The Gold Coast SUNS have made two Academy pre-selections, adding Bodhi Uwland and Sandy Brock to the club’s rookie list for the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
Uwland, a Gold Coast local, officially joins the club after representing the SUNS in the VFL for six games in 2021 as an Academy top-up player.
The 18-year-old has had success as a junior in the midfield but most recently has played as a half-back, going on to win the 2021 Academy Player of the Year award at the SUNS Club Champion.
“I’m very excited to be here full-time and put everything into it,” Uwland said.
“It’s been a lifelong dream so I’m very excited to get stuck into it for pre-season.”
Brock is a key position player hailing from Darwin and becomes the third Northern Territorian to join the SUNS since the club launched its partnership with the NT Government in 2019.
Standing at 198cm, the 18-year-old has elite speed for his size and has represented the NT Thunder, NT All Stars and was included Under 19 Allies squad in recent years.
“I honestly can’t wait, it’s going to be an unreal experience, hopefully I can play AFL but also (see) the development,” Brock said.
“I want to learn from all the players and coaches and try to make it to the top as fast as I can.”
In line with the concessions granted by the AFL in 2019, the club is able to pre-select eligible SUNS Academy players without having to match bids from rival clubs through the draft process.
The club underwent the same process in previous years, pre-selecting the likes of Connor Budarick, Malcolm Rosas Jnr, Joel Jeffrey and Alex Davies among others.
SUNS General Manager of Player Talent and Strategy Craig Cameron was confident both players would thrive in the full-time AFL environment.
“Bodhi has had a fantastic year, playing a key role with the SUNS Academy while also stepping up and performing really well for us at VFL level so we’re excited about what he can become,” Cameron said.
“Sandy has shown he has potential as a key position player with great height and speed so we look forward to working with him on the next stages of his development."
The SUNS hold pick 3 ahead of the 2021 NAB AFL Draft which is scheduled for November 24 and will run over two nights.
Club: Broadbeach/SUNS Academy
Club: Palmerston (NTFL)/Peel Thunder (WAFL)/SUNS Academy
Position: Key defender