Young talent named in AIS Academy intake

Article courtesy of www.afl.com.au

THE top young footballers in Australia will attempt to follow in the footsteps of players such as Tom Scully (Dandenong Stingrays), Jake Melksham (Calder Cannons) and Michael Hurley (Northern Knights) after being named in the 2010 intake of the AIS-AFL Academy.

Thirty players have been selected as the Academy's next generation of graduates following their performances in the NAB AFL Under-16 and Under-18 Championships.

The tenure at the Academy is sure to be a vital step in the players' development as they strive for an AFL career. Current players and 2010 NAB AFL Rising Star nominees Scully, Melksham and Hurley, as well as Demon Jordan Gysberts, are all recent Academy graduates.

AIS-AFL Academy high performance coach Jason McCartney said choosing just 30 youngsters was quite a task, given the ability shown by players across Australia.

“The quality of the footballers that the program continues to produce was again evident at the 2009 NAB AFL Draft with six of the top 12 selections graduates of the AIS-AFL Academy, and another seven pre-selected for the Gold Coast Football Club,” McCartney said.

The 2010 graduates can also look forward to a European tour in April of 2011. McCartney said the tour would build on the players’ physical and personal development, and help prepare them for life in the AFL.

"They will attend the AIS elite training centre in Italy, followed by London where they will play a match and finally Turkey, where they will attend the ANZAC day service," he said.

"The squad will also participate in matches in Melbourne to mark the beginning and completion of the tour.

The AIS-AFL Academy is a key component of the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, providing an intensive 12-month training program for 30 elite young players from all around Australia.

2010 marks the 14th intake with Academy graduates making up more than 20 per cent of AFL lists.

2010 NAB AFL Rising Star nominees Jordan Gysberts, Tom Scully, Jake Melksham and Michael Hurley were all graduates of the AIS-AFL Academy in recent years. 

All inductees will attend their first camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Melbourne during AFL Grand Final week from Wednesday, September 22 to Sunday, September 26.

AIS-AFL Academy high performance coach Jason McCartney said he looked forward to the year ahead with the 14th intake.

“The depth of talent in our junior ranks is very strong and selecting just 30 players from the recent NAB AFL Under-16 and Under-18 Championships was very challenging.

“The quality of the footballers that the program continues to produce was again evident at the 2009 NAB AFL Draft with six of the top 12 selections graduates of the AIS-AFL Academy, and another seven pre-selected for the Gold Coast Football Club”.

McCartney said that another important element of the AIS Academy was the tour, which is to take place in Europe next year.

“The 14th intake will travel to Europe in April 2011 where they will attend the AIS elite training centre in Italy, followed by London where they will play a match and finally Turkey, where they will attend the ANZAC day service," he said.

"The squad will also participate in matches in Melbourne to mark the beginning and completion of the tour. 

“The aim of the tour will be to build on both the players’ physical and personal development; preparing them for life in the AFL, both on and off the field.
 
The 2010 AIS-AFL Academy Squad is as follows:

Vic Country: Devon Smith (Geelong / Lara), Lachie Whitfield (Dandenong / Mt Martha), Matthew Buntine (Dandenong / Berwick), Jake Stringer (Bendigo / Eaglehawk), Jeremy Cameron (Nth Ballarat / Dartmoor), Todd Elton (Dandenong / Somerville)

Vic Metro: Jonathan O’Rourke (Calder Cannons/ Gisborne), Rory Atkins (Calder Cannons/Maribyrnong Park), Will Hoskin-Elliot (Western Jets) Nick Vlastuin (Northern Knights/Eltham), Matthew Haynes (Northern Knights/Yarrambat), Adam Tomlinson (Oakleigh Chargers / Trinity), Liam McBean (Calder Cannons/Aberfeldie), Joe Daniher (Calder Cannons/Aberfeldie), Elliot Kavanagh (Western Jets / PEGS)

NSW/ACT: Jacob Townsend (Leeton-Whitton)

South Australia: Jack Viney (North Adelaide/PAC), Sam Mayes (North Adelaide/Port FC), Joshua Growden (WWT/Snowtown), Brodie Grundy (Sturt/Unley FC)

Western Australia: Shannon Taylor (Claremont), Chris Yarran (Perth), Stephen Coniglio (Swan Districts / Upper Swan JFC), Jaeger O’Meara (Perth), Nathan Wilson (Peel Thunder)

Tasmania: Jimmy Webster (Glenorchy)

Northern Territory: Shaun Edwards (Saint Mary's)

Queensland:  Brian Coleman-Broome (Morningside FC), Alex Sexton (Springwood FC), Sam Michael (Redland)

The AIS-AFL Academy is a key component of the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, which provides recognition and a clearly identifiable direction for a player's career, and comprises the following elements:
 
• NAB AFL Rising Star
• NAB AFL Draft
• NAB AFL Draft Combines
• NAB AFL Under 18 Championships
• AIS-AFL Academy
• NAB AFL Under 16 Championships

For more information about the AIS/AFL Academy visit www.afl.com.au




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