Hurley, Zaharakis Named U/18 All Australian
Last weekend the AFL announced the U/18 All Australian team based on the recent 2008 NAB AFL U/18 National Championships. Northern Knights Captain David Zaharakis and Vice Captain Michael Hurley both received this high distinction after consistent performances across the month long Carnival.
Both players had also taken on major leadership roles for this years Championships having being named as Co-Captains of the victorious Victoria Metropolitan side.
Region Manager, Peter Kennedy was elated to learn of the news. “We were extremely proud to hear that both David and Michael were awarded All Australian honours. This year we only had three Knights players representing Vic Metro and to have both boys named Co-Captains of the side and follow up with All Australian is a wonderful achievement for them. It is also a fitting reward for the Knights Coaching staff who have nurtured and developed David and Michael in Knights programs.”
Hurley joins the unique club of players to be named U/18 All Australian on two occasions after making it last year as a bottom aged player.
“This year was a bit different. It wasn’t something I was thinking about too much (All Australian selection), but it was just really good to win the Carnival. Playing the Carnival is just something that’s really good for your footy. You get the best coaches in
Zaharakis reflected on the disappointment of missing out on the Victoria Metropolitan team last year and said that he used it as motivation coming into 2008. “Last year I just missed out here and I just missed out there. This year I didn’t want to leave any doubt so I worked really hard on forcing them to pick me. That’s been the real driving force for me.”
Hurley was stellar at full back for the second year in a row, while Zaharakis was largely used on the wing, but had stints in the forward line as well.
Hurley was also named as MVP for the Vic Metro team.
2008 Under 18 All-Australian team:
B: Nick Suban (Vic Country), Michael Hurley (Vic Metro), Clancee Pearce (Western Australia)
HB: Stephen Hill (Vic Country), Jordan Lisle (Vic Metro), Rhys O'Keefe (South Australia)
C: Mitch Robinson (Tasmania), Matthew DeBoer (Western Australia), David Zaharakis (Vic Metro)
HF: Hamish Hartlett (South Australia), Lewis Johnston (South Australia), Tom Scully (Vic Metro)
F: Tyrone Vickery (Vic Metro), Jack Watts (Vic Metro), Michael Walters (Western Australia)
Foll: Nicholas Naitanui (Western Australia), Jack Ziebell (Vic Country), Ranga Ediriwickrama (NSW/ACT)
I/C: Daniel Rich (Western Australia), Shaun McKernan (Vic Metro), Kade Klemke (NSW/ACT), Steele Sidebottom (Vic Country)