QBE Sydney Swans Academy athletes Emma Juneja and Joel Cochran have been named in the 2024 AFL National Academy squads among the country's most promising young footballers. 

The announcement caps off a stellar year for 17-year-old Juneja, who just last week was awarded a Basil Sellers Scholarship. In addition to playing all Top End Swans Academy games in 2023, she was part of the Allies team and earned selection in the AFLW curtain raiser Under 17 Futures game.

Cochran enjoyed similar success in 2023 and was one of three Swans selected to take part in the AFL Futures match on the MCG in September.

Leon Cameron, Academy Technical Director and newly announced Executive General Manager of Football, praised the Swans stars for their hard work.

"Emma is a very talented athlete that has great two-way running ability.

"Whether playing on the wing or as an inside midfielder she uses her speed and decision-making ability to really impact both offensively and defensively. We are really looking forward to seeing Emma play some exciting football in the Swans Academy and representative football in 2024."

Emma Juneja celebrates with teammates.

Cameron added, "Joel has really developed his football late this year off an interrupted start due to injury. Athletically gifted and speed an endurance to burn he really has progressed in a very quick manner.

"Whether playing a key back role or second ruck he has become a very valuable contributor in Academy games as well as representing NSW. We really look forward to seeing his football grow again in 2024."

The AFL National Academy is an accelerated football and personal development program that provides the next generation of stars with experiences, learnings and further opportunities to best prepare them for the next steps in their football journey.

All players named in the squads are born in 2006 and will be eligible for selection in the 2024 AFL Draft and 2024 AFLW Draft.

The boys squad will take part in the first camp in Melbourne from Friday, December 8 to Sunday, December 10 before reconvening for a further two camps during the 2024 season.

The first of three camps for the girls squad will be held in Melbourne from Friday, January 19 to Sunday, January 21.

In addition to representing the Swans Academy, the National Academy will provide additional playing opportunities at the highest level. Both squads are set to play two games during the 2024 season where players will represent their country as part of the Australia U18 team.


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