Main content

Young SUNS selected in Under 16 State Representative Squad

Earlier this week, AFL Queensland announced their initial Queensland State Academy Under-16 representative squad, with a number of Gold Coast SUNS Academy players selected.

The selections were made following the Under-16 State Carnival played at the Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex in late-April/early-May.

The squad will be finalised later this month before competing at the Under-16 NAB National Championships in New South Wales and Queensland from June 11 to July 14.

Gold Coast’s Academy staff Jason Torney (Manager) and Sam Iles (Assistant Coach) have provided a snapshot on each of the players and what we can expect from them:

Sam Clohesy – Tweed/Coolangatta

Has come a long way over the last 12-18 months after having a serious injury at the back end of his U14 representative carnival for Northern Rivers. Sam has worked extremely hard on his footy over the pre-season and has developed nicely into a hard-running defender that can also play as an inside/outside midfielder. 

Lleyton Cottrell – Southport

A big bodied, strong defender that can also use his aggression and physicality to play as a Ruckman. Lleyton is reasonably new to the sport and is working hard on improving his game sense. Lleyton represented Queensland at U15 Schoolboys level. 

Alex Davies – Cairns/Hawks

A talented basketballer, Alex has been in the SUNS Academy for the past three years, representing NQ at U14 level and then Queensland Schoolboys U15 state team. A tall midfielder with a great vertical jump and awareness. 

Aiden Fyfe – Southport

A crafty half forward with good skills that is good around goals. Aiden has good endurance and is learning to use this in games to allow him to play higher up the field. 

Thomas Hofert – Broadbeach

A tall, developing ruck product that is new to representative football. Tom is still learning and working hard on his ruck craft, his physicality and his repeat efforts around the contest.

Riley Johnson – Southport

A talented footballer that is best suited as a hard-running medium forward that presents up the ground. Riley is working hard on his field kicking and has very good leadership skills that saw him voted by his peers as captain of the Gold Coast U16 regional team. Riley missed QLD U15 Schoolboys through injury. 

Jack Johnson – Burleigh

A strong bodied defender that has excellent closing speed, Jack defends well and makes very good decisions with ball in hand. Represented QLD at U15 Schoolboys level as a defender but his ability to see the game so well may allow him to play as a big bodied midfielder or as a forward. 

Bryce Milford – Burleigh

A rangy athlete that can play as a running defender, a tall wingman or as a key position forward. Bryce has very good skills and makes good decisions with the ball in hand. Missed representative football at U15 Schoolboys level so will be keen to test himself against strong opposition.

Rhys Nicholls – Southport

Medium sized, competitive defender with very good skills. We are working with Rhys to develop the offensive side of his game to allow him to use his good decision making and skill execution more frequently in games. 

Liam O’Brien – St. Patrick’s College

Currently at boarding school in Melbourne, Liam has been part of the SUNS Academy since he was 11. A tough inside onballer who uses the ball well and represented QLD at U15 Schoolboys level. Liam was added from outside the carnival due to his U16 performances in the TAC cup. 

Ryan Pickering – Townsville/Hermit Park Tigers

Also a talented basketballer, Ryan is a tall, developing ruckman who is new to AFL and working on the fundamentals of his game and ruck craft. A powerful athlete with a great work ethic.

Harrison Rowles – Southport

Strong bodied key position player that represented QLD at Schoolboys U15 level as a defender. He has good skills and is a good decision maker. Sees the game very well and his versatility will allow him to play both as a defender and as a forward.

James Smith – Southport

Has worked very hard on his football over the past 12 months. Developing into a powerful inside/outside midfielder with good balance and pace. James is working on his game sense and his positional craft around stoppages.


Help young talent by donating to the Gold Coast SUNS Talent Academy via the SUNS Foundation website.