Quintet take exciting first step toward AFL careers
AUSSIE RULES: Gold Coast Suns North Queensland Academy co-ordinator John Deitz expressed his excitement on five BITS Saints juniors.
Jordan Jacobsen, Ty Fitzgerald, Lachlan Wembridge, Will Raffin and Max Marsh have been selected in the Suns talent Academy Capricornia Under-13 to 15 Boys Development Squad.
The players went through a six-week training block ahead of the State Championship in Maroochydore from September 19-23 in which Will and Max will represent the Central Queensland under-14 team.
"What has been most impressive about these boys has been their commitment to getting the best out of themselves, their attitude and general willingness to learn and improve," Deitz said.
"The boys involved are all showing a real commitment to training hard and are seeking feedback, always wanting to learn, and are all extremely competitive which is a great trait in young footballers."
The six-week block entailed a series of exercises that helped determine at what level of development the player was at.
"We have identified that we really wanted to work on the players' fundamental skill development - areas such as kicking, ground ball, marking, decision making and defensive skills have been a real key focus for us to get an understanding where each player is at," Deitz said.
"We have videoed each player and developed a kicking analysis for them to work on as well as every player in the program receiving an Individual Development Plan which will allow us to work with the players on improvement in key areas skills, fitness, leadership, decision making.
"It will also give them an understanding of some expectations around professionalism and how to succeed at the next level of football."
The championship in Maroochydore will also feature a CQ U17 girls team as well as a North Queensland U14 female side.
Preparations will also start for next season in several weeks.
"With Suns programming, we will have an open testing day in Rockhampton in early November to start to select our 2020 squads," Deitz said.
"We will be running male and female programs in the region in 2020 which is really exciting and gives boys and girls in the region the opportunity to develop and hopefully progress along the pathway through the Suns and AFLQ programs."