Talents treading a path to the AFL

South West football products, including current and former South West Academy of Sport athletes, are among the gun draft prospects treading a path to the AFL.

SWAS-linked Kade Dittmar, James Tunstill, Jye Amiss and Brady Hough along with Oscar Armstrong have taken the next steps towards realising their footy goals, lining up together as part of the WA under-19s.

In their sights is the all-important NAB AFL Under-19 Championships, which forms part of the talent pathway for AFL hopefuls.

While the timing of the carnival is up-in-the-air due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the talents have been dedicated to their training, travelling to Perth two to three times a week to fine-tune their on-field skills.

SWAS football head coach and West Australian Football Commission South West talent and coaching manager Jamie Douse, who is a runner for the WA under-19s, congratulated the players on their selection.

“To be recognised as one of the best 30 players in the state, to then represent your state is an honour few footballers achieve,” Douse said.

“While obviously talented, all footballers at State level have worked hard to earn their opportunity – even more so the country footballer who has the burden of travel.

“Four past and present SWAS athletes in a State squad of 30 reflects the talent produced in the South West.”

Douse said the players have benefited from the support on offer in the South West and the wider football network.

“The SWAS has supported athletes with access to individualised prescription of strength and conditioning programs, local gym facilities and local physiotherapists – all essential in preparation for national level competition,” Douse said.

“The SWAS, in collaboration with the WAFC and East Perth, Peel Thunder and Swan Districts football clubs, also provide local training programs for the athletes which helps minimise some of the travel to Perth.”