Two Gold Coast SUNS Academy players have been awarded MVP honours after the recent Under 16 and Under 18 National Championships held on the Gold Coast.
AFLW signing Ellie Hampson earnt the award for Queensland in the NAB AFL Women’s Under 18 competition after dominating for her state in the midfield throughout the tournament.
Hampson played almost exclusively on-ball across the two rounds of the competition and had a standout game against Vic Metro when she racked up 24 disposals in the wet.
“It was crazy. I wasn’t even thinking of getting the award but then my name got called out and I couldn’t believe it,” Hampson told SUNS Media.
2019 is Hampson’s final year of Under 18 football but she said she was looking forward to the next challenge with the Gold Coast SUNS.
“I’m excited to take some big steps now and work hard to get to Round 1 of the 2020 AFLW season with the SUNS,” Hampson said.
“I’m so glad to be a part of it and so excited to see what the next year brings.
“Just to see the amount of chemistry within our team already and how good mates we are is just so exciting so I can’t wait to get out on the field with them all.”
In the Under 16 boys competition, Academy prospect Austin Harris was also named Queensland’s MVP as the state’s most consistent player.
Harris played predominately in the midfield as a winger and impressed with his field kicking, intensity and ability to win one-on-one contests.
Queensland’s Under 16 side won two of its three matches in the tournament, losing to eventual winners NSW/ACT in its first game back in June.
After playing for the Cairns Saints, the former junior club of Jack Bowes, Jacob Heron and Caleb Graham, Harris relocated to the Gold Coast earlier this year and attends Palm Beach Currumbin High School.
“Austin has really taken some big strides with his football since moving down to the Gold Coast,” SUNS Academy Development Coach Sam Iles said.
“It’s great for him to get some recognition for his strong form in the Under 16 boys tournament and fantastic to see another SUNS Academy success story come out of Cairns.”
The success comes after the SUNS Academy also had six male player represent the Allies in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, with Connor Budarick earning All Australian honours.