NAMED: 57 CQ players impress Gold Coast Suns Academy
Aspiring Central Queensland male and female AFL players from under 13 to under 17 have impressed the Gold Coast Suns with 57 selected in the clubs Academy squads.
Players from the Yeppoon Swans, Gladstone Suns, BITS Saints, Glenmore Bulls and Brothers Kangaroos featured in the selections.
The selections bode well for Central Queensland's future AFL stocks, with the region firmly on the radar of the league, providing a pathway for future national superstars.
AFL Capricornia took to social media to announce the squads, which was quickly shared by the clubs involved.
"Congratulations to our latest crop of youth footballers being named in their respective Gold Coast Suns Academy Squads for the Capricornia Region.
"Great to see so many names on this list.
"A great sign for the future of football in our region."
The Gold Coast Suns Academy manager Jason Torney said the program provided young athletes with a unique opportunity to participate in a first-class sport and education experience facilitated by AFL Queensland and the Gold Coast Suns.
"We run a multi-level coaching program for aspiring players aged between 13 and 19 years," the Academy website states.
"It forms a key stage in the pathway from junior sport through to a possible career as an AFL or AFLW player at the highest level - without leaving Queensland."
Over 10 days in early November, Mr Torney said the Academy conducted its testing, kicking off in Rockhampton.
"Each year we go up to Rockhampton, Townsville, Mackay and Cairns to give our Academy players up north exposure to elite testing," Mr Torney said.
"We had a really good uptake in attendance this year and had some great results from our players.
"A young player from Capricornia, Ben O'Brien, had the highest score in the yoyo testing at 19.1.
"Jackson Hamman from Mackay ran a 2.91-second 20-metre sprint, which would have placed him third in the national draft combine testing this year ahead of new SUNS player Malcolm Rosas Jnr from the NT.
"Then we also had Indiana Brough from Mackay complete the agility test in 8.69 seconds which would have seen her finish fifth in the AFLW national draft combine."
Following the four-hour testing, players were treated to Academy masterclass run by former Suns players and male Academy coaches Andrew Raines and Sam Iles.