The GC SUNS Academy is continuing its commitment to best preparing its up-and-coming Gold Coast talent for the demands of AFL football with an Under 18 Performance Program beginning on Tuesday night.

The 11-week program, first implemented in 2022, includes a hand-picked selection of 14 Academy players aged between 17 and 19 years and is designed to give young players a taste of what the professional environment is like, including a week immersed in the club’s AFL program.

The cohort includes AFL Academy trio Jake RogersJed Walter and Ethan Read as well as fellow Allies Under 18 squad members Leo LombardNick Williams and Will Graham.

SUNS Academy Manager Kath Newman says the program, which has been built on from its 2022 edition, is a terrific opportunity for the players selected.

“This group includes a number of hand-picked players who are draft eligible in 2023, or will be in coming years, and is a further chance for our staff and coaches to ensure these boys have the tools to graduate from our Academy into the AFL system,” Newman said.

“This program will run over the next 11 weeks through until the end of the AFL season. In particular, the chance to have the experience in our AFL program in addition to Academy and other representative commitments is a fantastic opportunity for these boys and will help them understand the demands and expectations at the top level.”

SUNS Academy Under 18 Male Performance Program Members

Matthew Evans

Will Graham

Finlay Gray

Lachlan Gulbin

Joe Kennedy

Zai Millane

Caleb Nancarrow

Ethan Read

Jake Rogers

Jed Walter

Nick Williams

Oscar Wood

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