4 Queenslanders named in AIS-AFL squad

Matthew Hammelmann is one of four Queenslanders offered AIS-AFL Scholarships for 2013/14

Four Queenslanders have gained selection in the seventeenth AIS-AFL Academy squads released by the AFL today.

Cape York’s Didymus Blanket made Level 1 Squad selection following the NAB AFL Under-16 Championships. They will be coached by AFL Engagement and Talent Co-ordinator Chris Johnson.

Lachlan Weller (Suns Academy/Broadbeach), Liam Dawson (Lions Academy/Aspley) and Matthew Hammelmann (Lions Academy/Morningside) were named in the Level 2 Squad which will be coached by AIS-AFL High Performance Coach Michael O’Loughlin. Players in this squad are eligible to be drafted in 2014.

The 61 players will receive an AIS-AFL Academy scholarship and will come together four times over the next 12 months for training camps. Both squads will also travel overseas.

The AIS-AFL Academy commenced in 1997. Since that time, 33 graduates have played in a premiership, 25 have been named an All-Australian at least once, 18 have won their club’s best and fairest, 11 have been the number one selection at the NAB AFL Draft, four have won the NAB AFL Rising Star and three have won the Norm Smith Medal. 

In 2013 there are 204 AIS-AFL Academy players on AFL lists. These players have played a combined 13,827 AFL games and have kicked 9507 goals.

National and International Talent Manager Kevin Sheehan said the Academy program prepares players for the rigours of AFL football.

“The players will experience elite training and mentoring that will help their development both on and off the field. Both squads will also represent their country overseas which is unique in our game.

“We are constantly striving to give the players the best preparation for life as a professional athlete,” he said.


Level 1

Didymus Blanket 19-6-97 187cm, 82kg Queensland/Cape York    

Strong bodied medium defender/midfielder that is very well balanced and makes smart decisions with his disposal by hand or foot. Possesses very good agility and a nice step through traffic or around opposition players. His rebound and ability to run and carry the ball from half back provides his team with great counter attack. He applies very good defensive pressure laying countless tackles. His best game at the NAB AFL Under-16 Championships came against the Northern Territory where he had 14 disposals, four clearances and five tackles. Indigenous player.

Level 2

Liam Dawson 23-1- 96 188cm, 78kg Queensland/Lions Academy/Aspley

Medium forward/defender with excellent overhead marking ability either on the lead or in the contested situation. A courageous player who reads the game very well and makes great decisions with his disposal by hand or foot. Shared the Harrison Medal for Division Two as well as earning All-Australian honours. Also won Queensland’s MVP for his consistent performances during the championships.

Matthew Hammelmann 8-3-96 196cm, 84kg Queensland/Lions Academy/Morningside

Tall forward with excellent marking ability and leg speed as well as clean hands. Is very good both on the lead and in a one on one contest. A very reliable set shot for goal with a good understanding of where to lead and find the football. Has the ability to bring his team mates into the game. Averaged 11 disposals and 5 marks at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.

Lachlan Weller 23-2-96 180cm, 71kg Queensland/SUNS Academy/Broadbeach

Medium midfielder with prolific ball winning ability. Can play inside and win the ball at stoppages as well as playing outside and delivering the ball with excellent accuracy. Has very clean hands as well as excellent game sense and awareness. His vision and decision making when the ball is in his hands is exceptional. Averaged 18 disposals at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.

The full 2013-14 AIS-AFL Squads

Level One

NSW/ACT: Dylan McDonald (Murray Bushrangers/Albury), Jacob Hopper (Murray Bushrangers Leeton-Whitton), Jock Cornell (Murray Bushrangers/Mangoplah-Cue), Callum Mills (Swans Academy/North Sydney Swans)

South Australia: Maris Olekalns (North Adelaide/Broadview), Luke Partington (Port Adelaide/Tumba Bay), Stephen Tahana (North Adelaide/Gaza), Aaron Francis (West Adelaide/Loxton North), Ryan Burton (North Adelaide/PHOS Camden), Tim Sullivan (Glenelg/Port MacDonnell)

Queensland: Didymus Blanket (Cape York)

Vic Country: Darcy Parish (Geelong Falcons/Winchelsea), Darcy Tucker (North Ballarat Rebels/Horsham Saints), Rhys Mathieson (Geelong Falcons/Bell Park), Josh Dunkley (Gippsland Power/Sale), Jacob Weitering (Dandenong Stingrays/Mount Martha), Kieran Collins (Dandenong Stingrays/Langwarrin), Sam Skinner (Gippsland Power/Moe), Joshua Schache (Murray Bushrangers/Seymour), Gach Nyoun (Dandenong Stingrays/Narre Warren North Foxes)

Vic Metro: Nick O’Kearney (Calder Cannons/Keilor), James Parsons (Eastern Ranges/Norwood), Tom Wilson (Sandringham Dragons/East Sandringham), Dylan Atkins (Sandringham Dragons/Mordialloc-Braeside)

Western Australia: Kade Stewart (South Fremantle/Katanning), Callum Ah Chee (South Fremantle/Kelmscott), Yestin Eades (Swan Districts/Midvale), Greg Clark (Subiaco/Sorrento Duncraig)

Tasmania: Jake Sushames (North Launceston)

Northern Territory: Michael Hagan (Darwin)

Level Two

NSW/ACT: Isaac Heeny (Swans Academy/Cardiff Hawks), Liam Griffiths (GWS Academy/Ainslie), Nicholas Coughlan (GWS Academy/Murray Bushrangers/Albury)

South Australia: Billy Stretch (Glenelg/Henley), Mac Bower (Norwood/Payneham Norwood Union), Jesse Watchman (West Adelaide/Blackwood), Sam Durdin (West Adelaide/East Murray)

Queensland: Lachlan Weller (Suns Academy/Broadbeach), Liam Dawson (Lions Academy/Aspley), Matthew Hammelmann (Lions Academy/Morningside),

Vic Country: Jaden McGrath (Bendigo Pioneers/Kerang), Jackson Nelson (Geelong Falcons/St Mary’s), Patrick McCartin (Geelong Falcons/St Joseph’s), Daniel Capiron (Dandenong Stingrays/Edithvale-Aspendale), Tom Lamb (Dandenong Stingrays/Edithvale-Aspendale), Hugh Goddard (Geelong Falcons/Geelong Amateurs)

Vic Metro: Liam Duggan (Western Jets/Bacchus March FNC), Angus Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons/Hampton Rovers), Jake Lever (Calder Cannons/Romsey), Darcy Moore (Oakleigh Chargers/Kew Comets), Peter Wright (Calder Cannons/Moonee Valley), Sean McLaren (Sandringham Dragons/Hailebury College), Duom Dawam (Western Jets/ Point Cook)

Western Australia: Jarrod Pickett (South Fremantle/Jandakot), Clem Smith (Perth/Wesley College), Bradley Walsh (Peel Thunder/Rockingham), Ryan Lim (Claremont/Hale School), Jermaine Miller-Lewis (South Fremantle/Armadale), Matthew Ah Siu (South Fremantle/Bullcreek), Sam Bevan (Claremont/Hale School)

Northern Territory: Nakia Cockatoo (/NT Thunder/Southern Districts)

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