latest News – 2024


Forest Lions 2024 Summer Skills

When: FRIDAYS 23 February, 1 March, 8 March and 15 March 2024 at Lionel Watts Oval

Cost:  FREE

Summer Skills offers a great opportunity for returning players to add to their preseason training program as well as providing a perfect introduction to those who are new to AFL.

Former Sydney Swans Premiership player, Jared Crouch will lead our Summer Skills sessions. Jared has over 25 years’ experience on and off the field. We are thrilled to have him oversee our program and we know that the kids will benefit greatly from his knowledge and expertise.

Our canteen will be open and there will be a FREE BBQ for all the kids.
Merchandise, including shorts & socks will also be available to purchase from the Canteen.

Forest Team Coaches and Committee members will also be on hand to answer any questions you may have.  For further information please email:  registrar@

 AGM 2023 & President’s Note for 2024

 Presidents:                 Ken Digney & Chris Mackinlay

Vice Presidents:          Joshua Gaughan & Jonothan Hall

Secretary:                    Danielle White

Registrar:                     Samantha Woolf

Treasurer:                   Gail Cowling

General Committee:  Derek Whelan, Kate Mercer, Steve Dixon, Jason Cowling, Jared Crouch,                                            Sam Apps & Gary Latner

Sponsorship:               Jason Cowling

Manager Co-Ord:       Kate Mercer

FCMR Co-Ord:            Female Coach Mentoring & Recruitment – Sam Apps

Canteen Co-Ord:       Tanya Gaughan

Ground Manager:      Steve Dixon

If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity, please contact the committee to discuss: committee2024@

Presidents Report 2023

It is with great pleasure that we present the President’s Report for the Forest Lions in Season 2023.

 This year, our club has continued to thrive thanks to the unwavering support and dedication of our committee volunteers, parents, and the incredible children who make up our club.

 Our committee volunteers have played a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth operation of our club.

Their countless hours of hard work behind the scenes have been nothing short of remarkable.

From organising training sessions, running game days, managing finances and coordinating events, their commitment to the club’s success is truly exceptional.

 Thank you to our parents and families – you have been an integral part of our journey this season.

The cheering from the sidelines and support on game day has been invaluable and the committee extends its gratitude for your continuous encouragement and involvement in AFL.

 This year, our young stars have achieved remarkable success. Two of our players were selected to represent New South Wales, a testament to their skill, determination, and the quality coaching they receive at our club. Their achievements are a source of immense pride for our entire community.

 Our Under 12 boys and Under 18 girls’ teams have excelled, securing premiership victories. These triumphs highlight the talent and hard work of our players and the outstanding coaching and support they receive. These victories are a testament to the dedication of our athletes and the belief they have in themselves and their teammates.

 A special note of commendation goes to our 18-year girls’ team, whose ongoing success has been nothing short of exceptional. Their continued dominance showcases the talent, dedication, and determination that have become synonymous with our club.

 In closing, we want to emphasise the immense enjoyment and satisfaction that the committee and all associated with our club have experienced throughout the 2023 season. The camaraderie, shared moments of victory, and the growth we’ve witnessed in our young athletes have made this season truly memorable. The Forest Lions club stands strong, united, and ever-committed to the development of young talent in the sport we all love.

 Thank you to everyone who has played a part in our journey this season, and we look forward to an even brighter future for our club.

 Ken & Chris

2023 Major Club Awards 

Award:  Presented to:  Associated Team: 
Junior Male Rookie of the Year  Jordy P Under 12 
Junior Female Girl Rookie of the Year  Kenzie D Under 10YG 
Senior Male Rookie of the Year  Finlay K Under 17 
Senior Female Rookie of the Year  Rylie P  Under 18YG 
Junior Male Club Champion  Sam J Under 10 
Junior Female Club Champion  Ava G  Under 12YG 
Senior Male Club Champion  Mitchell H  Under 17 
Senior Female Club Champion  Kate S  Under 18YG 
Manly Wolves Female Spirit Award  Charlotte ‘CJ’  Under 16YG 
Manly Wolves Male Spirit Award  Dane P  Under 17 
Male Umpire of the Year  Troy A   
Female Umpire of the Year  Kiva A   
Presidents Award  Sam A & S Knox   
Geoff Pridgeon Award  Jared C   
Steve Dixon Club Award  Kate M   
Life Membership  Chris M   
Auskick Coaches Award Sean P  
Auskick Player of the Year Toby P  
U8 Coaches Award Maxwell C  
U8 Player of the Year Lilah S  



AGM 2022 & New Presidents Welcome Note for 2023

Forest Lions’ AGM was held on 27 November 2022, and as a result, the following Committee positions have been filled for 2023:


President/s – Ken Digney & Chris Mackinlay

Vice President/s – Jonathon Hall & Josh Gaughan

Secretary – Danielle White

Registrar – Samantha Woolf

Treasurer – Gail Cowling

General Committee – Kate Mercer, Derek Whelan, Steve Dixon, Jason Cowling, Mathew Pounsett

Sponsorship Co Ordinator – Jason Cowling

Manager’s Co-Ordinator – Kate Mercer

Canteen Manager – Tanya Gaughan

Ground Manager – Steve Dixon

While the above shows the positions elected to formally assist the Club in 2023, that should not stop you from offering to help where possible and if you are able. The Club and Committee is reliant on volunteers for us to be able to arrange coaches, schedule training, merchandise, as well as run Game days at Lionel Watts. Our Club has had great success over the past years due to the efforts of our volunteers and players.


 My name is Ken Digney, and I have been part of The Forest Lions JAFC for the past 6 years – coaching, coordinating and developing the Youth Girls Program and have also been Vice President for the last 3 years.  Having 3 children play and still playing at this fantastic community-based AFL club, I am feeling quite privileged to have been appointed into a joint President role, with Chris.

Chris Mackinlay was a Forest Lion Junior in the 1990’s and now having gone full circle with his children having played at the club for over the last 15 years, Chris has also coached and managed teams, as well as being part of the Committee for the last 7 years.

We are both humbled and excited to have been appointed as Joint Presidents for the 2023 season.

Chris and I played AFL for many years together at the Manly Wolves and both have a vast knowledge of football and club management. We look forward to continuing the growth and direction that Jonathon Hall has guided us over the past 6 years.  Jono’s presidential legacy will be long remembered by all involved with the Club and is something that we will endeavour to continue, respect, and try to achieve the same positive outcomes for the kids, their families and the game of Aussie Rules. We would like to acknowledge the amazing job that Jono has done as President over the last 6 Years. The Committee for 2023 are committed to delivering the best experience that is possible for your kids to enjoy playing AFL for the Forest Lions.

Both of us are available to discuss any idea’s, suggestions, or issues that you might have and can be contacted at  or on game days.

We would like to welcome everyone back to the Forest Lions JAFC and we are looking forward to a big 2023.


Congratulations to our U18-1 Girls team.  They were undefeated for 2022 and for the past 3 seasons.  The Club is very proud of this team not just for their success on the field but more so for the fact that most of this team have been together since they were 13 and playing in the first U15 Youth Girls competition 5 years ago.  They used to get thrashed each week, however they lead by example by showing what is achievable when a group of talented young people stick together and form a strong team bond.

In season 2022, 6 of our 11 eligible teams made the finals, 2 all the way to the Grand Final.

We say “see you later” to 29 players this year as they hopefully move on to senior footy.  These players have been great ambassadors of the Club, with a number of them playing together since the very junior grades including Auskick:

Tai A                            Lachlan H                Tove N              Charlise S

Oliver A                        Aidan H                   Jordan P          George T

William A                     Matthew H               Ocean P           Oliver T

Kira B                          Lukas J                    Ty P                  Gabriel VE

Jessica B                    Austin L                    Samara R         Dashiell vR

issabella D                  Jessica M                Jayme S           Hamish W

Liam G                        Charlie M                 Peggy S           Hannah W

Lachlan G

Congratulation to all those that reached 10, 100 and 150 game milestones throughout the year at Forest Lions.

A fantastic achievement to the following players on over 100 games and 10 year memberships:

10 Years+ Milestone Recognition

10 years – 109 games – Hamish W

10 years – 108 games – Aiden H

11 years – 168 games – Lachlan H

11 years – 146 games – Ty P

12 years – 155 games – Lukas J

Thank you to the Club Committee and all our amazing volunteers that keep our Club ticking over and all of the players that represent Forest Lions on the field each week.

COVID-19 Safety Information

Please do not hesitate to contact Forest Lions COVID Safety Officer Dani White if you have any questions or concerns:

The AFL strongly recommends all AFL players, coaches, umpires and officials download the COVID-Safe App. Help stop the spread! (Click the image above)

Forest Lions Junior AFL Club COVID-19 PROTOCOLS 

It is vital that our Club Officials, Coaches, Players, Volunteers and Parents abide by the Return to Play protocols as outlined by: AFL NSW/ACT (AFL NSW ACT Return to Contact Training Protocols)


Thank you to all our sponsors who have generously supported our children's development over the years.