SUNS Academy product Jacob Dawson has been named to make his AFL debut on Saturday when Gold Coast take on Hawthorn in Launceston.

The 18-year-old, who has been in the SUNS Academy since he was 13, was drafted as a category B rookie in the 2018 rookie draft. 

Dawson has been selected after consistent performances during nine games as part of the SUNS NEAFL side in 2018, averaging 26 disposals and six tackles per game. 

“It’s unreal, I still can’t believe it,” Dawson said.

“I’ve just been playing my role in the NEAFL and trying to build some good form, but to get the news that I’ll be making my debut is just so humbling. 

“Hopefully I’ll be able to play my role as part of the team and give us a chance to get the win on Saturday.”

Dawson was upgraded from the rookie list last month as a replacement for the injured Pearce Hanley.

When speaking to the playing group, SUNS Academy Head Coach and fellow Gold Coast AFL product, Andrew Raines spoke of Dawson’s impact as a player. 

“There’s no other player that’s left a legacy in the Academy like Jacob,” SUNS Academy coach Andrew Raines said.

“He captained our Academy last year in fine form and really set the standard for the rest coming through.

“We’re really proud of him.” 

Dawson has been named to make his debut on Saturday at 1:45pm.