CAREER CHALLENGE: Archie Smith handpasses a ball in training.
CAREER CHALLENGE: Archie Smith handpasses a ball in training. Lions Media

BOUNCING BACK: Smith hopes time in AFL is coming with Lions

AUSSIE RULES: Brisbane Lion Archie Smith understands he might be in a fight to save his AFL career, but he is embracing the challenge.

Smith will be one of the Lions in Bundaberg next week for school and club visits as part of the community camp run by the AFL.

He'll be joined by midfielder Mitch Robinson, forward Charlie Cameron, youngster Hugh McCluggage and new recruit from the Gold Coast Suns, Jarryd Lyons.

The ruckman has played nine games for the club since joining in 2014 but wasn't able to play last year with Oscar McInerney and Stefan Martin taking the lead ruck roles at the club.

It's something he hopes to change, with his contract running out at the end of the year.

"It's been a really good (pre-season)," he said.

"The period from November to January is pretty slow but after the Christmas break it gets to a fun period with games starting.

"It starts now for us with match play and I've been in both the ones and twos so far in the matches so I'm happy with how it goes."

Smith said he had his best season last year despite not playing AFL and fronting up in the NEAFL.

But the goal is now to get into the best 22 for the Lions week in, week out and the 23-year-old feels he's added more to his game to make it, including spending more time in the forward line to add to his ruck capabilities.

"I'm going to give it my best shot," he said.

"Hopefully I can play a few JLT's (pre-season matches) and get selected.

"The goal is the same for me every year, to get better with each session and game that I do."

Smith's trip to Bundaberg won't be the first time he's visited the Rum City.

He was here in 2007, competing in another sport.

"I was here for a basketball tournament," he said.

"I played for Met East in the tournament, which was in under-12 at the time."

Now he hopes to inspire the next Queenslanders, just like him, to play in the game at the top level.

"I've been at the club for five years and it's been great to go all around Queensland," he said.

"It's a great initiative to visit the regions and taking the game back to them."

The Lions will be in Bundaberg next Monday and Tuesday.

LIONS VISIT 

MONDAY  

10am: Branyan State School and Gooburrum State School   

1pm: St Mary's Catholic School and Moore Park State School  

3pm: Woongarra State School and Shalom College for girls only session  

4.30pm: Shalom College - all welcome   

TUESDAY  

9am: St Patrick's Catholic School, Gin Gin State School and South Kolan State School   

1pm: Bundaberg East State School and Norville State School   

4.30pm: Across The Waves and Brothers Bulldogs club clinic  

All times are approximate and school visits are subject to change  



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