since 2015

Eddie Redmayne's stage fright on latest Harry Potter film

Actor Eddie Redmayne stars in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Actor felt like kid again when he got to film with a wand

Salma Hayek: 'Trump planted story because I turned him down'

Actor Salma Hayek is the latest woman who says U.S presidential nominee Donald Trump acted inappropriately.

Salma Hayek latest woman to accuse Trump of misconduct

Leonardo DiCaprio nearly drowned while filming

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio

Oscar winner almost drowned in Galapagos

Miranda Kerr to wed next year

Supermodel Miranda Kerr

Supermodel and Snapchat founder to wed

What's on the small screen this week

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

TWO big reality shows wrap up this week while

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track