SUNS Academy prospect Alex Davies had the highest honour of representing his country on the weekend.
Davies was selected to represent an Australian Under-17 side in the ANZAC exhibition match against the open-aged New Zealand Falcons, as a curtain raiser to the AFL game at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.
It’s the eighth time the Australian Under-17’s have taken on New Zealand in an exhibition game, but the first time the match had been played on Australian soil.
Davies said he was extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to pull on the Australian guernsey.
“You don’t get to represent your country that often in AFL so it was a great experience,” Davies told SUNS Media.
“They were a lot bigger and stronger than us but everyone played well.”
Originally from Cairns, Davies was the only Queenslander selected in the squad which comprised of the best 17-year-olds in the country.
He said the experience helped give him a glimpse into the standard required to play football professionally.
“It just opens your eyes to how everyone else your age is performing and what you need to do to step up,” he said.
“It’s so much faster and you have to be so much more cleaner.
“You don’t have any second chances so every opportunity you have to make the most of it.”
The Under-17 team was coached by champion AFL footballer Luke Power, with other notable names such as Jonathan Brown, Brad Johnson, Nick Dal Santo and Brent Harvey joining the ranks as assistant coaches.
For Davies, it was the opportunity to learn from these greats of the game that outweighed the awe he felt from simply being in their presence.
“It was a bit nerve-wracking the first training, you’re a bit nervous but they were good mentors and you learn a lot from them,” Davies said
“Jonathan Brown was a coach and he taught us how to use our body to get open… you don’t need to burn as much energy you can just play a lot smarter.
“They were just like any other person really but we just looked up to them."
The Australian side were too good for the Falcons on the day, waltzing to a 17.20 (122) to 7.3 (45) win.
Back on the Gold Coast after the international win, Davies’ next assignm