Northern Territory product Malcolm Rosas Jnr will make his AFL debut for the Gold Coast SUNS, this weekend against the Brisbane Lions.
The livewire small forward has been rewarded after strong performances throughout the pre-season and across the first three rounds of the 2021 VFL Season.
Rosas Jnr was drafted to the Gold Coast SUNS as an academy selection prior to the 2019 NAB AFL Draft and said that this was the level he’d dreamt of reaching.
“It’s pretty exciting, absolutely stoked to be representing this club,” Rosas Jnr said.
“It’s a dream, I’ve always wanted to play footy at the highest level and I can’t wait to get out there in the QClash.”
Rosas Jnr was the first player drafted to the club when the Darwin region was added to its academy program in 2019 and had a simple message for anyone back home, looking to follow in his footsteps.
“Keep chasing your dreams, keep playing footy as much as you can because you never know where you can get too.”
Rosas Jnr played for the TIO NTFL Darwin Buffaloes and progressed through the NT Thunder Academy and was selected as part of the NAB AFL All Stars ‘Future’ match in 2018 and AFL National Allies in 2019.
AFLNT Talent Manager Simon Hargrave said it is exciting to have a Darwin born and bred player on the big stage.
“It’s awesome to see such great Territory players progress through the Cazaly’s NT Thunder Academy, onto the SUNS list and debut at the highest level,”
“The Territory has a lot of talent and to see Mally’s reward for effort being recognised is wonderful and I know he will continue to be an amazing role model for aspiring NT footy players.”
The 19-year-old has kicked two goals across the first three games of the VFL season, averaging 13 disposals and five tackles with his willingness to pressure the opposition a clear standout.
“Working with the coaches I focussed on bringing my assets to the table, my speed, being electric and bringing the energy to the team.”
“I worked on my pressure a lot over the pre-season and I just want to bring that consistently each week.”
General Manager of Football Jon Haines said it was an opportunity Rosas Jnr had earnt off the back of hard work and his drive to get better.
“It’s a credit to Mally and the effort he has put into chasing improvement in his game and now he gets the reward, earning his AFL debut,” Haines said.
“Hopefully his journey can inspire the next generation of talented footballers in Darwin to chase their dreams of playing AFL Football.”
Head of AFLNT Stuart Totham said he’s thrilled to see Mally succeed and the AFLNT and Gold Coast SUNS partnership thrive.
“We know the Territory produces some amazing players like Mally and to have the ability to provide a pathway from the Cazaly’s NT Thunder Academy through the SUNS program is really exciting,”
“For Mally to become the first of many Darwinites to pull on the SUNS AFL Guernsey is just fantastic,”
“It’s awesome to see our established partnership with the SUNS grow and we hope to see Mally run out at his home stadium in a couple of weeks during the Sir Doug Nicholls Round.”
Malcom Rosas Jnr will run out onto Metricon Stadium for his debut on Saturday afternoon against the Brisbane Lions, centre bounce 4:35pm.