Six players from the QBE Sydney Swans Academy have been selected to play for the Allies in next month's National AFL Under 19 Championships.
The boys selected are: Angus Anderson from Sawtell on the NSW north coast, and five Sydney-based players - Toby Alker (UNSW Bulldogs), Kye Pfrengle (St George), Liam Puncher (North Shore Bombers), Felix Rogers (North Shore Bombers) and Pierce Roseby (North Shore Bombers).
Academy Head Coach Jared Crouch said it was well-deserved acknowledgement for those players. "They've been rewarded for consistent effort during our recent matches. They've all been in our best players nearly every week and been playing very good footy,'' Crouch said.
Crouch said several players were unlucky to miss out on the 39-player Allies squad, naming Jordan Endemann, Jacob Bauer, Marco Rossmann and Kale Gabila. "We feel for them, but the best response is to keep their heads up as you never know what can happen,'' he said.
The Allies squad is made up of players from NSW-ACT, Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Sixteen players were selected from NSW-ACT - six from the Swans Academy, six from the Giants Academy and four who live in southern NSW but play for the Murray Bushrangers in northern Victoria.
The Allies will go into a three-day camp next week and then play against Vic Metro, Vic Country, South Australia and Western Australia during July as the best youngsters in the country try to catch the eye of AFL recruiters.
The Academy U19's season is not over yet though, and they'll play the Northern Territory Under 19 team in Sydney this Sunday, a match arranged to help make up for the suspension of the NAB League competition due to Melbourne's COVID lockdown.
"We have huge respect for the Northern Territory team, and it will be another challenging hit-out for us,'' Crouch said. "The Northern Territory always boasts a number of super-talented players and transition the ball really quickly so it's great to play them and give our boys another opportunity.''
The Northern Territory has four players selected in the Allies squad.
The Swans Academy team has had a challenging couple of weeks, losing by four points to Tasmania last Saturday, and by six points to the Giants the previous week.
"We had patches where we played very good footy against Tasmania and moved the ball from end to end really efficiently,'' Crouch said.
"The Tassie boys were a bit more physical and made smarter decisions when it mattered. But it's not about wins and losses for us, it's about development and our best players have shown what they're capable of which is pleasing.''
QBE Sydney Swans Academy v Northern Territory
Blacktown International Sports Park
Sunday June 20, 2.45pm