Gold Coast SUNS Academy

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GC2015

Premiership Player
May 27, 2013
3,020
3,632
AFL Club
Gold Coast
Very, very good! He's my tip of all the Academy kids to make it. Will Graham another possibillity in that same draft year. Will got an award at this year's Academy Awards - not sure which one.
This may also explain the club's decision to move on both academy coaches this year. Perhaps they know we have some very talented academy prospects coming through in the next 24 months with guys like Eckersley, Harrington and Walter all potential first round picks. The top prospects around the country are all around a similar standard at the U16s level but the final two years of their junior career really does determine whether they are draft worthy and we've had quite a few standouts at the U16s level that never ended up making it to the AFL. Hopefully our next academy coaches are very aware of this and improve the program in that area specifically so we can finally get a stream of talented academy prospects joining our list in the near future.
 

Carraracannon

Draftee
Nov 29, 2021
13
7
AFL Club
Gold Coast
This may also explain the club's decision to move on both academy coaches this year. Perhaps they know we have some very talented academy prospects coming through in the next 24 months with guys like Eckersley, Harrington and Walter all potential first round picks. The top prospects around the country are all around a similar standard at the U16s level but the final two years of their junior career really does determine whether they are draft worthy and we've had quite a few standouts at the U16s level that never ended up making it to the AFL. Hopefully our next academy coaches are very aware of this and improve the program in that area specifically so we can finally get a stream of talented academy prospects joining our list in the near future.
Mate there was nothing wrong with the previous coaches , they can only develop the kids then it's up to us to select and polish them up. I know many people in that area shook their heads at some of our academy choice's. Think the club has to come out and be honest for once are we being told to select certain players over others for obvious reasons. If a junior club was run like the academy selection process parents would be pulling their kids out . I heard nothing but good things about Raines and Torney. We have some good talent coming through let's select the best of them and don't let that talent go to waste
 

GC2015

Premiership Player
May 27, 2013
3,020
3,632
AFL Club
Gold Coast
Mate there was nothing wrong with the previous coaches , they can only develop the kids then it's up to us to select and polish them up. I know many people in that area shook their heads at some of our academy choice's. Think the club has to come out and be honest for once are we being told to select certain players over others for obvious reasons. If a junior club was run like the academy selection process parents would be pulling their kids out . I heard nothing but good things about Raines and Torney. We have some good talent coming through let's select the best of them and don't let that talent go to waste
Time will tell. It's undeniable that our academy has produced less than the other three northern academies since they were established and our region was considered a relatively strong breeding ground for AFL talent prior to us entering the league (Riewoldt, Merrett, Hale, Gilbert, Tippett, Beams etc all came through between 2000-2010). If we start seeing first and second round picks coming out of our academy over the next few years then it's pretty obvious that coaching was probably an issue.

The news outlets are reporting that Queensland will be the fastest growing state in Australia until 2025 which got me thinking about the future of our academy. The projections seem to suggest our state will have a net gain of over 50k in the 2020-21 financial year and that will continue each year until at least 2025. Interestingly, the stats seem to suggest between 60-70% of the net gain in Queensland will occur in region areas and the vast majority of people moving here are either from Sydney or Melbourne (about a 55/45 split in favour of Sydneysiders). So that means we're going to have well over 10k new Melburnians moving to the Gold Coast over the next 3.5 years. This means more locals interested in footy, more locals attending games at Metricon and more locals getting involved with the local clubs/academy. As the city quickly grows, we grow as a club. Both at the AFL level and at the academy level. This should mean a lot more footy talent comes through our academy over the next 5-10 years.
 

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Sun Stormer

Mature Age Recruit
Jul 27, 2018
592
556
Gold Coast
AFL Club
Gold Coast
Time will tell. It's undeniable that our academy has produced less than the other three northern academies since they were established and our region was considered a relatively strong breeding ground for AFL talent prior to us entering the league (Riewoldt, Merrett, Hale, Gilbert, Tippett, Beams etc all came through between 2000-2010). If we start seeing first and second round picks coming out of our academy over the next few years then it's pretty obvious that coaching was probably an issue.

The news outlets are reporting that Queensland will be the fastest growing state in Australia until 2025 which got me thinking about the future of our academy. The projections seem to suggest our state will have a net gain of over 50k in the 2020-21 financial year and that will continue each year until at least 2025. Interestingly, the stats seem to suggest between 60-70% of the net gain in Queensland will occur in region areas and the vast majority of people moving here are either from Sydney or Melbourne (about a 55/45 split in favour of Sydneysiders). So that means we're going to have well over 10k new Melburnians moving to the Gold Coast over the next 3.5 years. This means more locals interested in footy, more locals attending games at Metricon and more locals getting involved with the local clubs/academy. As the city quickly grows, we grow as a club. Both at the AFL level and at the academy level. This should mean a lot more footy talent comes through our academy over the next 5-10 years.
Interesting there are already a number of young kids lurking around the area and most are in the Academy - Boston Everitt (son of Spida), Matt Kennedy's son, Darren Millane's nephew, Jeff White's son (not in Academy but should be), Jason Torney's son and probably a few I've missed. Most sons of Southern talent which should shine through in the coming years.
 

GC2015

Premiership Player
May 27, 2013
3,020
3,632
AFL Club
Gold Coast
Interesting there are already a number of young kids lurking around the area and most are in the Academy - Boston Everitt (son of Spida), Matt Kennedy's son, Darren Millane's nephew, Jeff White's son (not in Academy but should be), Jason Torney's son and probably a few I've missed. Most sons of Southern talent which should shine through in the coming years.
We definitely have a lot of retired VFL/AFL footballers living on the Gold Coast, including prominent names like Brownlow Medallist Barry Round. It's been that way for a long time with families like the Raines, Scotts and Budaricks settling here after their VFL/AFL careers ended but these days we're seeing some well known names like Matthew Primus (Southport) and Nick Malceski (Labrador) elect to stay on the GC after leaving the Suns and get involved in the local clubs instead of pursuing AFL opportunities in other states/cities. That's going to make a big difference to the overall standard of local footy on the Gold Coast and you only have to look at the recent premiers of the QAFL to see it's already working (6 of the last 7 QAFL premiers are GC teams). Imagine how much a Labrador junior coming through will be able to learn from having an AFL Premiership star Nick Malceski as his head coach! We also have former AFL players living here that have absolutely no affiliation with the Suns and an example of that right now would be former number 1 draft pick Jonathan Patton who is selling real estate on the GC these days.

I know we're all going to keep a keen eye on Kai Rischitelli as he progresses through the junior ranks at Broadbeach because he'll like be our first father-son pick (Malceski's son Harry is in Kai's team too) but the Gold Coast is such a haven for retired sports stars that we're seeing the benefits go beyond our own sport. An example of this would be former NRL player Mark Minichiello's son Luca playing junior footy for the Burleigh Bombers these days. So if we can just find a way to get the kids of these sports stars to play our game at a young age then we're in for a massive boost of talent coming through our academy over the next few decades! Obviously existing locals and all these new families from Melbourne and Sydney who will move here over the next decade will also produce some AFL players so we're really in a fantastic position going forward in terms of potential talent coming through. We just need to ensure our academy is being run properly to nurture the talent into AFL/AFLW players.
 

Bjo187

Team Captain
Apr 30, 2020
451
563
AFL Club
Essendon
Just a side note Anthony munkara is in the Essendon academy because he is from tiwi islands. Speaking of ordinary academies, we have had zero come out of tiwi in comparison to other clubs areas.
 

Jirik13

Premiership Player
Jan 22, 2018
4,574
5,746
AFL Club
Gold Coast
We definitely have a lot of retired VFL/AFL footballers living on the Gold Coast, including prominent names like Brownlow Medallist Barry Round. It's been that way for a long time with families like the Raines, Scotts and Budaricks settling here after their VFL/AFL careers ended but these days we're seeing some well known names like Matthew Primus (Southport) and Nick Malceski (Labrador) elect to stay on the GC after leaving the Suns and get involved in the local clubs instead of pursuing AFL opportunities in other states/cities. That's going to make a big difference to the overall standard of local footy on the Gold Coast and you only have to look at the recent premiers of the QAFL to see it's already working (6 of the last 7 QAFL premiers are GC teams). Imagine how much a Labrador junior coming through will be able to learn from having an AFL Premiership star Nick Malceski as his head coach! We also have former AFL players living here that have absolutely no affiliation with the Suns and an example of that right now would be former number 1 draft pick Jonathan Patton who is selling real estate on the GC these days.

I know we're all going to keep a keen eye on Kai Rischitelli as he progresses through the junior ranks at Broadbeach because he'll like be our first father-son pick (Malceski's son Harry is in Kai's team too) but the Gold Coast is such a haven for retired sports stars that we're seeing the benefits go beyond our own sport. An example of this would be former NRL player Mark Minichiello's son Luca playing junior footy for the Burleigh Bombers these days. So if we can just find a way to get the kids of these sports stars to play our game at a young age then we're in for a massive boost of talent coming through our academy over the next few decades! Obviously existing locals and all these new families from Melbourne and Sydney who will move here over the next decade will also produce some AFL players so we're really in a fantastic position going forward in terms of potential talent coming through. We just need to ensure our academy is being run properly to nurture the talent into AFL/AFLW players.
IMO, most important issue is money/resources. Pre-covid Cochrane mentioned several times that Suns academy budget was around $230K while e.g., Swans were getting 1.2M from QBE just for academy. When assistance package came, academy budget was increased to 600-800K according to some journalists. I would love to know the current academy budget. Not holding my breath.
 
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GC2015

Premiership Player
May 27, 2013
3,020
3,632
AFL Club
Gold Coast
IMO, most important issue is money/resources. Pre-covid Cochrane mentioned several times that Suns academy budget was around $230K while e.g., Swans were getting 1.2M from QBE just for academy. When assistance package came, academy budget was increased to 600-800K according to some journalists. I would love to know the current academy budget. Not holding my breath.
And you only have to look at the kind of players the Swans Academy has produced to see money is a huge factor. They've had four top 10 picks (Heeney, Mills, Blakey and Campbell) come through their academy in the last eight years. Even the Next Generation Academies turned into a ridiculous advantage once the wealthier clubs invested the necessary funds to produce top 10 picks. So we know it works when the money is there and I'm sure the AFL is well aware of that.

Do we know much about the new academy head coach Jarrod Cotton and his pedigree? From what I can see, his main strength is player development and he was the head coach of Norwood's SANFL team between 2017-2020, which included three finals appearances in four years and a Grand Final appearance in 2018. Some of the players to come out of Norwood while he was the head coach include Zac Bailey, Harrison Petty, Luke Valente and Dylan Stevens so obviously he was doing something right at the Redlegs. He then served as a midfield coach for Port Adelaide's SANFL team in 2021 but that's not really enough time to judge whether he did a good job of developing talent. I'm optimistic about Cotton's prospects with us as the academy head coach. He's got plenty to work with this year with kids like Eckersley and Harrington being possible first round picks.
 

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Jen2310

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 21, 2018
19,897
30,243
Melbourne
AFL Club
Collingwood
our girls have been scheduled for a one off game in the 2022 NAB League

Sunday 6th March
Oakleigh Chargers vs Gold Coast Suns Academy
1:45pm
Victoria Park
Weird place for a chargers home game. Unless there is some reason they can't use the ground in oakleigh. But I recommend sitting in the Ryder stand. Its got a good view. I always sit there for VFL/AFLW/ VFLW games.
 

GC2015

Premiership Player
May 27, 2013
3,020
3,632
AFL Club
Gold Coast
our girls have been scheduled for a one off game in the 2022 NAB League

Sunday 6th March
Oakleigh Chargers vs Gold Coast Suns Academy
1:45pm
Victoria Park
Should be interesting to see how our girls go, particularly Alana Gee, Fleur Davies (sister of Giselle) and J'Noemi Anderson who are all in the NAB national squad this year. Alana Gee is the top prospect coming out of Queensland this year and plays through the midfield. What makes her story really special is that she hails from North Mackay which is a really cool fact given how much time and effort our club has put into growing the game in Mackay in recent years. Fleur Davies is a highly rated lead up key forward (185cm) who can also play in the ruck. She'll likely become the first player we draft from the newly promoted Southport Sharks QAFLW team (well done to coach Ryan Davis!). I don't know a lot about Anderson other than her being a mid-forward from the NT.

I believe this will mark the third consecutive year that the best AFLW prospect coming out of Queensland is from our zone after Teagan Levi in 2021 and Annise Bradfield in 2020. Eventually our list is going to be jam packed with unbelievably talented local players but for now we're transitioning from older solid players like Sam Virgo and Leah Kaslar last year into younger players like Lucy Single, Daisy D'Arcy, Serene Watson, Dee Heslop etc and hopefully we can add the Levi sister to that list next year as well.
 

briztoon

Wannabe Draft Nuffie
Nov 28, 2015
17,524
18,210
Brisbane
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Other Teams
NUFC, Philadelphia 76'ers
Should be interesting to see how our girls go, particularly Alana Gee, Fleur Davies (sister of Giselle) and J'Noemi Anderson who are all in the NAB national squad this year. Alana Gee is the top prospect coming out of Queensland this year and plays through the midfield. What makes her story really special is that she hails from North Mackay which is a really cool fact given how much time and effort our club has put into growing the game in Mackay in recent years. Fleur Davies is a highly rated lead up key forward (185cm) who can also play in the ruck. She'll likely become the first player we draft from the newly promoted Southport Sharks QAFLW team (well done to coach Ryan Davis!). I don't know a lot about Anderson other than her being a mid-forward from the NT.

I believe this will mark the third consecutive year that the best AFLW prospect coming out of Queensland is from our zone after Teagan Levi in 2021 and Annise Bradfield in 2020. Eventually our list is going to be jam packed with unbelievably talented local players but for now we're transitioning from older solid players like Sam Virgo and Leah Kaslar last year into younger players like Lucy Single, Daisy D'Arcy, Serene Watson, Dee Heslop etc and hopefully we can add the Levi sister to that list next year as well.
Zimmorlei Farquharson was the number 1 QLD draft prospect in 2020.
 

GC2015

Premiership Player
May 27, 2013
3,020
3,632
AFL Club
Gold Coast
Zimmorlei Farquharson was the number 1 QLD draft prospect in 2020.
Admittedly, I wasn't following U18s female footy back then so I just assumed Bradfield going at pick 7 ahead of Farquharson at pick 8 meant that she was the higher rated prospect but it sounds like she wasn't. Unfortunately, the U18 national championships didn't occur in 2020 and we haven't really seen either player compete at the AFLW level yet so we can't even use that to determine which of the two players was/is the better prospect. I'll just take your word for it but I know with 100% certainty that Teagan Levi was the highest rated prospect from Queensland last year and Alana Gee appears to be the clear top Qld prospect this year.
 

briztoon

Wannabe Draft Nuffie
Nov 28, 2015
17,524
18,210
Brisbane
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
Other Teams
NUFC, Philadelphia 76'ers
Admittedly, I wasn't following U18s female footy back then so I just assumed Bradfield going at pick 7 ahead of Farquharson at pick 8 meant that she was the higher rated prospect but it sounds like she wasn't. Unfortunately, the U18 national championships didn't occur in 2020 and we haven't really seen either player compete at the AFLW level yet so we can't even use that to determine which of the two players was/is the better prospect. I'll just take your word for it but I know with 100% certainty that Teagan Levi was the highest rated prospect from Queensland last year and Alana Gee appears to be the clear top Qld prospect this year.
What pick QLD prospects are drafted at has almost no bearing on how highly rated a player is, especially if they are academy girls.

Gold Coast has exclusive access to their academy girls, just as Brisbane has exclusive access to its academy girls.

So if Gold Coast has the first pick between the two clubs, naturally it’s more likely to draft it’s own academy girls first, unless another Charlie Rowbottom announces she wants to play in QLD.
 

PMBangers

@Headless approved!
Nov 7, 2017
22,123
39,867
Melbourne
AFL Club
GWS
Other Teams
Manchester City, Collingwood AFLW
Weird place for a chargers home game. Unless there is some reason they can't use the ground in oakleigh. But I recommend sitting in the Ryder stand. Its got a good view. I always sit there for VFL/AFLW/ VFLW games.
Cricket takes priority at Warrawee park over summer
Should be interesting to see how our girls go, particularly Alana Gee, Fleur Davies (sister of Giselle) and J'Noemi Anderson who are all in the NAB national squad this year. Alana Gee is the top prospect coming out of Queensland this year and plays through the midfield. What makes her story really special is that she hails from North Mackay which is a really cool fact given how much time and effort our club has put into growing the game in Mackay in recent years. Fleur Davies is a highly rated lead up key forward (185cm) who can also play in the ruck. She'll likely become the first player we draft from the newly promoted Southport Sharks QAFLW team (well done to coach Ryan Davis!). I don't know a lot about Anderson other than her being a mid-forward from the NT.
J'Noemi has her own AFL relation like Fleur, related to Jed Anderson of the Kangas (unless he doesn't get all the required vaccinations). Another to look for that impressed in last years U17s Suns v Lions matches is Ella Calleja who's an athletic Mid/ Forward
 

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