AFL Queensland has released the Under 17 state team set to take on Tasmania at Whitten Oval, on July 3.
Coaching the side will be Gold Coast SUNS Academy Coach Andrew Raines, alongside Brisbane Lions Academy coach Josh Hunt. The game is the first in a two game series, that will see Queensland also play NSW/ACT at Metricon Stadium, on July 10.
According to Hunt, it’s an opportunity for players that played, or missed their opportunity to play, in the Under 16 state side, as well as bottom age players not selected to play in the 2017 NAB AFL Under 18 National Championships.
“It’s an opportunity for them, it’s (also) an opportunity for us, to see how they go against good opposition, and even, for these guys to see how they gel within a group that they haven’t had a lot of time with,” said Hunt.
“From our point of view, we just want these guys to go out there, and obviously play well, but, play within the role and the structure (of) the team.”
While Queensland has a strong contingent of players in form from the Academy Series, Hunt is anticipating a competitive hit-out.
“One thing you always know about Tassie is that they’re good in the contest, they use the ball well and they’re smart footy players,” said Hunt.
“We expect it to be a tough game. No doubt, you always get that against Tassie.”
Eyes will be on the likes of Lions Academy players Caleb Franks, Cody Stackelberg and Tom Matthews, who have shown some promising signs over the past few months. Gold Coast Academy youngsters Cooper Portelli, Cory Beaman and Zach Palmer also look like exciting prospects ahead of the series.
“I think this crop of players coming through now is quite an exciting group, there’s some guys in there with some individual brilliance, that can do that, then there’s some really hard players in there that you love as a footy purist,” said Hunt.
Queensland U17 Squad:
- Max Culpitt – Cairns
- Toara Marango- Caloundra
- Ethan Hunt – Morningside
- Jesse Quint – Morningside
- Josh Preval – Sandgate
- Tom Matthews – Coorparoo
- Lachlan McDonald – Labrador
- Cooper Portelli – Labrador
- Caleb Franks – Western Magpies
- Cody Stackelberg – Sandgate
- Kane Haua – Capricornia
- Cory Beaman – Burleigh
- Ryan Gillmore- Townsville
- Connor McFadyen – Wilston Grange
- Fitzroy Greenwool – Cape York Eagles
- Jack Austin – Western Magpies
- Zach Palmer – Broadbeach
- Caleb Graham – Palm Beach Currumbin
- Jonah Farry – Aspley
- Sam Tasker – Coorparoo
- Tui Lowah – Cape York Eagles
- Emmanuel Baru – Labrador
- Adam Peak – Morningside
By Sean Melrose