Simon Black is a professional AFL footballer who played his whole career with the Brisbane Lions. ‘Blacky’ is one of the most decorated players in the clubs history achieving almost every individual honour in the game. His silky skills, leadership, durability and ball winning abilities keep him among the competition’s elite midfielders.
In 2002 Simon won the game’s most coveted individual honour – the Brownlow Medal. He added to his achievements as a footballer with the 2003 Norm Smith Medal and the 2001, 2002 and 2006 Merrett-Murray Medals awarded to the best and fairest Lions player, along with three premiership medallions he received as a part of the Lions’ hat-trick of premierships in 2001, 2002 and 2003.
Black and fellow Brisbane midfielders Michael Voss, Nigel Lappin and Jason Akermanis became one of the most well regarded midfield combinations in the league during the time, and were known as the ‘Fab Four’.
He is the Director of Coaching at the Australian Rules Academy, passing on his knowledge and prowess as a professional footballer to younger generations.
Simon is Ambassador and Football Director for the Simon Black Australian Rules Academy.
Brisbane Football Director
Nathan Clarke played for the Brisbane Lions in the Australian Football League (AFL). Clarke was recruited by Brisbane through the rookie draft, from Maroochydore in Queensland.
As a utility, he played his first game late in the 2000 AFL season, against Hawthorn at the Gabba. In a memorable league debut, Clarke kicked two goals, managed to take 10 marks and landed 18 disposals. After appearing just twice in 2001, which was a Brisbane premiership year, Clarke was nominated for the 2001 AFL Draft and was redrafted by Brisbane with pick 45.
He coached the Lions reserves side, which competed in the North East Australian Football League Northern Conference, to a premiership in. He previously played and worked in AFL Canberra, where he captain-coached Eastlake.
Nathan then pursued a teaching career after leaving the Lions, which allowed him more time to spend with his family. We are very lucky to have him on board as his experience in all areas of the game will be valuable to the academy students.
Melbourne Mentor and Skills Coach
Clinton is a premiership player with a career spanning two of the AFL’s powerhouse teams. Over his 10 year career at the elite level, Clinton played 137 games and kicked 69 goals for both Hawthorn and Collingwood. Clinton played under 18’s for North Ballarat and in 2005’s season made Hawthorn’s rookie list. He debuted in round 16, 2005 and at the end of the season he was promoted to the Hawks senior list.
Clinton’s 2007 and 2008 seasons were his breakout years with his thumping left foot constantly on show rebounding off halfback or sending the ball inside 50.
“Dasher” played a key role in Hawthorns 2008 premiership win against Geelong racking up 19 disposals, 8 Marks, and managing to push forward kicking a major to help bury the Cats.
The introduction of the free-agency system saw Clinton move to the Pies in 2013. He provided much needed premiership experience to a young team and was so highly regarded by his peers that he was quickly appointed to the leadership group in his first year at the Pies.
Clinton announced his retirement in 2015 to join the Australian Rules Academy as the Victorian Skills Coach. He brings a wealth of experience from playing with two of the largest and most professional teams in the AFL. His skill diversity and knowledge will be pivotal in assisting you reach your personal and football goals.
Perth Football Director
Gary O’Donnell is a former Essendon champion, having played 243 games with the club at the elite level. At his peak, O’Donnell was regarded as one of the most consistent players in the competition testament to him representing the Big V in the State of Origin 9 times.
Underlining this consistency is his record in the club best-and-fairest: O’Donnell finished in the top three six years in a row, winning it in 1993, a premiership year for the Bombers. O’Donnell was always regarded as one of the most astute thinkers in the game and his reputation was further enhanced when, after retirement he took up an assistant coaching role with the Brisbane Lions, playing a key role in the Lions’ rise up the ladder, culminating in three premierships from 2001 to 2003.
O’Donnell is the Perth Academy’s Elite Coach.
Adelaide Football Coach
Jason Porplyzia is a former AFL player for the Adelaide Crows Football Club. Porplyzia played 130 career games for Adelaide (2006-2014), scoring 181 goals in his career. Known for his strong marking ability for his size, Porplyzia played as a dangerous forward during his time with the Crows.
Drafted in 2003 onto Adelaide’s rookie list, Porplyzia did not make it onto the senior list on his first crack at the AFL and subsequently returned to West Adelaide in the SANFL. At West Adelaide he demonstrated his capabilities and went on to win the club’s Best and Fairest award in 2005. Adelaide Football Club rewarded his hard work and selected him in the 2006 Pre-season draft.
By 2008, Porplyzia made his mark on the AFL, he was then a consistent small forward regarded as one of the most accurate kicks in the game. In 2009 Porplyzia kicked 57 goals and won Adelaide’s leading goal scorer award. The same year he also took home Adelaide’s Coaches Award and came runner up in their Best and Fairest.
Porplyzia announced his retirement from the top level in 2014, and returned to former club West Adelaide the following year. He won the club’s Best and Fairest in their premiership year in 2015.
This year (2019), Porplyzia has returned to the Adelaide Football Club, in a duel role working part time for the Crows Academies as well as the game day runner for the AFL and SANFL teams.
Jason Porplyzia Adelaide Academy’s Elite Coach at the Simon Black Academy.
WHERE SUCCESS BEGINS ON AND OFF THE FIELD
February 2020 intake is now open. Secure your position for our next kick-off