Talented young Territorians Joel Jeffrey, Brodie Lake and Tyrell Lui have been named in the 2020 NAB AFL Academy Squads announced by the AFL.
The recently expanded NAB AFL Academy program will see 150 players across all states and territories take part in high performance camps focusing on players on and off-field education.
Jeffrey, Lake and Lui were selected after strong performances in the NT Thunder Under 18 and 16 programs and, in addition to attending the camps, will spend a fortnight at an AFL club.
After the camps, they will go on to play in the NAB League with the NT Thunder Academy and from there they could be selected in a squad of 28 for camp two and then the final selection for the Division 1 National Championships to play against SA, WA, Vic Metro and Vic Country.
During the 12 months in the Academy the players will remain based in the NT and work with NT Thunder Academy staff, competing programs and attending recovery sessions to ensure their workload and planning for the coming season is managed.
NT Thunder Academy coach Jason Roe will again be an assistant coach of the Allies along with former AFL players Jason Saddington, Josh Hunt, Andrew Raines and Jared Crouch.
Each of the talent managers from the Allies states – ACT, QLD, NSW, NT and Tasmania are part of the selection panel for the final squad that will play at the National Championships.
Wally Gallio, AFLNT’s Manager of Talent and Pathways said the NT trio’s selection was reward for effort and the opportunity would fast track their development.
“The new approach to the national NAB AFL Academy, introduced last year, will again ensure more of the 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 the players will spend more time in the NT, with year-round first-class support that will enhance their opportunity to perform at an elite level. We want them to continue to play club football as it is unique and they can go into the season and the Academy camps match fit,” said Gallio.
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.
The NAB AFL Academy 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.