Lions defender Liam Dawson can thank his mum Bev for his footy career.
If not for her, he may never have played a second game as a kid growing up in Brisbane.
"I cried the first time I went out on to the field," the 19-year-old admitted to APN.
"I think I just got a bit scared of the footy coming towards me. But Mum said 'stick with it', so I did."
Going on to become a state junior representative and graduate of the Lions Academy, Dawson made his AFL debut in round eight this season against Essendon.
This time it was Bev who was emotional, watching on from the crowd at Docklands.
Dustin Fletcher was Liam's first opponent. Between them they had played 400 games. The youngster only had three kicks, but the first was a goal.
After starting in attack, Dawson has since excelled in defence, though has at times been given the run around by more seasoned opponents.
"One of the toughest was Stevie J (Johnson of Geelong)," he said.
"He's obviously got 250 games of experience ... just his smarts and his leading patterns. You think you have him and then you look around and he's 20 metres behind you."
Today, Dawson can expect to line up on either Luke Breust or Cyril Rioli when the Lions are hosted by Hawthorn in Launceston.
"It'll be quite a challenge as well," he said. "Hopefully, the boys will help me out."
While the Lions look set to 'win' the wooden spoon, the Queenslander is living his dream, playing with the club he barracked for and with academy mates such as fellow backman Harris Andrews.
"It's been a good first year .. I'm pretty stoked," he said.
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