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Eight SUNS Academy players selected into Allies Squad

The 2018 Under 18 Allies Squad has been announced following the conclusion of the NAB Academy Series.

10:45am  May 24, 2018

Heron's debut one of a kind

Jacob Heron is going to find himself in some good trivia quizzes regardless of what happens in the rest of his AFL career.

2:55pm  May 23, 2018

Running men: Keeping track of your club's speedsters

Who racks up the most kilometres in a game at your club? Who's hit the highest speed in a sprint? It's not always who you might think.

1:15pm  May 23, 2018

Callum Ah Chee exploring his Chinese roots

Nat Edwards  May 16, 2018 5:46 PM

I think my great-grandpop was five-foot-four, he was a tiny man. He was a baker so I'm learning more about that.

For Gold Coast youngster Callum Ah Chee, Saturday's game in China holds special significance.

The 20-year-old has Chinese blood running through his veins, with his great-grandfather emigrating from China to Australia.

"He sailed (to Australia) from China," Ah Chee told reporters on Wednesday at Shanghai's Yu Garden.

"It's pretty cool to get to learn more about that, I definitely want to find out more. My dad actually sent over the citizenship certificate. I think my great-grandpop was five-foot-four, he was a tiny man. He was a baker so I'm learning more about that. 

"I'm lucky enough to play here and we get to take our game to another country which is pretty special."

The Suns arrived in Shanghai on Tuesday night, and this is Ah Chee's first trip to China, having not played in last year's inaugural Shanghai clash against Port Adelaide. 

However, his brother Brendon played in the game for Port Adelaide, but he was traded to West Coast late last year, the siblings won't get the chance to experience Shanghai and explore their roots together.

A hand and hamstring injury cruelled Ah Chee's start to 2018 but since his return to the senior side in round seven, the young Sun has shone in a new role in defence.

The move has been out of necessity, with Gold Coast missing a number of their regular backmen through injury.

Ah Chee is not only relishing the challenge, he's thriving.

"[The injuries] were pretty frustrating but I think these things sort of make you realise how lucky you do have it," Ah Chee said.

"There are boys who are out of the game for 12 months so I didn't really have it too bad but it's definitely been a good learning experience for me and it's going to make me a better footballer and a better person. 

"I've loved the opportunity to play off half-back and the boys down there have been fantastic in supporting me in that role. 

"I'm feeling like I'm really starting to thrive playing AFL football and I love playing for the Suns, I'm just really happy."

Long-term, though, he has ambitions to play predominantly as a midfielder who pinch-hits forward.

"Hopefully I can build my midfield game," he said. 

"I'd love to play in the midfield for the Suns but I need to work on a few things to get there, got to build my fitness base as well and get a few good pre-seasons."

Gold Coast will have its first training session at Adelaide Arena at Jiangwan Stadium on Thursday. 

The Suns have brought over a squad of 25 including tall forward Peter Wright, who is yet to play a game in 2018.