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SUNS Academy complete NQ testing days

The Gold Coast SUNS Academy has completed its annual North Queensland testing days over the past two weekends, visiting all four of its NQ testing hubs.

11:15am  Nov 12, 2019

Five SUNS named in 2020 NAB AFL Women’s Academy

Five female Gold Coast SUNS Academy players have been named in the 2020 NAB AFL Women’s Academy squad to accelerate their development over the next 12 months.

4:39pm  Nov 8, 2019

Five SUNS named in 2020 Allies AFL Academy squad

Five male SUNS Academy players have been named to represent the Allies in next year’s 2020 AFL Academy Squad.

6:21pm  Oct 16, 2019

SUNS Academy juniors put through paces

The Gold Coast SUNS have hosted male Academy Intensive Days as part of the ongoing development of the U13-U15 age groups.

2:50pm  Oct 4, 2019

SUNS Academy Awards Night: All the winners

On Wednesday night the Gold Coast SUNS hosted its 2019 Academy Awards Night, highlighting the achievements of the club’s Academy players this season.

3:01pm  Sep 25, 2019

SUNS Academy Zones

Click the region of the map to discover the SUNS Academy zones

Club Academy background

The Club Academies were created to engage and develop underage talent in non-traditional AFL markets such as New South Wales and Queensland. They are a joint initiative between the AFL, AFL Affiliates and the four Northern AFL Clubs (GWS Giants, Sydney, Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast Suns), and are aimed at increasing the opportunities for young people in NSW and QLD to learn about and play the game of Australian Rules football. The four Northern AFL Clubs are incentivised through draft concessions for their role in growing the Australian Rules talent pool in NSW and QLD, and ultimately strengthening the State and Community leagues in those states.

Next Generation Academy background

The Next Generation Academies (NGA's) are a joint initiative between the AFL and AFL Clubs aimed at the attraction, retention and development of all talented players (both male and female), whilst growing participation in the under-represented segments of our community.

A key objective of the NGA's is to increase the talent pool of Indigenous and Multicultural players. These groups are significantly under-represented in the AFL comparative to the population, and therefore AFL Clubs are incentivised through draft concessions for their role in growing this talent pool. However, the primary function of the NGA's is to provide a Club based talent program to all kids, using the AFL Clubs' profile and expertise to raise awareness and interest in the programs.

Academy programs

Each AFL Club has a designated region to run their own Next Generation and/or Club Academy Program, which may involve a variety of activities including:

  • Australian Rules Football Clinics and skills sessions
  • 'Come and Try' days involving an introduction to Australian Rules football
  • Leadership and Teamwork programs
  • Fitness Testing and training programs
  • Education sessions (i.e. Cultural Awareness, Nutrition, Health Living, etc.)

Participants will be exposed to an elite football environment through top-level coaching, first-class facilities and expertise across health, fitness and personal development. Each Clubs program may differ slightly, but will involve multiple sessions across each of these key areas and will be conducted through school holidays and/or out of hour's programs.


Each club has a designated region to conduct their Next Generation and/or Club Academy programs. The above map outlines each of the Club's Academy Regions, and provides a web link for each Clubs webpage where further information can be gathered on specific club programs (see map).

Getting involved

To become involved in an AFL Club Next Generation Academy, please use the map on this webpage to establish which NGA/Club Academy region you reside in, and contact that AFL Club for more information on their programs. Weblinks to each Club website are available by clicking on your relevant region within the map.