Three up-and-coming Gold Coast talents have been selected in the 2024 AFL National Academy squads.
Bond University’s Tara Harrington, Burleigh product and 2023 National Championships best and fairest Havana Harris, alongside 2023 VFL Premiership player Leo Lombard are the three SUNS Academy representatives to be selected in the Girls and Boys squads respectively.
The AFL National Academy is an accelerated football and personal development program that provides the next generation of stars with experiences, learnings and further opportunities to best prepare them for the next steps in their football journey.
A number of graduates from the AFL Academy sides have earned spots on SUNS lists in recent seasons, most recently in the form of AFLW Rising Star nominee Darcie Davies who was a member of the National Academy in both 2022 and 2023.
This is the 27th annual intake for the AFL National Academy Boys and the seventh intake for the AFL National Academy Girls.
The boys squad will take part in its first camp in Melbourne from Friday, December 8 to Sunday, December 10 before reconvening for a further two camps during the 2024 season.
The first of three camps for the girls squad will be held in Melbourne from Friday, January 19 to Sunday, January 21.
The boys and girls Academy will each play two games during the 2024 season where players will represent their country as part of the Australia U18 team.
Further details on all camps and matches will be confirmed at a later date.
Both squads feature players from every state and territory across Australia.
AFL National Academy Manager Tarkyn Lockyer congratulated all players on their selection in the 2024 AFL National Academy squads.
“Being part of the AFL National Academy is a fantastic achievement. All players selected in the boys and girls squads have demonstrated outstanding football ability and a determination to advance further in their football journey,” Lockyer said.
“One of the philosophies of the AFL National Academy is to provide players with a different experience to what they receive as part of other programs they are involved in.
“Players will come together for high performance training camps and have the opportunity to play for their country in representative matches.
“They will also get to integrate into AFL environments and receive access to expert coaching and education to assist their football and personal development.
“The learnings and experiences players gain from the opportunities provided through the AFL National Academy is invaluable.”