That time he had Geelong father-son recruit Jed Bews as his opponent.
On this occasion, with a grand final spot up for grabs, he expects an Irishman who only began playing the game recently, Mark O’Connor, to sidle up beside him after the Geelong defender restricted him to six disposals at the SCG in round six.
“He’s a pretty good player. He is a lot taller than me and he is pretty quick,” Cameron said.
“I respect him … he beat me one-on-one. I will take a lot from that game going into this game.”
Cameron was born in Mount Isa, grew up in the Gulf of Carpentaria and played rugby league and baseball at school in Brisbane before moving to WA town Newman, where he showed his skill in Australian football.
Adelaide picked him as a rookie after being impressed watching him at Swan Districts but then the Brisbane Lions called and he transferred there in 2018.
He arrived at the club alongside wily Hawthorn legend Luke Hodge as Jarryd Lyons and Lincoln McCarthy lobbed too, starting a train of new arrivals including Lachie Neale, Callum Ah-Chee and Grant Birchall.
Last year the Lions were eliminated from the finals in straight sets but this year their qualifying final victory over reigning premiers Richmond has them within touching distancing of hosting the grand final.
Cameron said the club’s rise in 2019 caught him more by surprise than what they have managed to achieve this season.
“A lot of people doubted us this year, [predicting] that we would drop down but we’ve proven a lot of people wrong and continue to prove a lot of people wrong,” Cameron said.
The 26-year-old, who studied to be a mechanic when at Swan Districts, is the fastest car in Chris Fagan’s garage now but there is nothing flashy about him off the field. You can imagine him looking as at ease wearing overalls and standing up from under a bonnet. His understated presence is as laid back as Friday afternoon knock-off beers.
But when he grabs the ball the Gabba erupts like it’s the final baton change in a 4×100 relay final and Cameron revelled in the experience in the qualifying final against Richmond two weeks ago when he kicked three goals.
“It was pretty electric. I’m just going out and playing footy and having fun,” Cameron said.
He says he hopes to be a leader in the forward line but is by no means the only key to the Lions’ attack with Cameron Rayner, Eric Hipwood, Dan McStay and Keidean Coleman playing their part.
However, the Cats know from bitter experience the damage Cameron can do after he kicked five goals against them in the 2017 preliminary final when wearing Crows colours. From that point on he has been dangerous.
“I had good games and not-so-good games but I think for me it is just going out there and playing footy,” Cameron said.
“What I did against them in the preliminary final about three years ago was just playing footy.
“In the prelim, I guess, I arrived.”
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Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.