The Wanderers' Joel Jeffrey and Southern Districts' Brodie Lake have added to their already significant years by being selected to play in the NAB AFL All Stars Under 17 Futures Game, which is a curtain-raiser to the AFL Grand Final on Saturday 28 September.
Both 17-years-old, Jeffrey and Lake have been recognised for their consistent performances during the 2019 national championships and academy series, which saw Lake named as an Under 16 All-Australian and Jeffrey promoted to the Under 18s Allies team as a bottom-ager.
The pair take after Malcolm Rosas who was a standout in last year's Futures Game, and other past NT representatives such as Nakia Cockatoo, Brandon Parfitt and Daniel Rioli, who have all been given the honour of playing on the MCG in the lead up to the AFL Grand Final.
Comprised of the most talented players in the country, who are 17 years and younger, the group of 48 young men from around the nation will be split into two teams; Team Brown, named after three-time premiership player, Jonathan Brown and Team Dal Santo, which is for three-time AFL All-Australian, Nick Dal Santo.
Jeffrey will play for Team Brown, which will be coached by AFL National Academy Manager, Luke Power. After showing great commitment to the NT Thunder Academy programs and Allies under 18s, NT Thunder Academy Coach Jason Roe has also been assigned as the defensive coach with Team Brown.
Lake will line-up for Team Dal Santo, who will be coached by Vic Country's Leigh Brown. He will also have the support of AFLNT's Manager of Talent and Pathways, Wally Gallio who will be acting as the Dal Santo team manager.
Gallio said Jeffrey and Lake were amongst a privileged few.
"The Futures Game is another step in the pathway that Joel and Brodie have enjoyed so far, and that very few aspiring footballers are invited to do.
"It is a testament to their work; Joel has found his way to this opportunity after his consistent performances in the Allies under 18 program and Brodie after being named All-Australian at the National Under 16 Championships.
"It will be an opportunity to play against the best 17-year-olds selected by the AFL and club recruiting staff and to play on the main stage on such an occasion as AFL Grand Final will create a memory that will be a highlight in their careers for years to come."
The game will be live-streamed on the AFL website, and the players will get to stay to watch the AFL Grand Final.
The NAB AFL All Stars is part of the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, which supports grassroots players and football communities and helps young Australians fulfil their dream of playing in the AFL. The NAB AFL Rising Stars Program comprises the following elements:
NAB AFL Rising Star
NAB AFL Draft
NAB AFL Draft Combine
NAB AFL Under-18 Championships
NAB AFL Academy
NAB AFL Under-16 Championships