The SUNS Academy has completed its open trial program for Under 13 players this week at the Austworld Centre.

The program consisted of one physical testing day in 2019 and was finished with a football assessment session on Tuesday at the Austworld Centre for those invited.

The 70 players were put through Academy drills including small-sided games such as handballing and nine-a-side football, followed by an off-field curriculum program.

SUNS Academy Manager Jason Torney told SUNS Media it was great to see the Academy season starting on such a positive note.

“We had a great turnout to our physical testing day late last year and it was great to see those invited back so eager to learn,” Torney said.

“The Under 13 age group is our youngest group we look after in the Academy so it’s important for us to make sure they’re laying a foundation they can build upon and are getting the right education from a young age.

“We hope that these players are able to stay in the Academy program for as long as possible to give themselves the best chance to pursue an AFL career if they choose to down the track.”

Also on Tuesday, a group of U14 and U15 male and female players were invited to complete their combine testings before the final selection of the Academy squads for 2020.

“The combine testing included a vertical jump test, a running vertical jump, an agility test, sprints and a YoYo test,” Torney said.

“It’s great practice for these boys and girls to go through this testing as it’s something they’ll have to do more of the further they progress through the elite talent pathway.”

The SUNS Academy structure will have three hubs in 2020; Gold Coast North, Gold Coast South and Northern Rivers.  

The Academy will announce the U13, U14 and U15 squads next week with programs running through the school terms one and two, and an education component in term three.