A TEACHING background is expected to give new Brisbane Lions development coach Paul Henriksen the ideal grounding to start his AFL career.
The long-time Terang College teacher, 40, will move north in December on a three-year deal after his efforts with Vic Country’s under 16 and under 18 sides captured the Lions’ attention.
Brisbane announced Henriksen’s appointment this week after finalising its 2017 coaching structure, which includes new senior mentor Chris Fagan. Henriksen, 40, said he was excited to test himself in a new environment following an 18-year stretch at Terang College as a physical education teacher.
“I had a friend ask me ‘you’re leaving teaching, are you?’ and I said ‘no, I’m just teaching in another area,” he said.
“I think they go hand-in-hand, teaching and coaching.”
Henriksen said the chance to work with the Lions’ young list, which includes 11 players he’s coached at Vic Country level, was too good to pass up.
“I am a born and bred Terang boy (and have lived here) except for four years when I was at the University of Ballarat, so it’s a big challenge for me to jump out of my comfort zone,” he said.
“For me, it is about making a difference and having effect on young people’s lives.”
Henriksen, who will move to Brisbane with wife Leesa and son Jonty, 3, said the support of the Terang College and the south-west community was overwhelming.