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New Gold Coast SUNS Academy Under 16 Talent Program Announced

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 14: Queensland players in a huddle during the AFL U16 Championships match between Queensland and NT at Yeronga on July 14, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Albert Perez/AFL Media)

AFL Queensland, in conjunction with the Gold Coast SUNS and their respective zones, are pleased to announce new changes to the structure of the Under 16 talent programs in 2019 into a new four phase program.

The changes come as a result of a concerted effort to streamline the training and coaching program to better ensure Under 16 Males across the state are afforded the best development at all levels.

AFL Queensland State Manager- Talent and Academies, Mark Browning, welcomed the new changes to the Under 16 program and looks forward to working with the Gold Coast SUNS to deliver the program. “With two AFL clubs in Queensland, we are determined to supply an increase in the number of boys capable of playing AFL football at the elite level,” Browning said.

“AFL Queensland and the SUNS understand the importance in developing and preparing players not only for AFL football, but for senior NEAFL, QAFL and community level competitions. The SUNS North Queensland region is a fertile talent zone and is a significant responsibility that the Academy oversees this part of the pathway.”

“It is important that AFL Queensland fully maximises the expertise of the SUNS to ensure each player reaches his full potential with access to a very high-level development program.”

Under the new four phase program, the SUNS will be responsible for developing the overall coaching and training program with AFL Queensland regional offices responsible for the weekly program operations with coaching staff to be jointly appointed within their geographic academy zone.

In order to identify the best talent across the various regions at the commencement of the new program, trial days will be held in mid November for invited males turning 16-years-old in 2019.

Further details on the female academy pathway will be released shortly.

 

GOLD COAST SUNS ACADEMY ZONE

Phase One: Gold Coast SUNS Academy Regional Development Squads

North Queensland Regions

The program commences with a selection process in November followed by a fifteen-week training and development program. Regional training bases will be located in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton. This phase will culminate with the SUNS Academy North Queensland Championships in Airlie Beach in mid March. 

Gold Coast and Northern Rivers Regions

The program commences with a selection process in November followed by an eleven-week training and development program. Regional training bases will be located in Northern Rivers and on the Gold Coast. This phase will culminate with a two Round match series with teams representing Northern Rivers and Gold Coast x 3. Players will then return to their local club to participate in an AFLX tournament in late February 2019.

Phase Two: Gold Coast SUNS Academy Regional Teams

Following the first phase, two Gold Coast SUNS Academy Regional teams and a North Queensland team will be formed. Each of the three teams will be represented by 23 players chosen from the two round match series and Club AFLX tournament on the Gold Coast and the North Queensland Zone Championships in NQ. The squads will undergo further training and an Academy Zone Championships incorporating a South Pacific Squad. This carnival will be conducted in early April. The players selected in these teams will continue training with the Academy for the remainder of the year regardless of selection outcomes in phases three or four.

Phase Three: Gold Coast SUNS Academy Team

A SUNS Academy Team will be selected from the second phase Zone Championships to play against a Lions team in late April 2019. This will serve as selection for the Queensland Under 16 State Representative squad.

Phase Four: Queensland Under 16 State Representative Team

A squad will be selected from the Phase 3 Academy Match program to train on for a chance to represent Queensland in the NAB AFL Under 16 National Championships.

 

SELECTION DAYS- OPEN TO 2003 BORN MALES

Gold Coast SUNS Academy Open Testing Day- Rockhampton

Selection Day: Saturday 3 November, 2018
Time: 8.00am
Location: Rockhampton State High School, 1 Campbell Street, Rockhampton
Register here: https://goldcoastsuns.wufoo.com/forms/sxez14z0hjfkz5/

Gold Coast SUNS Academy Open Testing Day- Mackay

Selection Day: Sunday 4 November, 2018
Time: 8.00am
Location: Mercy College, Cnr Penn & Juliet Streets Mackay
Register here: https://goldcoastsuns.wufoo.com/forms/sxez14z0hjfkz5/

Gold Coast SUNS Academy Open Testing Day- Townsville

Selection Day: Saturday 10 November, 2018
Time: 8.00am
Location: Northern Beaches SUNS, Cyclone Shelter Erskine Way, Burdell
Register here: https://goldcoastsuns.wufoo.com/forms/sxez14z0hjfkz5/

Gold Coast SUNS Academy Open Testing Day- Cairns

Selection Day: Sunday 11 November, 2018
Time: 8.00am
Location: Cape York House, 65 Buchan Street, Portsmith 
Register here: https://goldcoastsuns.wufoo.com/forms/sxez14z0hjfkz5/

Gold Coast SUNS Academy Male Under 16 Trial- Gold Coast

Selection Day: Tuesday 13 November, 2018
Time: 4.00pm
Location: Somerset College, Somerset Drive, Mudgeeraba
Register here: https://goldcoastsuns.wufoo.com/forms/sippvtm0avnnvr/

Gold Coast SUNS Academy Male Under 16 Trial- Northern Rivers

Selection Day: Thursday 15 November, 2018
Time: 4.00pm
Location: Cavanbah Centre, Byron Bay
Register here: https://goldcoastsuns.wufoo.com/forms/sippvtm0avnnvr/