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NAB Academy Series Review

Round 1 SUNS v Tasmania @ BISP (NSW)

SUNS 8.6 def by Tasmania 15.9


The SUNS headed to Blacktown to play Tasmania with a travelling party of 35, playing 23 young men keen to impress. SUNS Academy kicked of the triple-header at BISP at 10am with Lions v Swans and Giants v NT following. After a tough and tight first quarter the Tasmanians dominated the second quarter kicking 6 goals to 1. The second half was pretty even with the Academy only being outscored by 1 goal, SUNS 5.4 to Tas 6.6. Unfortunately the Academy had few contributions with only talls Dirk Koenen and Caleb Graham competing hard, defender Lachlan McDonald battling for 4 quarters and Bailey Scott showing class and workrate on the day.

Goals: Smith 2, Burke, Conroy, Graham, Greenwool, Lowah, Scott
Best: Dirk Koenen, Matt Smith, Lachlan McDonald, Bailey Scott, Caleb Graham

Round 2 SUNS v Lions @ Southpine Sports Complex

SUNS 11.5 def by Lions 12.11


A disappointing start by the Academy this round with a poor first quarter letting in 7 goals which set up the win for the Lions, the boys worked hard to get back into the contest evening out the contested ball stats, winning the tackles and outscoring the opposition but couldn’t get it back on the scoreboard going down by 12 points.

Goals: Smith 3, Scott 2, Portelli, Haua, Katsiris, Burke, Wingrave, Miles 1
Best: Matt Smith, Bailey Scott, Ryan Gilmore, Kane Haua and Josh Gore

Round 3 SUNS v GWS @ Broadbeach FC

SUNS 11.8 def Giants 7.12


Pleasing response to the previous weeks game with a strong start against GWS, 3 goal to 0 at the first break. SUNS brand of football was on show throughout the day, speed, run and carry and using the open spaces of Broadbeach. GWS where always going to fight back winning the third quarter by a goal but it wasn’t enough with the SUNS boys posting they first win of the series. Again defensively Dirk Koenen was exceptional with Ryan Gilmore playing his best game for the Academy as an intercept marking defender. Timakoi Bowie was sensational with 13 possession 7 tackles and 3 goals, Bailey Scott powered through some close attention to rack up 22 disposals and a goal with Fitzy Greenwool lighting up the forward half with two goals.

Goals: Bowie 3, Buckland 2, Graham 2, Greenwool 2, Scott 1, Gore 1
Best: Ryan Gilmore, Tim Bowie, Bailey Scott, Dirk Koenen, Fitzroy Greenwool, Connor Budarick

Round 4 SUNS v NT @ Burpengary

SUNS 18.8 def NT 4.3


A dominant performance by the boys out at Burpengary following on from our win against GWS. The boys won all the stats that mattered dominating inside 50’s and winning the tackle count. U19 year old Emmanuel Baru in his fists Academy series game was prominent through the wings, Connor Budarick was damaging and the ever consistent Bailey Scott racked up 30 possessions. Pleasingly Caleb Graham kicked 6 goals up forward with Josh Gore 5 and young Crossley settling into the team.

Goals: Graham 6, Gore 5, Lowah 2, Baru, Buckalnd, Budarick, Greenwool and Scott 1
Best: Connor Budarick, Bailey Scott, Josh Gore, Caleb Graham, Ashton Crossley, Emmanuel Baru

Round 5 SUNS v Swans @ BISP (NSW)

SUNS 8.6 def by Swans 8.8


It was important for the SUNS Academy to finish of their campaign strongly after building through the 5 week series. The Swans, only losing one game to the undefeated Tasmania were always going to be a great challenge for the 23 players travelling out to Blacktown. In an even match Bailey Scott, best on ground and SUNS MVP dominated collecting 30 possessions, three players from the Cape and Torres Straight Islands Timakoi Bowie (14 poss, 11 tackles and 5 clearances), Fitzy Greenwool (17 poss) and Tui Lowah (2 goals) worked well up forward. Dirk Koenen again was superb through a wing and half back topping of a consistent carnival. With a fast play in the dying minutes and a shot just before the siren it was one of the better 4 quarter Academy performances over the last few years.

Goals: Lowah, Scott 2, Crossley, Gore, Portelli and Graham 1
Best: Bailey Scott, Rainsford Stone, Dirk Koenen, Fitzroy Greenwool, Tim Bowie, Connor Budarick