O’Sullivan On Fire

Written by Sam Burge


Through seven games, Max O’Sullivan has kicked 19 goals and is setting the AFL Canberra competition alight. O’Sullivan fell into the lap of the Eastlake Demons through a family connection when he moved to Canberra at the start of the year to study medicine at ANU.

The 24 year old grew up on a sheep farm near the Victorian country town of Barfold which is 40 minutes south of Bendigo and one hour and 20 minutes from Melbourne.

Having grown up with three younger brothers in ‘footy heartland’, it’s no surprise that Max and his brothers are all pretty good. “We were always bashing each other up in the paddock at home”, said O’Sullivan.

“I don’t know how Mum and Dad did it getting us to all our games. We all played rep and things like that so there was a lot of travel involved.”

O’Sullivan played most of his junior footy close to home around the country hubs of Kyneton and Bendigo before moving to Melbourne and studying there. In Melbourne he played 10 games across two season for Richmond’s VFL team and did a pre-season with the Northern Blues.

As for his brothers, Tom (22) is currently playing for Port Melbourne in the VFL, Ned (19) plays for Kyneton and Jack (16) plays for Xavier College, Oakleigh Chargers and just made the under 17 Vic Country team.

There’s no doubting the footy on the farm would have been fierce with the odd ram or sheep being used as a step ladder. Maybe not quite.

Wanting to further his studies, O’Sullivan got into medicine at ANU and has found a home in the capital. He arrived at the start of February and found himself training at Eastlake within a week.

The small forward has brought real quality to Eastlake and hit the ground running with a three goal, best on ground performance against Ainslie in round one.

He was well held by Belconnen in round two but bounced back with five goals in a win against Gungahlin.

In AFL Canberra’s Indigenous round, the 24 year old kicked a game high seven goals on his way to winning the Gerrit Wanganeen medal for best on ground in Eastlake’s game against Tuggeranong.

“I’ve kicked six a couple of times and five a few times but never seven. It’s a good feeling,” O’Sullivan said.

The former VFL player is forming a great combination with Eastlake captain Aaron Bruce who’s kicking goals for fun at the moment.

“It’s fun playing with Moosey (Aaron Bruce). He’s a great leader, he’s never over the top but he does tell you if you’re doing something wrong.”

Bruce played game 250 a month ago and is still giving defenders nightmares.

The veteran is still dominating with his shear power and leads the competition with 28 goals, including a 10 goal haul against Gungahlin.

While Bruce dominates with his strength, power and pure goal kicking, O’Sullivan dominates by amassing more of the ball with his speed around the contest and nous around goals.

After last week’s washout, the duo will be looking to add to their goal kicking totals this weekend against Tuggeranong at EPC Solar Park.