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A rookie star amongst the Bond community

Sean Yoshiura, 18, made headlines around the country last December as the first Japanese player to make an AFL team and one of the youngest rookies signed.

The Bond University Bachelor of Sports Science student was about to sit his final bio-chemistry exam when he received confirmation he was one of three Queenslanders drafted as a rookie to the Brisbane Lions national AFL team. 

“The rookie drafts were announced two hours before my exam.  I couldn’t talk to the media that day even though they kept calling because I needed to stay focused on my studies,” Yoshiura said.

“It was a dream come true.  I have wanted to play professional AFL since I was nine years old when we moved to Australia and I first saw football played on television,” he said.

Australian cross-country champion at the age of 15, Yoshiura - a Collegiate Scholarship recipient who was School Captain of Ipswich Grammar School - is a passionate athlete who has broken records in the pool, on the track and now is set to break even more on the football field.

“I chose to study Sports Science because I have always been interested in the body mechanics during sport.  I use the knowledge from my studies in my sports training," Yoshiura said.

“Understanding how your energy metabolism works and how it is used in AFL and running is useful. I know what the coach is explaining in training and I am able to help my teammates as well. 

A high achieving student, Yoshiura has achieved outstanding grades whilst balancing a six day a week training schedule and commuting to class from Brisbane.  He admitted staying focused and finding that balance had been a challenge.

“The hardest part has been trying to stay on track.  I have had to prioritise my schedule to allow for study, sport and social time,” he said.

“The small classes have helped immensely as they have provided the opportunity to ask questions and participate in discussion and the teachers know all the students really well,” he said.

Yoshiura intends to study a Master of High Performance Science and use his sports expertise to introduce AFL to Asia.

“My long term goal is to become a talent scout and provide children with the same opportunities I have had to get into sport.  Initially I plan to start in Queensland and then look to Asia and even further abroad,” he said.

Yoshiura will be one step closer to his career goal of taking AFL to Asia when the Brisbane Lions play a friendly demonstration match against Melbourne Demons in China later this year.

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