It’s a sunny future for these players
AUSSIE RULES: Nine players from the BITS Saints and Gladstone Suns clubs have been selected in the respected Gold Coast Suns Academy Capricornia under-16/18 girls' and U16 boys' squads.
BITS Saints pair Sophie Ure and Brooke Sheridan plus Tierney Bourke from Gladstone Suns are part of the 13-strong girls' squad.
The Saints quartet of Adam Hull, Jordan Jacobsen, Will Raffin, Lachlan Wembridge and Gladstone Sun Logan Kenzler are in the 29-man boys' squad.
However, Kenzler is relocating to Western Australia with his family and is aiming for a similar position in the WA State Academy Program.
Bourke is unfortunately injured and won't take part in the squad.
AFL Capricornia and club development manager Brad Matheson said the players went through a gruelling Northern Queensland exposure under some elite coaches.
"Players went through a testing day that was overseen by GC Suns Academy manager Jason Torney, Sam Iles (female academy head coach), John Dietz (GC Suns NQ manager), Bella Freeman (GC Suns footy operations) and Josh Witty (GC Suns strength and conditioning)," Matheson said.
Testing consisted of agility in line with national draft combine testing.
"Adam Hull, who has been a part of the program for a few years now, is continuing to develop nicely and his body is starting to fill out, which will assist his game immensely," Matheson said.
"Max Marsh is a big boy for 13 years of age and it will be exciting to see how his game develops over the coming years."
Marsh, along with Ty Fitzgerald, will be eligible for the U15 squad that will be announced early in the new year.
Matheson said Brooke Sheridan showed good game sense for someone so young and was definitely one to watch.
The next phase for the players has already started.
"For the U16 boys and U16-18 girls, they will commence immediately with a four-week pre-Christmas training block two nights a week," Matheson said.
An eight-week block of training resumes after the Christmas break.
The U16 boys will then have the NQ Championship in Townsville in late March from which a NQ GC Suns squad will be selected.
This new team will play in the Suns Academy Series against other academy squads from Gold Coast, Northern Rivers and Oceania.
"The U16-18 girls will play a trial match throughout March against our neighbouring regions and will also have the opportunity to participate in the GC Suns Winter Series team if they are at that level," Matheson said.
Most of the girls will focus on the female carnival, which will be held later next year.
"Our 13-15 boys' squad will be announced in late January and they will start a program broken into three blocks throughout the year, commencing in February," Matheson said.