The AFL has announced the 28 Western Australian players selected in the 2019-2020 NAB AFL Academy squads ahead of the National Championships next year.
The expanded NAB AFL Academy Program is in its second year of existence with high performance camps conducted across five talent regions; Vic Country, Vic Metro, South Australia, Western Australia and Allies (New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, Queensland and the Northern Territory).
The Academies will convene for the first time across the coming weeks, with Western Australia holding their first camp from December 9 to 13.
WAFC State Under 18s Coach Peter Sumich will continue his role as the WA Academy squad coach, leading the young draft hopefuls for a fourth-consecutive year.
AFL National Talent Pathways Manager Marcus Ashcroft said it is an exciting time for the country’s best young talent.
“The new approach to the national NAB AFL Academy, introduced for the first time in 2018, will again ensure more of our most talented players have access to AFL facilities, while receiving the best quality coaching, high performance and well-being services in the country,” he said.
“Importantly these players will spend more time in their home states, with year-round first-class support that will enhance their opportunity to perform at an elite level.
“I congratulate all players who have been named in their NAB AFL Academy Squads today and I look forward to watching their development over the next few years.”
WA Talent Manager Adam Jones was extremely pleased with the squad collated.
“There is plenty of talent amongst this Academy and we look forward to working with all the players over the next year,” Jones said.
“Hopefully we can build on the success of last year’s campaign with our Under 18s cohort.”
The best Under-17 and Under-18 players from the state academies will also have the opportunity to attend national camps. These activities include:
• NAB AFL Under-17 Futures players to spend a week at an AFL club (December 2019)
• The best 24 Under-18 players to represent Australia against VFL opposition (April 2020)
• The best 24 Under-17 players to represent Australia against New Zealand (April 2020)
• NAB AFL Under-17 Futures Game (2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final Day)
This year marks the 23rd NAB AFL Academy intake. Since its inception in 1997, 515 NAB AFL Academy players (81 per cent of all NAB AFL Academy players) have been drafted to AFL clubs. Other highlights include:
• 49 Virgin Australia AFL All-Australians including Shannon Hurn (West Coast Eagles), Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs), Jeremy Cameron (GWS GIANTS), Michael Walters (Fremantle), Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong Cats), Tom Hawkins (Geelong Cats), Jack Darling (West Coast Eagles), and Brodie Grundy (Collingwood) from this year's team.
• Nine NAB AFL Rising Star winners in Brett Deledio (2005, Richmond), Joel Selwood (2007, Geelong Cats), Daniel Rich (2009, Brisbane Lions), Jaeger O’Meara (2013, Gold Coast SUNS), Lewis Taylor (2014, Brisbane Lions), Jesse Hogan (2015, Melbourne), Callum Mills (2016, Sydney Swans), Jaidyn Stephenson (2018, Collingwood) and Sam Walsh (2019, Carlton).
• Five Brownlow Medalists in Chris Judd (2004, West Coast Eagles and 2010, Carlton), Trent Cotchin (2012, Richmond), Patrick Dangerfield (2016, Geelong Cats), Tom Mitchell (2018, Hawthorn) and Adam Cooney (2008, Western Bulldogs).
• 19 of the last 21 players drafted at number 1 in the NAB AFL Draft.
WA Players – 2019-20 NAB AFL Academy
Kalin Lane – Claremont
Joel Western – Claremont
Jacob Van Rooyen – Claremont
Brandon Walker – East Fremantle
Owan Dann – East Fremantle
Jack Carroll – East Fremantle
Finn Gorringe – East Fremantle
Judd McVee – East Fremantle
Richard Bartlett – East Fremantle
Jack Hindle – East Perth
Kade Dittmar – East Perth
Tyler Nisbett – Peel Thunder
Isiah Winder – Peel Thunder
Luke Polson – Peel Thunder
Logan McDonald – Perth
Nathan O’Driscoll – Perth
Blake Morris – Subiaco
Matthew Johnson – Subiaco
Shannon Neale – South Fremantle
Ira Jetta – South Fremantle
Mitchell Brown – South Fremantle
Denver Grainger-Barras – Swan Districts
Ty Sears – Swan Districts
Zane Trew – Swan Districts
Max Chipper – Swan Districts
Rhett Bazzo – Swan Districts
Heath Chapman – West Perth
Kellen Johnson – West Perth