Academy Battle in U18 Championships Div 2

The SUNS and Lions academies will go head-to-head in the first round of the 2017 NAB AFL U18 Division 2 Championships.

The rivalry is real … and it’s game on.

Once the jumper is on and these players cross the white line, it’s Lions verses SUNS in a battle for Queensland talent supremacy.

The SUNS will have spoken about how to handle Brisbane spearhead and likely early draft selection Connor Ballenden, who could prove fatal to the Gold Coast if he gets off the chain.

It will be interesting to see who gets the main job on the tall forward, while the rest of the team will try to keep the heat on Ballenden in passing.

At the coalface, eyes will be on SUNS ball winner Jacob Dawson and taller midfielder Harry Simington, watching their contest with in-form Lions midfielders Jack Clayton and Jack Paine.

For the SUNS, the speedy Sam Davidson will be important on the outside and they’ll be hoping 17 year old Bailey Scott, son of former Geelong and North Melbourne player Robert Scott, can show his line breaking ability.

Rheed Gordon will be important for Brisbane, as will Ben Sloan and Brock Aston after spending time playing NEAFL footy for the Lions Academy last year.

The Lions will also be relying on impact from their younger players in Cody Stackleberg, Tom Matthews and Justin Curry who have showed improvement again this year.

Most pundits are expecting a fast, free flowing affair with quick hands and quick decision making. Coaches will be coaching to win, but are governed by a density rule which is in-place to keep the game open and expose the talent of the players.

The match will be live blogged at from 11am.





Gold Coast SUNS Academy

Backs 22. Rainsford Stone 46. Caleb Graham 20. Damien Burke
H Backs 19. Kwaby Boakye 16. Dirk Koenen 5. Brodie Foster
Centres 30. Lachlan Smith 15. Harry Simington 4. Sam Davidson
H Fwds 3. Jacob Heron 55. Tom Frazer 39. Nick Kempe
Fwds 33. Timakoi Bowie 60. Ben Hewitt 14. Charlie Offerman
Followers 21. Brayden Crossley 25. Bailey Scott 18. Jacob Dawson
Interchange 24. Cory Beaman 31. Connor Nutting 52. Lachlan McDonald
28. Mitch Olarenshaw 27. Emmanuel Baru 48. Harrison Arnold
45. Cooper Portelli


Brisbane Lions Academy

Backs 1. Adam Peak 24. Jack Payne 12. Ethan Hunt
H Backs 7. Tom Matthews 25. Josh Preval 13. Ben Sloan
Centres 16. Reid Gordon 11. Cody Stackelberg 9. Billy Johnson
H Fwds 14. Kiedean Coleman 23. Connor Ballenden 21. Loki Haines
Fwds 3. Jake Warren 22. Ben Kristelly 5. Caleb Franks
Followers 26. Jamie Ivers 43. Will Fletcher 18. Brock Aston
Interchange 4. Jai Kennealy 8. Justin Currie 17. Daniel Fleming
20. Jack Geary 27. Jack Tomkinson 19. Tyler Hausfeld
35. Tristan Dowdy


By Sean Melrose.

Twitter: @seanmelrose

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