Graham Croker and Brett Pettersen
The Sydney University Australian National Football Club has strengthened its ranks this season with the addition of an Under 18’s Colts team in the ranks.
SUANFC president Jason McLennan said the addition of an Under 18 side to the club’s ranks was the culmination of several years’ work by the SUANFC committee and its supporters.
With the launch taking place under the new lighting system at No.1 Oval, Mr McLennan said the inaugural game – against Macquarie University – marked the beginning of a new era for the club that will undoubtedly enhance SUANFC’s long-term performance.
“The launch of our Colts team is an exciting development for our club, the local community and the AFL generally,” Mr McLennan said.
“We are hopeful of providing a permanent pathway for local and interested juniors to senior football. It is another example of how Sydney University and its sporting clubs are part of the local community.”
The Colts squad is supported by the NSW development staff of one of the AFL’s most prestigious football clubs; the Collingwood Football Club.
Collingwood can provide scholarships for up to seven Sydney and northern NSW 15-18-year-olds each year with the option of drafting them at age 18.
Derek Hine, Collingwood Football Club recruitment manager, said it was a fantastic opportunity for Collingwood to take its NSW football development program to another level.
The team is coached by former Richmond and Sydney ruckmen and State Under-16 coach, Tim Barling. Former Sydney University premiership coach and Swans fullback, Rod Carter, Collingwood’s NSW Recruitment Manager, is assisting Barling.
For the record, Sydney University Under 18s defeated Macquarie University 27.12 (174) to 6.3 (39) and followed that up on Sunday with a 115-19 win over Penrith.
Meanwhile, Sydney University’s Tom Young was the Round 2 Sydney AFL Rising Star nominee.
On debut for the club and in just his third senior game of football, Young demonstrated plenty of poise and class across half forward to be a significant contributor in the Student’s first win of the year over the improving Wollongong Lions at North Dalton Park.
Six goals and a direct hand in two others were reward for consistent efforts to present as a target and crumb for team-mates, constantly proving to be dangerous whenever the ball was in his hands.
After a tight second quarter, Young was the catalyst for a dominant third quarter where the club managed to pile on seven goals to one to establish a match-winning 50-point lead.
Young, 17, scholarship listed by Collingwood Football Club and supported through the Sydney University Sport and Fitness Talented Athletes Program.
He is also a member of this year’s Under 18 NSW-ACT RAMS. His good form at club level continues his promising start to the year with the RAMS, where he has been influential in their two TAC Cup matches thus far.
Originally a Wollondilly junior, Young transferred to Sydney University in 2009 from Campbelltown, where he spent two seasons primarily in the Under 18s.
Sydney AFL – Round 4
Premier Division: Campbelltown 13.11 (89) d Sydney University 12.166 (88).
Division 1: Manly Warringah 13.8 (86) d Sydney University 7.15 (57).
Division 2: Sydney University 21.17 (143) d Campbelltown 1.2 (8).
Division 4: Sydney University 28-10 (178) d Penrith 5.7 (33).
Under 18 Challenge Cup: Sydney University 17.13 (115) d Penrith 3.1 (19).