Queenslanders Sam Michael, Alex Sexton and Brian Coleman-Broom will leave for Europe on Saturday on a 12-day trip of a lifetime with the AIS/AFL Academy squad.
Wednesday, 13 April, 2011
Queenslanders Sam Michael (pictured), Alex Sexton and Brian Coleman-Broom will leave for Europe on Saturday on a 12-day trip of a lifetime with the AIS/AFL Academy squad.
The journey began today (Wednesday) when they flew to Melbourne for a three-day lead-up camp which will include a formal jumper presentation dinner tomorrow night and a match against the Geelong VFL side that will be played as the curtain-raiser to Friday night’s AFL blockbuster between Collingwood and Richmond.
Lead by High Performance Coach Michael O’Loughlin, the 30-player AIS/AFL squad will travel to Italy, England and Turkey.
O’Loughlin, previewing the tour today, said the elite under age players including Michael, Sexton and Coleman-Broom will experience world class facilities and coaching in Italy.
“It is fantastic we have the chance to train at the new AIS European training base in Varese. The players will have time with Australian cycling champion Michael Rogers and other high performance coaches who will be working with Australia’s 2012 Olympic athletes,” he said.
“Not only will the majority of players represent their country for the first time against AFL Europe, they will attend the Dawn Service on ANZAC Day, which is the opportunity of a lifetime.”
AIS-AFL Academy mentors Matthew Lloyd and Brett Kirk, AFL Director of Coaching Peter Schwab and AFL Ambassador Robert DiPierdomenico will also be part of the tour, together with AFLQ Talent Manager Bob Batty.
Tour highlights will include:
April 17-20 – Training at the new AIS European training base in Varese, northern Italy
April 23 – Australia Under 17 v European Legion in London – There are now 17 affiliated countries playing Australian football – AFL Europe’s Under 21 side will play for the first time.
April 25 – Attending the Dawn Service at ANZAC Cove in Turkey
For Michael and Sexton, from QAFL club Redland, and Coleman-Broom, from Morningside, the European tour will be the start of a busy year in which they will be pitch-forked straight into the Australia Post Queensland Scorpions campaign and the NAB Australian U18 Championships.
The jumper presentation for the AIS-AFL Academy Squad will be held tomorrow night at Etihad Stadium.
Friday night’s game at the MCG will be followed with a second hit-out after they return from Europe against the Bendigo Bombers VFL side at Windy Hill on Saturday 30 April.