Lion’s wait over: Reville earns QClash debut

Murray Wenzel |

Brisbane Lion Bruce Reville (l) will make his AFL debut five years after going undrafted.
Brisbane Lion Bruce Reville (l) will make his AFL debut five years after going undrafted.

Fixing trucks, delivering mail, cutting meat and driving forklifts.

Bruce Reville has tried plenty of careers, but the Papua New Guinea-born talent’s mind always wandered back to the AFL.

The 23-year-old’s patience has been rewarded with Reville to get his chance for the Brisbane Lions against Gold Coast in a crucial QClash on Sunday, five years after going undrafted. 

Set to replace the injured Cal Ah Chee (hamstring), the Papua New Guinea-born, Queensland-raised Neville has been one of the VFL’s best in the midfield but can also play up front or in defence.

His Gabba debut comes with last year’s grand finalists teetering at 2-5 and desperate to find form against a Suns (4-3) side keen to take a scalp away from home.

“I guess I feel kind of relieved in one way to have finally made it, it’s quite emotional really,” Reville said.

“A lot has happened for me to get to this point, from working multiple jobs and making a lot of sacrifices from me and my partner to try and pursue an AFL career.”

Those jobs included shifts cutting meat at an abattoir, driving a forklift at Bunnings and delivering packages at Christmas for extra money.

He also worked as a diesel mechanic before earning a rookie contract late last year.

“There were a lot of days where you have a lot of time to sit there and think, and the last thing I wanted to be doing was cutting meat or driving around a forklift,” Reville said.

“I think that’s why I worked so hard to get to this position because I knew it’s not what I wanted to be doing in life.”

Reville lived in Cairns until he was seven before moving further south and playing his junior football in Maryborough.

“The journey of Bruce Reville is one of those great football stories that any aspiring AFL player or anyone chasing their dream should look at,” Lions football boss Danny Daly said.

“Bruce spent the best part of seven years in our Brisbane Lions Academy and playing at VFL level where he just kept persisting and wanting to get better.

“It was such a great feeling when we offered him a spot on our AFL list late last year and now to tell him he will make his debut is just really special for him and his family.”