Suns and Lions Academies set for another Q-Clash

QUEENSLAND’S two Academies will clash for the second time in a fortnight, with the SUNS Academy hosting the Lions Academy at Metricon Stadium. The game will be played on the second oval on Sunday, from 1:00pm, with the home team looking to go back-to-back against Brisbane, and make it three wins on the trot having also collected two victories last year. The game will be live streamed via YouTube from this link.


The Suns Academy has plenty of talent across the board, with two AFLW Academy members and a number of other exciting players. The strength for the Suns lies in their midfield depth and medium forwards, with the rotation between the midfield and forward line quite valuable against the Lions. The ruck duo the Suns rotate also have the capacity to dominate the stoppages and give midfielders first hands to it.

Gold Coast Suns’ Jasmyn Smith (left) and Litonya Cockatoo-Motlap are some of the players to watch. Picture credit: Highflyer Images


Alana Gee (Balanced Midfielder)

The star midfielder is capable of playing anywhere on the field, and is the standout prospect from Queensland. Pushing the Top 10 in terms of national talents, Gee is the one Queenslanders will be most excited to see develop. Her balance of athleticism and potency by hand or foot really helps her standout, and she impacts the game with both her run and carry, and her pinpoint inside 50 passes. Gee played on a wing in the first game, and rotated inside, but could very easily play a full game in the middle, or even floating to half-forward or half-back.

Fleur Davies (Ruck)

Ranked the second best top-age ruck in the country behind South Fremantle’s Lauren Wakfer, Davies is the other Suns’ Academy AFLW Academy talent. Her development over the past couple of seasons has been noticeable, and she is a very different player to her sister, and Suns’ listed talent Giselle. Whilst her sister was best known for her defensive work, Davies is a predominant ruck with strong athleticism and a high work rate to impact across four quarters, making her a unique tall and valuable prospect. She also has the capacity to play as a key forward.

Imogen Evans (Inside Midfielder)

The high-pressure midfielder as the other bottom-age Suns player to represent Queensland at the AFLW Under 19 Championships last year. She thrives at the coalface and gets her hands dirty with her contested ball-winning ability and quick hands. She is clean on the inside but can find the ball around the ground as well. When having more time and space she can deliver neat passes going forward, but one can expect Evans will be wherever the ball is more often than not.

Jasmyn Smith (Balanced Midfielder)

Only a lightly-built midfielder, Smith can pack a punch with her defensive work, whilst her athletic attributes also come to the fore. She is quick to dispose of it by hand and is a lovely kick of the ball. Last year she tended to handball more than she kicked despite her technical skill, but in the first game, Smith had 14 kicks from her 16 disposals, which is exactly what she should be doing. An exciting talent with high upside for the future.

Litonya Cockatoo-Motlap (Medium Forward)

Possessing blistering pace, Cockatoo-Motlap had her most consistent Academy game to-date last time out, and really caught the eye with a couple of goals in a minute to get the Suns over the line. When she gets goalside she is hard to run down, and she is not afraid to take a bounce or two and slot one from the pocket. If she can maintain that consistency throughout 2022, watch out.


Gold Coast has a really even team across the board, with Havana Harris starring in tandem with Davies between ruck and forward, and will be looking to have that advantage again. The plethora of leading forwards who can also crack into the midfield if required includes the likes of Josie McCabe, Ella Calleja and Isabella Iverach are all names to keep in mind. Though she had a quiet first game by her stands, Under 16s star Tara Harrington is ridiculously talented and among the best players for the 2024 AFLW Draft.


The Lions Academy have outstanding inside ball winners that can match it with the Suns in that regard, and runners who are will to tuck the ball under the arm from defence. Considering the pressure the Suns have put the Lions under in their defensive half throughout their recent matches, the Lions defence holds up fairly strong. Brisbane also has some sneaky forwards who can hit the scoreboard.

Brisbane Lions’ ball-winner Ava Seton had a massive first game against the Suns. Picture credit: Highflyer Images


Ella Smith (Inside Midfielder)

One of the most pure inside midfielders in the AFLW Draft, Smith tried her hand at a wing in the first game, and still found plenty of the ball. Though it was a different role to her usually high-clearance and contested possession game, she will be looking to add more strings to her bow in 2022. Brisbane’s sole top-age AFLW Academy member who does not take a backwards step. An accumulation inside winner who can find the ball at ease when at the coalface, usually dishing off the pill to her outside runners.

Charlotte Mullins (Midfielder/Utility)

The incredibly versatile Mullins is likely to stamp her authority in the midfield, and spread around the ground to find plenty of the ball. She has proven she can play forward or back, and has the experienced from the Under 19s Championships, though she is an inside midfielder at heart. She cracks in and is a big tackler, though as her five frees against showed in the first game, she can be overzealous at times. Her talent is undeniable though, and she stands out as a classy player when on the outside with some nice moves that can evade opponents.

Ava Seton (Inside Midfielder)

Similar to Smith, Seton is the type of player spectators might feel sore just watching. She cracks in time and time again, putting her body on the line, and does not give her opponents an inch. She plays a full four-quarters, and is often extracting the ball in close and bombing it out to open space. She racked up team-highs of disposals (26), tackles (15), clearances (six) and inside 50s (four) in the opening game against the Suns, and her inside work allowed Smith to work on her outside game.

Kadie Fletcher (Medium Forward)

A classy forward who does not waste too many disposals, even if she is not a high accumulator. Often managing single-digit touches, Fletcher is a player who can still kick a couple of goals with those touches, possessing some eye-catching athleticism. She has a clever sidestep and uses the ball well, with a penetrating kick when needed. She knows where the goals are, and though she only kicked a couple of behinds in game one, is a potentially damaging forward.


Though Brisbane does not quite have the depth that the Suns have – as indicated from the Lions’ three losses from the past three clashes – there are still some talented players to remember. Courtney Browne is a defender who can provide some great run out of defence for the Lions, whilst Kiara Hillier is a rock solid full-back. Charlotte Howard is a player who caught the eye in game one after missing last year’s series and looked a lively type with some impressive talent.

Alana Gee is a name to remember for Queensland with her pinpoint kicking and athleticism highlights of her game. Picture credit: Highflyer Images

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