Young guns of football who are pursuing careers in their chosen sport are being trained up at the South West Academy of Sport, which has a growing reputation for nurturing future stars of the game.
Doors are opening for the athletes under the guidance of head coach Jamie Douse, who has helped to nurture aspiring sports men who have gone to play in the AFL.
Many of today’s scholarship holders are achieving so highly the program was recently put on hiatus to enable the players to fulfil their State Academy commitments.
A long-list of SWAS players are kicking goals, as they move through the football ranks into elite representative levels.
These include WA State 18s Academy members Clay Hall, Connor Carbone and Jackson Broadbent who are currently preparing for the 2022 NAB AFL Under 18 National Championship, with the first game taking place this Saturday July 2 against Vic Metro.
Notable is the fact that Broadbent has also achieved selection into the 2022 NAB AFL Academy – only the second SWAS player to be selected in the last 10 years.
Meanwhile, Cody Ryan, Colby McDonald, Anthony Hansen, Harry Jones, Tyler Lindberg, Darcy Petersen and Chayse Martinson are all in the State 16 Academy squad for 2022.
Douse said selection was recognition of the current standing of players within the AFL talent pathway.
“There is considerable work to be undertaken over the next few years to convert the gifts into talent,” Douse said.
Young women are also making strides on the footy field, with former scholarship holder Ella Smith recently recruited by West Coast Eagles AFLW.
“We have a number of local female footballers who are under consideration for the next intake of scholarship recipients,” Douse said.
Previous program participants include Connor Blakely, Brady Hough, Isiah Winder, James Tunstill, Jye Amiss, Scott Jones, Durak Tucker, and Damon Greaves.