Future Suns watch. Academy/Zone players to look out for.

TheSunGod

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AFL Queensland are trying to get GPS schools more involved (see below Nudgee playing an invitational game a few weeks ago) but ultimately it's going to be extremely difficult to get the best athletes to play Aussie rules and retain them while they attend GPS schools. Ben Keays (Terrace) is really the only notable name I can think of in recent times. Having said that, there have been a few guns over the last few decades to come out of GPS schools like Jason Akermanis (Nudgee) and Jason Dunstall (Churchie). I think we're more fortunate on the Gold Coast to not be so heavily influenced by top level interschool sport. It allows us to create new excellence programs and quickly establish powerhouse development programs like PBC and Helensvale. Southport State High have also started an excellence program in the last few years so expect them to start competing soon. Southport State High already won the AFLQ Schools Cup Gold Coast qualifying tournament this year so they are probably already the third best AFL school on the GC.

I played juniors with a Stephen Lawrence who ended up runner-up in the Norm Smith in 1991 when Hawthorn beat West Coast. Pretty sure he was a private school boy. He tends to get forgotten about when discussing Queensland's best footballers but he was a gun and a really nice guy to boot. Won the Larke medal in the U17s and also was BOG for Queensland when they beat Victoria (B) at the Gabba in '91. If the AFL can really break into the GPS system in a big way, there will be more Akermanis', Dunstalls, and Lawrences for the taking.
 

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Choppers

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Hey SG, there were 2 S. Lawrences played for Southport around that time. One was spelled Steven and one was Stephen.....bit of a coincidence eh!


Stephen Lawrence
Date of birth 22 April 1969 (age 49)
Place of birth South Africa
Original team(s) Southport
Debut 1988, Hawthorn
vs. North Melbourne, at the MCG
Height 200 cm (6 ft 7 in)
Weight 100 kg (220 lb)
Playing career1
Years
Club Games (Goals)
1988–1998
Hawthorn 146 (30)





Steven Lawrence
Personal information
Date of birth
19 May 1976 (age 42)
Original team(s) Southport (QLD)
Debut Round 3, 16 April 1995, Brisbane Bears
vs. Sydney Swans, at Gabba
Playing career1
Years
Club Games (Goals)
1995–1996
Brisbane Bears 13 (1)
1997–2000 Brisbane Lions 68 (42)
2001–2003 St Kilda 39 (17)
Total 120 (60)
 

TheSunGod

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Hey SG, there were 2 S. Lawrences played for Southport around that time. One was spelled Steven and one was Stephen.....bit of a coincidence eh!


Stephen Lawrence
Date of birth
22 April 1969 (age 49)
Place of birth South Africa
Original team(s) Southport
Debut 1988, Hawthorn
vs. North Melbourne, at the MCG
Height 200 cm (6 ft 7 in)
Weight 100 kg (220 lb)
Playing career1
Years
Club Games (Goals)
1988–1998
Hawthorn 146 (30)





Steven Lawrence
Personal information
Date of birth
19 May 1976 (age 42)
Original team(s) Southport (QLD)
Debut Round 3, 16 April 1995, Brisbane Bears
vs. Sydney Swans, at Gabba
Playing career1
Years
Club Games (Goals)
1995–1996
Brisbane Bears 13 (1)
1997–2000 Brisbane Lions 68 (42)
2001–2003 St Kilda 39 (17)
Total 120 (60)
The Stephen Lawrence I played with didn’t play for Southport AFAIK. I think he left Mount Gravatt to play in the QAFL for Morningside. He was a bit of a gentle giant, although he destroyed Dean Irving from the WCE in the ‘91 GF.

Steven Lawrence from Southport was a little hard nut, and a bit of a mad man!!

Coincidentally, their fathers were both top sportsman too. Stephen’s dad Godfrey was a test cricketer for South Africa, and Steven’s dad Barry was a St. Kilda great.
 

17er

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The Stephen Lawrence I played with didn’t play for Southport AFAIK. I think he left Mount Gravatt to play in the QAFL for Morningside. He was a bit of a gentle giant, although he destroyed Dean Irving from the WCE in the ‘91 GF.

Steven Lawrence from Southport was a little hard nut, and a bit of a mad man!!

Coincidentally, their fathers were both top sportsman too. Stephen’s dad Godfrey was a test cricketer for South Africa, and Steven’s dad Barry was a St. Kilda great.
Brett Voss, Steven Lawrence, Shane O’Bree, Craig Bolton all guns who left the Lions just before the 3peat. The first two were Queenslanders too, which was a big part of the Bears/Lions recruitment strategy


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gcsunsfc

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I went to TSS
In 2004 the head of PE organised an afl training session off the school grounds as his 3 sons played - 1 at state level and the other two were also good.

All up there were about 10 people who played footy for either Southport or surfers on weekends mostly in the 2004-2006 graduating classes with 3 of us at state level. We would have had a decent team.

There was about 50 people who turned up so the want was there but it got quashed.

The pull to play rugby is pretty strong.
In grade 11 I played rugby in the lowest grade so I could play at like 9am and then go play footy for My club team early afternoon. Was probably unfair but also pretty fun scoring 3 tries a game in the lowest division.

Year 12 I decided to play rugby properly and haven’t played footy since!
 

GC2015

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Very interested to see my Alma Mater, Southport High, engaging in the Sporting Excellence program with AFL. Traditionally, Southy was always swimming, athletics basketball, hockey, cycling and B grade Rugby League.
Until the 80s, Southport High had an anti-ethnic Policy. Whites only, if you can credit that kind of bullshit going on. I know because my whole family went there and through my career in education I’ve found out some dark secrets about the place. Anyway, from the late 80s onwards, SSHS has become a visibly multicultural school, partly due to its proximity to low socioeconomic suburbs and the high number of jobs attracting migrants.
It will be interesting to see how many players make it into the Suns Academy system. The suburb has a very high Polynesian demographic, who typically prefer any code of football to AFL or Asian - Chinese, Japanese or Korean mainly - who are starting to get more visible representation in higher levels of AFL.
Having lived in Melbourne in suburbs where the kids were mostly Anglo, Italian or Middle Eastern, I am interested to know if any current Gold Coast locals are seeing talented youth coming from Polynesian or Asian ethnicities. The Suns already have Hall and Nicholls from Fiji, but what about some GC based kids who might become the next Nic Nat? Or for that matter, how is the expansion into new schools improving player development for the Suns girls Academy?
I think Leigh Warner is coaching Southport High but my understanding is they only have a junior male excellence program at this point because it's in its infancy. I assume they intend on continuing these kids into the senior level over the next few years. Southport High now possesses their own AFL oval in case anyone doesn't know. They put up AFL posts a few years back.

I played juniors with a Stephen Lawrence who ended up runner-up in the Norm Smith in 1991 when Hawthorn beat West Coast. Pretty sure he was a private school boy. He tends to get forgotten about when discussing Queensland's best footballers but he was a gun and a really nice guy to boot. Won the Larke medal in the U17s and also was BOG for Queensland when they beat Victoria (B) at the Gabba in '91. If the AFL can really break into the GPS system in a big way, there will be more Akermanis', Dunstalls, and Lawrences for the taking.
Just adding to this, Steven Lawrence attended All Saints. No doubt in my mind that All Saints is the private school on the Gold Coast that has shown the most appetite for fostering AFL talent (Nick Riewoldt, Kurt Tippett, Lachie Weller etc)

I went to TSS
In 2004 the head of PE organised an afl training session off the school grounds as his 3 sons played - 1 at state level and the other two were also good.

All up there were about 10 people who played footy for either Southport or surfers on weekends mostly in the 2004-2006 graduating classes with 3 of us at state level. We would have had a decent team.

There was about 50 people who turned up so the want was there but it got quashed.

The pull to play rugby is pretty strong.
In grade 11 I played rugby in the lowest grade so I could play at like 9am and then go play footy for My club team early afternoon. Was probably unfair but also pretty fun scoring 3 tries a game in the lowest division.

Year 12 I decided to play rugby properly and haven’t played footy since!
That's a very interesting insight into the struggles of Aussie rules at TSS. It seems like a real battle to even convince a junior to keep playing due to Saturday sport being compulsory for TSS students.
 

SunsBhoy

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The Stephen Lawrence I played with didn’t play for Southport AFAIK. I think he left Mount Gravatt to play in the QAFL for Morningside. He was a bit of a gentle giant, although he destroyed Dean Irving from the WCE in the ‘91 GF.

Steven Lawrence from Southport was a little hard nut, and a bit of a mad man!!

Coincidentally, their fathers were both top sportsman too. Stephen’s dad Godfrey was a test cricketer for South Africa, and Steven’s dad Barry was a St. Kilda great.
To say Steve was a mad man would be an understatement , was a good player for brissy but nutty as hell.


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gcsunsfc

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That's a very interesting insight into the struggles of Aussie rules at TSS. It seems like a real battle to even convince a junior to keep playing due to Saturday sport being compulsory for TSS students.
Saturday sport isn’t compulsory - at least 15 years ago it wasn’t.
You have to do certain amount of co-curricular activities but can do a whole heap of stuff at different times of the year that doesn’t interfere with footy.
 

GC2015

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17er I think Southport High are having more success with their female teams at the moment. The senior girls team have progressed to the AFLQ Schools Cup semifinals where they will be tested against PBC. Seeing as TSS seem to have a strict no Aussie rules policy, perhaps Southport High could work on developing a strong relationship with the Sharks? I think it would be in the best interests of both to combine the two developmental programs and follow a similar pathway to PBC. It should be interesting to see what Southport can do from here.
Austin Harris.

Played u15 QLD schools this year. Is moving to GC as he has won a scholarship. His Dad played 1st class cricket for QLD and Tas.

http://www.aflq.com.au/austin-harris-wins-troy-clarke-scholarship/
Gee. Cairns is doing a good job of churning out football talent for us! Harris and Alex Davies (U16 AA) are both moving to the Gold Coast this off season to further their chances of being drafted. Do we know what school/local club these two will end up at? Other Cairns products Heron (PBC/PBC) and Bowes (All Saints/Surfers Paradise) went down different paths when they moved here so I'm curious to see what these two will do. Koenen and Graham are both NQ boys and both play went to PBC so I guess Palmy would be the frontrunners for Harris and Davies.
Saturday sport isn’t compulsory - at least 15 years ago it wasn’t.
You have to do certain amount of co-curricular activities but can do a whole heap of stuff at different times of the year that doesn’t interfere with footy.
I just assumed it was compulsory. Still, they don't make it easy for kids who want to pursue Aussie rules and you obviously felt the pull towards rugby when you gave the game away in Year 11.
 

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briztoon

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Based on All Australian selections and other accolades, it seems like these are the kids we should keep an eye on for the next few years:

2019
Conor Budarick
Josh Gore

2020
Alex Davies (U16 AA)

2021
Finn Brown (U15 AA Schoolboy)

2022
Will Ashcroft (U15 AA Schoolboy)
hmmm Brisbane will be keen on him as a Father Son kid.
 

GC2015

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Budarick looks like he could be a star. Happy to bring him into the fold in 2020.
If you want to see the future of our list then watch the 2017 QAFL Grand Final between Palm Beach Currumbin and Labrador on YouTube. You'll notice Dirk Koenen (17), Caleb Graham (16) and Conor Budarick (15) all heavily contributing for their teams. Currently listed players Jacob Dawson and Jacob Heron also played in that Grand Final, along with Barry Hall (Classic Big Bad Baz decided to take two swings at a Palmy player and got himself a life ban lol). It may end up being amazing footage in the future if all these juniors end up becoming stars for us in the AFL. One thing that really struck me when I watched parts of that game was how quick and classy Budarick is with the ball in hand! He's a bit short at the moment but hopefully he grows a few more centimetres and we get a really skillful midfielder for the future.

THE production line of AFL Cairns footballers transitioning to the Gold Coast to become a permanent member of the Suns academy has boasted names like Jack Bowes, Jacob Heron and Caleb Graham in recent years.

Bowes and Heron are on the Suns senior list this season, with Graham expected to join them later this year.

Manunda Hawk Alex Davies is the next cab off the rank on that production line and will soon be followed by Cairns Saints talent Austin Harris.

It has been an huge week for the Trinity Bay SHS student, with Harris yesterday awarded the coveted AFL Queensland Troy Clarke Scholarship before making his long-awaited senior debut for the Saints this afternoon.

Harris, who represented the AFL World team recently through his Thai background, will share his debut with fellow teenager and teammate, Oakley Wallace, against Cairns City Lions.

Saints have been keen to bring the pair into their senior side for much of the season, but playing-coach Tim Lamprill has resisted the urge until they have completed their school representative football for the year.

“Austin has had a pretty big 12 months, he has been away a lot for footy and now he gets the chance to come back and just play club footy, which should take some pressure off,” Lamprill said.

“Both Austin and Oakley are over and above in their age-group footy and both are very smart and good ball users.

“They both really understand the modern game and being involved with plenty of development squads, they know how things need to be done.”

Harris will complete his final two years of his high school on the Gold Coast to become a permanent part of the Suns academy — just as Bowes and Heron did before him — from next year.

“It is just another stepping stone in the future for the two boys to play seniors this weekend,” Harris’ father, Errol said.

“A lot of success has come quickly for Austin, it is reward for all his hard work and effort, and the time his coaches put into him.”

Former Sydney Swans player Kurt Tippett, who was discovered by Clarke as a teenager, is the Troy Clarke Scholarship Ambassador and will mentor Harris.
Confirmation in this article that both Austin Harris (15) and Alex Davies (16) are relocating from Cairns to the Gold Coast this off season. The article states Harris attends a state school in Cairns so I assume that means he will continue in the state system on the GC, most likely with PBC due to the existing connection with Cairns players. Austin Harris (and another 15 year old Oakley Wallace) will make his senior debut for the Cairns Saints this weekend so that will be huge for his development. Having a constant flow of talented juniors moving from NQ to the Gold Coast around 15-16 years of age is really going to help us because the Gold Coast isn't big enough to continually produce AFL players itself every year.

Also interesting to see Kurt Tippett will be mentoring Austin Harris over the next few years. I assume that means Kurt is living on the Gold Coast and working for AFL Queensland. Perhaps there is an opportunity there in the future to bring Kurt into the fold and maybe even secure his sister Gretel for our women's team in 2020.
 
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SunsBhoy

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hmmm Brisbane will be keen on him as a Father Son kid.
I’ve had a bit to do with this age group and I’ll be honest Ashcroft would have to improve out of sight to get s gig at afl level , I wouldn’t put him in top 10 at this age level on coast , his name has got him a fair way atm.


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GC2015

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I’ve had a bit to do with this age group and I’ll be honest Ashcroft would have to improve out of sight to get s gig at afl level , I wouldn’t put him in top 10 at this age level on coast , his name has got him a fair way atm.
That's interesting considering Ashcroft was recently named an U15 Schoolboy All Australian. Perhaps the AA team isn't very strong?
http://www.afl.com.au/news/2018-08-17/tac-cup-set-for-major-overhaul-in-2019

Don't know if this has been mentioned, but our U18 lads will be playing in the TAC Cup next year.
This is awesome news for our academy and local football in general. It'll take a few years for our juniors to adjust to the step up in standard but there's no doubt we'll see more draftees coming out of QLD, NSW, NT and TAS as a result. GC Academy players from the '19 draft class like Connor Budarick, Ashton Crossley and Corey Joyce will benefit massively from regular competition against the best juniors in Australia.

The Wallabies play Argentina on September 15 at CBUS Super Stadium but scant promotion has city rugby figures and fans scratching heads and fuelling concern about a poor turnout.

Adding to the fears is Nudgee College hosting Gold Coast’s TSS out of town for their traditionally well-attended annual First XV clash earlier in the afternoon.

Rugby Australia says it tried to get it as the curtain-raiser but was rebuffed by Nudgee, which scheduled the match 12 months ago as part of its reunion activities.

The Test will be the Gold Coast’s first since the Wallabies played Argentina here in 2014 to a then-record low 14,000 for an Australian match. That was beaten last year when about 13,850 turned out in Melbourne for the Wallabies-Fiji game.

A source revealed weeks ago they were told 2000 tickets had been sold to the 27,000-capacity CBUS stadium and a crowd of 10,000 was forecast.

But a Rugby Australia spokesman told the Bulletin more than 2000 had sold but would not say how many.

Gold Coast rugby and sport administrators are “perplexed” at what they feel is a lack of enthusiasm from Rugby Australia around promotion.

However Rugby Australia, which has a slim marketing budget, hopes a campaign heavy on community engagement and hype starting from this weekend’s Bledisloe fixture will see ticket sales pick up.

The first Rugby Championship fixtures see the Wallabies play the All Blacks in Sydney this Saturday night. The Wallabies play the Springboks in Brisbane on September 8.

Gold Coast Districts Rugby Union chairman Kim Bending said: “I would have thought Rugby Australia’s efforts (in promoting the Robina Test) would have been more intense.

“If we don’t get a reasonable crowd it will be the last time we see one here for a while. I feel a little perplexed.

“A poor crowd would be used as the excuse to not schedule another fixture on the Gold Coast.”

Sports Gold Coast chairman Geoff Smith said meetings with Rugby Australia, Gold Coast rugby stakeholders, Tourism and Events Queensland and senior Bulletin staff started months ago to brainstorm ways of filling the stadium.

But Mr Smith said he came away from the meetings feeling Rugby Australia lacked enthusiasm.

“I’m disappointed. It’s quite clear they are fighting a lot of battles and Gold Coast is the least of their concerns.”

A senior Gold Coast club rugby figure said although Rugby Australia was “poorly organised” and lacked marketing nous, the TSS match and Coast club finals should not have been on the same day as the Test — announced last year.

“The Test should take precedence.”

In a statement, Rugby Australia listed “community engagement” plans involving:

* A “Part of More’’ march around the ground for kids pre-match, with all participants (1200 so far) from local junior clubs and schools getting a free ticket;

* For every eight “Part of More’’ kids, a free adult ticket would be issued;

* $10 tickets offered to Bond, Griffith and Southern Cross universities students;

* Bond and Griffith women’s rugby 7s exhibition at half time;

* Gold Coast District Rugby under-15 final for Joey’s Cup organised as the curtain-raiser;

* Senior Gold Coast rugby clubs offered general tickets with a 33 per cent discount;

* Senior Gold Coast rugby clubs receiving $10 for every $100 of ticket sales their club generates;

* Heavily discounted corporate boxes via the Sports Gold Coast business network.

A separate “extensive” marketing campaign covering digital, TV and radio ads, paid social media, direct email, and street panels was yet to start.

Rugby Australia corporate affairs general manager Michael Earsman said the national body had worked closed with Sports Gold Coast, Destination Gold Coast and TEQ in the lead-up.

“Some of the planned activity around the two Queensland Test matches will commence next week onwards, which possibly explains the lack of visibility of marketing activity up there at this stage,” Mr Earsman said.

“This is an extensive campaign which we are confident will positively impact ticket sales. We are still one month out so it is too early to make any realistic assessment of an expected attendance figure, particularly given most of our Queensland activity is not yet in market.”
Here's an interesting article on the struggles of professional rugby union on the GC. The Wallabies are expected to get a crowd of 10k due to a TSS game being played in Brisbane. So I guess it just goes to show there is only a small pocket of union fans on the Gold Coast and no doubt that has a lot to do with TSS being the only GC school really pushing union. So can we find a way to pinch players from them when they are this dedicated to their school? It will be difficult!

Also, Ashton Crossley makes his NEAFL debut for us today so be sure to check him out!
 

GC2015

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Helensvale join PBC by making it to the AFLQ Schools Cup senior preliminary finals in October. I'd say there is a good chance we'll see Palmy taking on the 'Vale again in the state grand final. The rivalry continues to grow.
 

GC2015

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Another article on Harris that mentions he played well in his senior debut for the Cairns Saints over the weekend. Sounds like he can seriously play!

Harris adds to his medals collection
CAIRNS Saints flyer Austin Harris has added another accolade to his growing resume, awarded as the AFL Cairns juniors Player of the Year on Monday night.

The talented Harris has played much of his juniors season in the under-15’s division but also stepped up to play six games in the colts under-17’s competition.

The Trinity Bay SHS student was also recently awarded the coveted AFL Queensland Troy Clarke Scholarship before making his long-awaited senior debut for the Saints senior side. In his senior debut, Harris booted a goal in their big win over Cairns City Lions.

“Austin did not look out of place playing against men and we were glad to bring him into our senior squad,” Saints coach Tim Lamprill said.

SUNS-BOUND: Troy Clarke Scholarship recipient Austin Harris has enjoyed a standout for Cairns Saints.

“He has juggled his rep footy with juniors this season as well as playing the one game in the seniors.”

Harris will relocate to the Gold Coast next year to be a permanent member of the Suns academy and finishing his schooling while focusing on his footy ambitions. In other awards handed out on Monday night, Manunda Hawk Alex Davies received the under-16 Cairns Lions Presidents Medal while the under-17’s Cairns Lions Presidents Medal went to Branden Deslandes from Cairns City Lions. Daniel Davidson, who has become a regular for Port Douglas in their senior side, claimed the Reg Dean Medal with 17 votes.
 

GC2015

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Just read the area of Tamborine Mountain (and possibly Tamborine as well) wants to ditch the Scenic Rim Council and officially become a suburb of the Gold Coast. The Scenic Rim area is already a part of our academy zone but I feel like the club would put more effort into an area if it's a suburb of the Gold Coast, as opposed an area attached to a different council.

The only player I know to have originated from Tamborine Mountain is Harry Simington but I'm not even sure the Tamborine Hawks junior club exists anymore. Does anyone know? Surely we as a club would support the establishment of a new club out there if it becomes a suburb of the GC. Pathways need to be in place for all areas of our academy, especially suburbs of the Gold Coast!
 

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Confirmation that both Helensvale and PBC have qualified for the state preliminary finals again. I'd say there's a very good chance we'll see an all-Gold Coast final again this year.
 

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Confirmation that both Helensvale and PBC have qualified for the state preliminary finals again. I'd say there's a very good chance we'll see an all-Gold Coast final again this year.
I was a year too old to go to Helensvale High even though I lived across the road. In fact, I would have gone there if I hadn't received an offer to go to Uni. My Dad grew up in Currumbin and most of his siblings went to PBC. My daughter's mother went to Cairns High too. Good chance of 6er playing AFLW in 2030 for the Suns.
 

GC2015

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I was a year too old to go to Helensvale High even though I lived across the road. In fact, I would have gone there if I hadn't received an offer to go to Uni. My Dad grew up in Currumbin and most of his siblings went to PBC. My daughter's mother went to Cairns High too. Good chance of 6er playing AFLW in 2030 for the Suns.
You've got links everywhere lol. I think it's encouraging to see three schools in our zone qualifying for the QLD school prelims. The more schools that start to take footy seriously, the better for us!
 
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GC2015

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Anyone heading down to Sir Bruce Small Park in Surfers Paradise tomorrow to watch the Palm Beach reserves play at 11:30am? A few of our 2019 U18 academy players will be lining up for Palmy: Corey Joyce (76), Ashton Crossley (50) and Jack Wingrave (55). Probably a good chance older brothers Brayden and Jesse will be there so it could be a good chance to get some intel on how things are going leading into next season.
 

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You've got links everywhere lol. I think it's encouraging to see three schools in our zone qualifying for the QLD school prelims. The more schools that start to take footy seriously, the better for us!
I'm just stoked that the Suns have inspired schools and clubs in their zone to create these pathways for kids. It is the purest way the club can grow the list to become a flag challenger because there is no go home factor and there is no reason why Queensland kids won't be as good as kids from any other State or Territory. Queensland sporting history shows we punch above our weight and only 15 years ago the Brisbane Lions had built a list full of local talent that will go down as one of the best of all time.
 
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