Queensland talent feels Florida heat

Queensland’s NAB AFL Academy Level Two squad members Ben Keays (#1) and Eric Hipwood (#32) have returned from a 10-day high performance training camp at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

AFL National and International Talent Manager Kevin Sheehan said the high performance camp helped prepare players for the rigors of an AFL career.

“This international tour provided our Academy players with the opportunity to experience the nuances of travel and adjusting to the environmental issues of training professionally, in different venues and on varying surfaces from a variety of sports coaches,” he said.

The NAB AFL Academy Level Two Squad includes the best 35 Under-18 players in the country.

In 2014 there were 207 graduates of the NAB AFL Academy on AFL lists. Players in this squad are eligible for the 2015 NAB AFL Draft. At the recent NAB AFL Draft, seven of the top 10 players were Academy players including the first selection Patrick McCartin.

The IMG Academy is world renowned for the development of elite athletes with a focus on responsibility, leadership and determination. Athletes that have attended the academy include Maria Sharapova and Eli Manning.

The AFL Academy commenced in 1997 with NAB this year becoming the naming rights partner replacing the AIS. 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 2014 there are 208 NAB AFL Academy graduates on AFL lists including nine AFL captains in Joel Selwood, Travis Boak, Trent Cotchin, Jack Grimes, Luke Hodge, Marc Murphy, Jarrad McVeigh, Andrew Swallow and Ryan Griffen.

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