Five Queenslanders have been named in the AFL National Academy Squads for 2014/15.
Morningside’s Ben Keays was the sole Queenslander selected in the 31-man Academy level Two squad, for players eligible for the 2015 National Draft.
Keays’ outstanding national championships and strong performances in the TAC Cup and NEAFL this season earned him selection in the squad, which counts nine current AFL captains among its graduates.
Four positions in the squad will be left open for players who impress in the back half of the season.
With the withdrawal of the Australian Institute of Sport from the program, the Academy has a slightly revised structure this year.
The Level Two squad will head to America for a high performance camp in January, and will spend two weeks with AFL clubs as part of the program, with the view of preparing players for the transition into the AFL.
Previously, the squad had toured Europe and spent one week with an AFL club,
Queensland’s impressive U16 National Championships campaign saw four players earn selection in the Level One squad, for players eligible for he 2016 National Draft.
Palm Beach Currumbin’s Bead Scheer and Curtis Marsden, Aspley’s Jacob Allison and Cairns’ Jack Bowes.
Scheer was Queensland MVP and the Div 2 Allan McLean medallist in the carnival, while Allison was close to the state’s best through the carnival.
Both Allison and Bowes toured South Africa earlier this year as part of the u15 Schoolboys All-Australian team.
Marsden impressed for his state during the championships, showing some explosive pace and obviously catching the eyes of the AFL.
All four are members of the Lions (Allison) and SUNS (Bowes, Scheer and Marsden) Academy programs.
Full Squads below:
LEVEL TWO SQUAD
Queensland: Ben Keays (Morningside)
NSW/ACT: Callum Mills (North Shore), Dylan McDonald (Murray Bushrangers/Albury), Jacob Hopper (North Ballarat Rebels/Leeton-Whitton)
South Australia: Ryan Burton (North Adelaide/PHOS Camden), Stephen Tahana (North Adelaide/Gaza), Aaron Francis (West Adelaide/Loxton North), Tim Sullivan (Glenelg/Port MacDonnell), Luke Partington (Port Adelaide Magpies/Tumby Bay)
Tasmania: Jake Sushames (North Launceston)
Vic Country: Jacob Weitering (Dandenong Stingrays/Mt Eliza), Rhys Mathieson (Geelong Falcons/Bell Park), Darcy Parish (Geelong Falcons/Winchelsea), Kieran Collins (Dandenong Stingrays/Langwarrin), Josh Schache (Murray Bushrangers/Seymour), Aidyn Johnson (Bendigo Pioneers/Echuca), Thomas Cole (Bendigo Pioneers/Strathfieldsaye), Sam Skinner (Gippsland Power/Moe), Josh Dunkley (Gippsland Power/Sale), Darcy Tucker (North Ballarat Rebels/Horsham Saints), Gach Nyoun (Dandenong Stingrays/Narre Warren)
Vic Metro: James Parsons (Eastern Ranges/Norwood), Nick O’Kearney (Calder Cannons/Keilor), Sam Weideman (Eastern Ranges/Vermont), Liam Jeffs (Eastern Ranges/East Ringwood), Harley Balic (Sandringham Dragons/Mordialloc-Braeside)
Western Australia: Yestin Eades (North Ballarat Rebels/Midvale), Callum Ah Chee (South Fremantle/Kelmscott), Greg Clark (Subiaco/Sorrento Duncraig), Kade Stewart (South Fremantle/Katanning), Jordan Snadden (East Fremantle/Bull Creek Leeming)
LEVEL ONE SQUAD
Queensland: Jack Bowes (Cairns), Brad Scheer (Palm Beach Currumbin), Jacob Allison (Aspley), Curtis Marsden (Palm Beach Currumbin)
NSW/ACT: Zachary Sproule (Albury), Kobe Mutch (Wentworth),
William Setterfield (Scot’s/Caulfield Grammar), Harrison MacReadie (Henty)
South Australia: Jonty Scharenberg (Glenelg/PHOS Camden), Jack Graham (North Adelaide/Tea Tree Gully), Steven Slimming (Sturt/Unley)
Vic Country: Jarrod Berry (North Ballarat Rebels/Horsham Saints), Will Brodie (Murray/Notre Dame), Ben Ainsworth (Gippsland Power/Morwell), Jarrod Korewha (North Ballarat Rebels/Koroit)
Vic Metro: Jordan Galluci (Eastern Ranges/Lilydale), Jack Scrimshaw (Sandringham Dragons/Beaumaris)
Western Australia: Noah Hura (Peel Thunder/Mandurah Centrals), Sam Petrevski-Seton (Claremont/Halls Creek), Sam Powell-Pepper (East Perth/Wesley), Jeremy Goddard (Claremont/Marist), Luke Strnadica (East Fremantle/Winnacott), Joshua Rotham (West Perth/Whitfords)
Tasmania: Ben McGuinness (Lauderdale)
Northern Territory: Brandon Parfitt (Nightcliff)