The AFL has released its nineteenth NAB AFL Academy squads with five Queenslanders in total being selected across the two squads.
Jacob Allison, Jack Bowes and Brad Scheer, all members of the championship winning Queensland Under 18 team this year, have been selected in the Level Two team, consisting of players eligible to be drafted in 2016.
Jack Clayton and Connor Ballenden, both members of the championship winning Queensland Under 16 team this year have been selected in the Level One (bottom age) team.
The 57 players in total will receive a NAB AFL Academy scholarship and will come together for accelerated AFL football and personal development camps to be held in Australia and overseas over the next 12 months.
The Level One squad was selected following the NAB AFL Under-16 Championships held last month on the Gold Coast and they will be coached by former Adelaide Coach and AFL National Academy Head Coach Brenton Sanderson.
Key Level One dates:
Melbourne September 27-30 2015
Melbourne November 26- December 3 2015
New Zealand April 21-26 2016
Brenton Sanderson will also coach the Level Two squad, with all players in this squad are eligible to be drafted in 2016.
Key Level Two dates:
Melbourne September 30-October 4 2015
Melbourne November 26- December 3 2015
USA January 11-26 2016
Melbourne March 24 – April 3 2016
The NAB AFL Academy commenced in 1997. Since it began, 40 graduates have played in a premiership, two have won Brownlow Medals, 12 have been the number one selection at the NAB AFL Draft, five have won the NAB AFL Rising Star and three have won the Norm Smith Medal.
In 2015 there are 213 NAB AFL Academy graduates on AFL lists including seven AFL captains in Joel Selwood, Travis Boak, Trent Cotchin, Luke Hodge, Marc Murphy, Jarrad McVeigh and Andrew Swallow.
AFL National and International Talent Manager Kevin Sheehan said the academy program provides players with the best possible insight to AFL football.
“The players will experience elite training and mentoring under Head Coach Brenton Sanderson and Talent Football manager Michael Ablett. Players receive individual development plans assisting them to maximise their strengths and work on their development needs over the course of the year.
The level two squad will train at the IMG Academy in Florida USA in January 2016, which is also home of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute” he said.
Both Connor Ballenden and Jack Clayton hail from the Wests Juniors.
Club president, Ian Selth, said everyone is delighted by the boys’ achievements.
“We are extremely proud of both boys’ efforts. To be among the best 27-kids in the country for their age group is a fantastic achievement,” he said.
Jack has been at Wests for 11 years, and Connor two, but Selth said that both have always been standout juniors.
“Jack has always stood out in his age group, he is a remarkable player. There was always a feeling he would go a long way but you just never know about how they compare to all the other talent,” he said.
“Connor has only been at our club the last couple of years but from the day that he walked into our club we were aware that he was a special talent.”
Wests have provided a setting for it’s players to flourish, and the results are now showing.
“It’s something that we have worked hard on over the last couple of years, to really make sure that the kids can stay in a junior club environment and still get the necessary coaching and guidance to get through to the next level,” Selth said.
National Australia Bank’s General Manager Brand & Products Marketing, Kevin Ramsdale spoke of NAB’s ongoing support of under-age football and the important role that the NAB AFL National Academy plays in fostering the future of football.
“NAB has partnered with the AFL for well over a decade and during this time, we’ve seen the NAB AFL Rising Stars program shape and support some of the country’s most outstanding young footballers. We’re thrilled that through our support of this program and the NAB AFL National Academy in particular, we can continue to play a genuine role in growing the game,” said Mr Ramsdale.
“We congratulate the 57 young players who will participate in this year’s NAB AFL Academy Squads, and look forward to watching their careers develop in future years,” he continued.
The 2015-16 NAB AFL Academy Squads are –
Zachary Sproule Albury
Kobe Mutch Wentworth
William Setterfield Scot’s/Caulfield Grammar
Harrison MacReadie Henty
Jonty Scharenberg Glenelg/PHOS Camden
Jack Graham North Adelaide/Tea Tree Gully
Steven Slimming Sturt/Unley
Peter Ladhams Norwood/Modbury
Jack Bowes Cairns
Brad Scheer Palm Beach Currumbin
Jacob Allison Aspley
Myles Poholke Dandenong Stingrays/Sorrento
Alex Witherden Geelong Falcons/St Josephs
Jarrod Berry North Ballarat Rebels/Horsham Saints
Will Brodie Murray/Notre Dame
Ben Ainsworth Gippsland Power/Morwell
Jarrod Korewha North Ballarat Rebels/Koroit
Jy Simpkin Murray Bushrangers/Mooroopna
Josh Battle Dandenong Stingrays/Doveton
Jordan Galluci Eastern Ranges/Lilydale
Jack Scrimshaw Sandringham Dragons/Beaumaris
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
Jake Waterman Claremont/Marist
Ben McGuinness Lauderdale
Brandon Parfitt Nightcliff
Charlie Spargo Albury/Giants
Jack Powell Ainslie/Giants
Jarrod Brander Wentworth/Giants
Alex Paech Walla Walla/Giants
Nathan Richards Griffith/Giants
Jordan Houlahan Sturt/Mt Barker
Darcy Fogarty Glenelg/Lucindale
Thomas Schmusch Woodville West Torrens/Port Districts
Callum Coleman-Jones Sturt/Unley
Jack Clayton West Juniors
Connor Ballenden West Juniors
Tyrone Hayes Gippsland/Lakes Entrance
Aaron Darling Dandenong/Balnarring
Kane Farrell Bendigo/Castlemaine
Aidan Quigley Gippsland/Yinnar
Lochie O’Brien Bendigo/South Mildura
Hunter Clark Dandenong/Mt Martha
Luke Davies-Uniacke Dandenong/Rye
Cody Henness Gippsland/Sale
Oscar Clavarino Dandenong/Berwick
Jack Higgins Oakleigh Chargers/East Malvern
Lachlan Fogarty Western Jets/Spotswood
Patrick Naish Northern Knights/Ivanhoe
Joel Garner Eastern Rangers/Wandin
Jaidyn Stephenson Eastern Rangers/Ferntree Gully
Jake Patmore Claremont/Christ Church Grammar
Dominic Grant Wanderers