WITH the 2017 National AFL Draft just 44 days away, the 2018 draft crop’s early shining lights have been named in Level Two of the 2017-18 NAB AFL Academy Squad.
Among those named are some father-son prospects in Nick Blakey, Bailey Scott and Rhyley West who were among 25 players to rejoin the Academy after being a part of its Level One program over the past 12 months. Potential number one picks including South Australia’s Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine, twin towers Ben and Max King and Geelong Falcons’ silky youngster Sam Walsh lead what is predicted to be a very strong draft.
Seven players have joined the Academy for the first time with Geelong Falcons’ Edward McHenry, Oakleigh Chargers’ Isaac Quaynor, Sandringham Dragons’ Bailey Smith, Calder Cannons’ Curtis Taylor, Northern Territory’s Matt Green, Dandenong Stingrays’ pair Riley Bowman and Bailey Williams all receiving scholarships after impressive performances this season.
The AFL Academy squad will be under the tutelage of head coach Luke Power and assistant coaches Brad Johnson, Peter Sumich and Brent Harvey. They will take part in a series of AFL football and personal development camps in both Australia and overseas with the first camp to take place in Darwin in November, before the academy travel to the United States in January for a high performance training camp.
The 2017-18 NAB AFL Academy Squad
NSW/ACT: Nick Blakey (Swans Academy), Matthew Walker (Giants Academy)
Queensland: Bailey Scott (Suns Academy)
South Australia: Jackson Hately (Central District), Jack Lukosius (Woodville – West Torrens), Hugo Munn (Sturt), Izak Rankine (West Adelaide), Connor Rozee (North Adelaide), Luke Valente (Norwood)
Vic Country: Zane Barzen (Murray Bushrangers), Riley Bowman (Dandenong Stingrays), Jye Caldwell (Bendigo Pioneers), Sam Fletcher (Dandenong Stingrays), Hudson Garoni (Murray Bushrangers), Edward McHenry (Geelong Falcons), Sam Walsh (Geelong Falcons), Bailey Williams (Dandenong Stingrays).
Vic Metro: Jack Bytel (Calder Cannons), Buku Khamis (Western Jets), Ben King (Sandringham Dragons), Max King (Sandringham Dragons), Isaac Quaynor (Oakleigh Chargers), Bailey Smith (Sandringham Dragons), Curtis Taylor (Calder Cannons), Rhylee West (Calder Cannons).
Western Australia: Jason Carter (Claremont), Tom Joyce (East Fremantle) Ian Hill (Perth).
Northern Territory: Matt Green (Sporties Spitfires), Michael Mummery (Nightcliff).
Tasmania: Chayce Jones (Launceston), Tarryn Thomas (North Launceston).