AFL UNDER 16s champions South Australia, and Vic Metro have emerged with a carnival-high five representatives in the 2022 AFL Under 16s All-Australian team. With the conclusion of the carnival, the 23-player squad was selected, with South Australia and Vic Metro picking up five players each, while Western Australia and Vic Country managed the four, despite the latter going winless through the carnival. From the Division 2 sides, Gold Coast Suns Academy was the only team to manage two representatives, while Brisbane Lions Academy, Sydney Swans Academy and Tasmania had the one apiece.
Captaining the side is the overall carnival Most Valuable Player (MVP) or Kevin Sheehan Medallist, Oakleigh Chargers’ Finn O’Sullivan. Hailing from Koroit, O’Sullivan is boarding at Xavier College which is why he represents Vic Country, but is linked to the Chargers. He is joined onball by the runner up in the carnival MVP, his Chargers teammate and Vic Metro representative, Jagga Smith. West Australian MVP Chayse Martinson was named in the centre, with South Australian father-son prospect Lucas Camporeale (son of Scott, 233 games with Carlton) and promising Tasmanian talent Oliver Depaoli-Kubank named on the wings. Lions Academy ruck Billy Richardson earned the starting ruck role.
Looking into defence, and Vic Metro and South Australia both have two, with both state’s MVPs in the back six. Eastern Ranges utility Josh Smillie was named on one flank, right next to South Australian tall William McCabe, who is a father-son prospect for Hawthorn (son of Luke, 138 games). McCabe’s teammate and 2007-born talent Dyson Sharp was named on the other flank, making it a Central District theme. At full-back is another Chargers representative in Tadhg McCarthy, while Swan Districts’ Thomas Cathcart and Geelong Falcons’ Brady Hall made it into the team after impressive performances for Western Australia and Vic Country respectively.
In attack, another father-son prospect in Tyler Welsh (son of Scott, 129 games for Adelaide), was named at full-forward, alongside two excitement machines out of Western Australia in Malakai Champion and Anthony Hansen who are from Subiaco and Swan Districts respectively. At half-forward, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Vic Country midfielder Sam Lalor earned a spot, as did Sandringham Dragons and Vic Metro jet Levi Ashcroft, yet another father-son talent, this time for Brisbane. Caleb Nancarrow was named at centre half-forward with the 195cm ruck-forward boarding at Scott College after coming down from Cairns and will play for the Chargers in the future.
The interchange has players from five different state sides, including Vic Country’s Xavier Lindsay and Vic Metro’s Luke Trainor who are from Gippsland Power and Sandringham Dragons respectively. South Australia ruck Tom Luck was the second Woodville-West Torrens player to earn a spot in the side after Welsh, while Suns Academy MVP Leonardo Lombard and Swans Academy rugby convert Mitchell Woods rounded out the 23-player squad. South Australia’s title-winning coach Julian Farkas was named the All-Australian coach, while Jamie Hayward – who lead Tasmania to an undefeated Division 2 carnival – was named assistant coach.
2022 AFL UNDER 16 ALL-AUSTRALIAN TEAM:
B: Thomas Cathcart (Western Australia) – Tadhg McCarthy (Vic Metro) – Brady Hall (Vic Country)
HB: Josh Smillie (Vic Metro) – William McCabe (South Australia) – Dyson Sharp (South Australia)
C: Lucas Camporeale (South Australia) – Chayse Martinson (Western Australia) – Oliver Depaoli-Kubank (Tasmania)
HF: Sam Lalor (Vic Country) – Caleb Nancarrow (Suns Academy) – Levi Ashcroft (Vic Metro)
F: Malakai Champion (Western Australia) – Tyler Welsh (South Australia) – Anthony Hansen (Western Australia)
R: Billy Richardson (Lions Academy) – Finn O’Sullivan (Vic Country) (c) – Jagga Smith (Vic Metro)
INT: Xavier Lindsay (Vic Country) – Leonardo Lombard (Suns Academy) – Tom Luck (South Australia) – Luke Trainor (Vic Metro) – Mitchell Woods (Swans Academy)