The Brisbane Lions and the Gold Coast Suns could have 25% of their player lists made up of Queenslanders by 2016 says AFL Queensland’s General Manager of Talent Mark Browning.
His comments come as AFL Queensland prepares to celebrate the NAB AFL Draft on the Gold Coast next week with a full program of talent and development activities.
“In 2012 22% of the GC SUNS list was Queenslanders with the Lions achieving 12%,” said Browning, whose portfolio includes overseeing Talent Academies for Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT.
“During their premiership era the Lions had a very high number of Queenslanders on their list but this has reduced due to the GC SUNS having had priority access to the best talent out of Queensland over the last four years.
“With the support of both clubs we are aiming to have a minimum of 25% of Queenslanders on their lists by 2016.”
The GC SUNS priority access ends this year and from 2013 the Lions and the GC SUNS will have first call on each of the Queensland products, split according to the regions assigned to each club.
The Lions have the Brisbane and surrounding areas, including Toowoomba and the Sunshine Coast, and the area as far north as Bundaberg, while the GC SUNS have the Gold Coast, the Northern Rivers area of NSW and Central and North Queensland.
Thirty-four Queenslanders have been drafted and rookie listed by AFL clubs over the past three years, a figure Browning attributes to the commitment of Queensland’s AFL community to the Talented Player Pathway.
“AFL Queensland is proud of the number of Queenslanders that have been added to lists since 2009,” said Browning.
“Community football clubs, schools and volunteers play a vital part in the Talented Player Pathway and it is their passion and support that has enabled us to achieve such high numbers.
“We will continue to challenge how we develop and nurture the talent within our state,” he said.
“We want to provide the best learning/playing environment we can to help increase the number of Queenslanders playing in the AFL and, just as importantly, lifting the standard of NEAFL and community football competitions throughout the state.”
Browning said that of the hundreds of young athletes vying for selection in 2012, up to eight Queenslanders could be picked up through the drafting and rookie process.
“Gold Coast SUNS have already snapped up Clay Cameron as a Queensland zone selection and we are confident more will follow,” he said.
The NAB AFL Draft will be staged at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre in Broadbeach from 5.30 – 7.30pm on Thursday November 22.
AFL Queensland is staging a full week’s program of activities surrounding the Draft, including:
– Volunteers’ awards dinner,
– Affiliates and AFLQ Staff Conferences
– Under 12 Rookie Search event with the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast SUNS,
– Combine testing event for over 200 young male and female athletes,
– Cadbury’s AFL 9’s corporate challenge
– Talent Identification Course, and
– AFL Level 2 Coaching Course.
Full details available at www.aflq-new.fspdev.com/nabafldraft
QUEENSLAND PLAYERS DRAFTED AND ROOKIE LISTED 2009 – 2011
Alex Sexton (GC Suns)
Jackson Allen (GC Suns)
Alik Magin (GC Suns)
Dayne Zorko (Brisbane Lions)
Peter Yagmoor (Collingwood)
Sam Michael (Brisbane Lions)
Stephen Wrigley (Brisbane Lions)
Broc Macauley (Hawthorn)
Tom Bell (Carlton)
Lee Spurr (Fremantle)
Josh Hall (GC suns)
Marc Lock (GC Suns)
Karmichael Hunt (GC Suns)
Joel Wilkinson (GC Suns)
Rory Thompson (GC Suns)
Jack Stanlake (GC Suns)
Zac Smith (GC Suns)
Lewis Moss (GC Suns)
Rex Liddy (GC Suns)
Tom Hickey (GC Suns)
Charlie Dixon (GC Suns)
Joseph Daye (GC Suns)
Jake Spencer (Melb)
Lachlan Keefe (Collingwood)
Claye Beams (Brisbane Lions)
Jake Crawford (GC Suns)
Joel Tippett (GC Suns)
Jack Stanley (GC Suns)
Alik Magin (Gold Coast Suns)
Josh Thomas (Collingwood)
Bryce Retzlaff (Brisbane Lions)
James Mulligan (Western Bulldogs)
Broc Macauley (Brisbane Lions)
Claye Beams (Brisbane Lions)