Nine of Victoria’s top Under-15 Indigenous and multicultural players have been selected to the national Flying Boomerangs and World Team squads to compete at the 2017 NAB AFL Under-16 Championships on the Gold Coast in July.
Selected by AFL Club recruiters following the 2017 AFL National Male Diversity Championships held in Blacktown last week, the respective squads of 25 young men have been chosen based on school attendance, leadership skills and football ability.
Of the nine Victorian representatives, five players from regional Victoria will form part of the Indigenous Flying Boomerangs squad, while four fellow statesmen join the World Team squad.
AFL South East has the most players represented across the two squads with two players, ahead of AFL Barwon, AFL Gippsland, AFL Western District, AFL Goulburn Murray, AFL Goldfields, northern and south-west regions each with one representative.
AFL Victoria Diversity Talent Manager Chris Johnson said the future for Indigenous and multicultural players in Victoria is bright, following a solid performance at the AFL National Diversity Championships.
“As a state, we produced a really positive performance at the recent Diversity Championships, with both our Kickstart and All Nations squads reaching the preliminary final,” Johnson said.
“While we didn’t claim the silverware, we were extremely proud of all our Victoria Kickstart and All Nation players who displayed all the skills and qualities which will see them have a bright future in the game going forward.
“To have nine players selected in the national squads is a great result for Victoria and is a credit to the players’ enthusiasm and hard work displayed at the Championships.
“The Rio Tinto AFL Flying Boomerangs and World Team programs are a great opportunity for our rising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural talent in Victoria to develop on and off the field, so we’re looking forward to seeing them progress up the football ranks in the near future.”
The AFL Flying Boomerangs program is a personal development and leadership program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men aged 14-16 years old, while the World Team is made up of the best upcoming AFL multicultural players from across the nation.
See below for Victoria’s representatives:
2017 Rio Tinto Flying Boomerangs squad:
|Sage Tapner||AFL Gippsland|
|Jamarra Ugle-Hagan||AFL Western District|
|Wil Dwyer||AFL Goulburn Murray|
|Deekyn Smith||AFL South East|
|Kobi George||AFL South East|
2017 World Team squad:
|Siddarth Rajesh||AFL Goldfields|
|Compton Fiafua||South West|
|Keam Chan||AFL Barwon|