Harris Andrews handballs during Brisbane's clash against Fremantle in round one, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

BRISBANE milestone man Harris Andrews says watching an Anzac Day clash between Collingwood and Essendon more than a decade ago changed the trajectory of his career.

The 16-year-old "footy head" made the trek to Melbourne in 2013 to watch his beloved Bombers get over the Magpies in front of a crowd of more than 93,000 people.

At that stage of his own career, Andrews was playing under-age football for Aspley, not yet on the radar of Brisbane Academy or Queensland selectors.

"I remember sitting in the stands thinking, 'Geez, that would be pretty awesome to be out there'," Andrews said ahead of his 200th game against Port Adelaide on Saturday.

"It was probably at that stage that I thought if I want to make this happen, I've got to do something about it.

"I was loving playing at Aspley, then the opportunity arose to be part of the Academy … and I really enjoyed that environment.


"If you'd said to me at 16 that I'd get to game 200 in the AFL, I probably would have laughed at you."

It was later in 2013 Andrews found his way into the Lions Academy and flourished, playing at the national under-18 championships the following year and being drafted months later.

"It was something I hadn't experienced, I probably hadn't had high level coaching, the opportunity to review games on tape – as a footy head I chewed that up as a 17-year-old," he said.

"I felt that was an environment I just wanted to keep getting better.

"To see so many great products come out of not only the Brisbane Academy, but the other three academies … is something that is critical coming from states where football isn't necessarily the No.1 sport."


Andrews is the first player from any northern Academy to reach the 200-game milestone.

Still only 27 and well and truly entrenched as one of the best key defenders in the competition, the Lions' co-captain is searching for his ultimate goal of winning a premiership.

To this stage though, he said being part of the club's transformation from easybeat to contender has been the highlight of his career.

"As a club we've built up our own personality and built the respect from the competition. When I got here, there probably wasn't many clubs that viewed us the way we are viewed now," he said.