Wednesday, 19 March, 2008

Country Kookaburras excitement machine John James has become the first player from Papua New Guinea to be chosen in the Australia Post Queensland U18 squad.

James, who has linked with the Zillmere Eagles, was included in a 33-man squad announced today by AFLQ Talent Manager Mark Browning and Scorpions coach Neville Miller.

He is one of four country players in the squad that will begin a hectic 2008 campaign with a match against TAC Cup side Oakleigh Chargers at the Gabba on 19 April.

It will lead into three matches in the NAB AFL division two championships in Melbourne on 7 May, 10 May and 14 May and, hopefully a place in the subsequent division one championships.

There are a six players from the Sunshine Coast, thought to be a Power record, including Gympie ruckman/key forward Lachlan Keeffe, who already is tied to AFL club Collingwood as a pre-listed 2009-2010 rookie.

Keeffe, who was a standout through the recent Australia Post Queensland U18 championships, is one of four AFLQ Rookie Search products alongside 2007 Scorpion Joel Smouha, Cairns big man Charlie Dixon and Sandgate's Dylan Reid.

Smouha, from the South-East Bushrangers, is one of four members of the 2007 Scorpions side backing up. The others are the Northern Raiders' Joey Daye and David Hill and the Bushrangers Daniel Savage.

And, in a powerhouse sign for the future, selectors included no less than 11 17-year-olds - Todd Panoho (Suncoast Power), Declan Bevan (Northern Raiders), Josh Thomas, Mitch Harley and Matt Fowler (South-East Bushrangers), Jack Stanlake, Jessie Haberfield, Marc Lock, Tyler Green, Hamish Watts and Rory Thompson (Gold Coast Stingrays).

Bevan and Haberfield are Queensland's representatives in the AFL/AIS U17 Academy squad that will leave this weekend for a tour of South Africa.

There are some prominent Queensland football names in the squad. Patrick Allan is the son of Brisbane Lions football manager Graeme 'Gubby' Allan and brother of ex-Lions player Marcus Allan, Elliott Duke and Alistair Nash are sons of ex-Morningside pair Michael Duke and Geoff Nash, and Rory Thompson is the son of ex-Southport full forward and Labrador coach Brett Thompson.

Also, Ben Weightman is the nephew of ex-Richmond AFL champion Dale Weightman and the son of Suncoast Power coach Kent Weightman. 

The Australia Post Queensland U18 Scorpions squad is: SUNCOAST POWER:  Ben Weightman (Caloundra/Zillmere), Aaron Evans (Zillmere), Todd Panoho (Caloundra), Kane Tyson (Maroochydore), Lachlan Keeffe (Rookie Search), Nathan Lavis (Noosa/Zillmere). COUNTRY KOOKABURRAS: Charlie Dixon (Cairns/Redland), Zac Smith (Capricornia/Zillmere), John James (PNG/Zillmere), Justin Myers (Wide Bay/Redland. NORTHERN RAIDERS: Patrick Allan (Morningside), Joey Daye (Zillmere), David Hill (Zillmere), Dylan Reid (Sandgate), Jack Stanley (Zillmere), Declan Bevan (Sandgate). SOUTH EAST BUSHRANGERS: Daniel Savage (Mt.Gravatt), Matt Thompson (Redland), Adam Boon (Redland), Elliott Duke (Morningside), Josh Thomas (Redland), Joel Smouha (Mt.Gravatt), Mitch Harley (Mt.Gravatt), Matt Fowler (Sherwood), Alistair Nash (Morningside). GOLDCOAST STINGRAYS: Dayne Beams (Southport), Jack Stanlake (Surfers Paradise), Jessie Haberfield (Southport), Marc Lock (Southport), Tyler Green (Broadbeach), Hamish Watts (Southport), Ryan Dienjes (Broadbeach), Rory Thompson (Southport).

Players selected in the squad are asked to visit for more information.













  • Pre-season attendance and performance at regional centres
  • Match performances during the Championships
  • Performances at both club and State level in the past twelve months


The selectors were Miller, assistant-coach John Seebohm, Browning, Bob Batty, Craig Starcevich and Martin Mellody.


Comment Guidelines: The SportsTG Network is made up of players, families and passionate sports followers like you who have a strong opinion about sport. That's great - we want you to have your say and share your thoughts with the world. However, we have a few rules that you must follow to keep it fun for all. Please don't be rude, abusive, swear or vilify others. Apart from some pretty serious sport sanctions, we also can ban you and report you if things get out of hand. So play fair and have fun, and thanks for your contribution.