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Raines to assist Allies in coaching role

SUNS TV: Academy Update Academy Head Coach Andrew Raines provides an Academy update

Gold Coast SUNS Men's Academy coach Andrew Raines will add another string to his bow in 2019, taking on a role with the Allies U18s team. 

Raines, who is heading into his fourth year as coach of the SUNS Academy, has been appointed as an assistant coach for the U18s Allies team alongside coaching representatives from GWS, Brisbane, Sydney, Tasmania and Northern Territory. 

With three-time Lions premiership player Luke Power heading up the coaching outfit once again, 2019 is looking promising for the Allies Squad in what is a new look structure.

“In previous years we haven’t had any of the Academy coaches as Allies coaches in the championships… the AFL identified that Academy coaches probably should be involved to give feedback and to sort of coach a line and get involved that way,” Raines told Suns Media.

“I’m going to take the midfield this year.”

In May 2018 the AFL announced it would make a series of changes to the NAB AFL Academy, including decentralising the program to five separate hubs – one of which is the Allies.

Each hub will hold three camps throughout the year, with the Allies first camp occurring in late January in Canberra. 

Further to this, the AFL has also overhauled the Victorian under-18 competition, with Gold Coast set to compete in a national under-18 league.

The SUNS Academy first hit-out as part of the league will be against the Northern Territory on March 30 before heading to Yeronga to take on the Lions Academy on April 6.

Local supporters will be also able to catch them at Southport Sharks when they take on Victorian side Oakleigh Chargers on April 14 before they head away again for games on April 27 and May 5.

“The first off the Allies camps this year so six of our boys represented Gold Coast SUNS Academy and headed to Canberra,” Raines said.

“It was a holistic approach to a camp… different experiences in terms of what they saw and what they did in terms of training and education and some sight-seeing around the Nation’s capital.” 

To further their overall development, SUNS Academy members have also been training with the AFL team throughout pre-season.