Suns announce 2023 U18 boys academy

THE 2023 Gold Coast Suns Under 18 boys academy has been finalised, with 40 players selected among a bumper squad. Spanning four age groups (2004-2007 born), the latest intake features a trio of AFL Academy members and players who will strut their stuff in vast expanses of the nation.

Set to briefly turn out in the newly renamed Coates Talent League, players from the Under 18 side will also make up part of Queensland’s annual futures team and the Allies squad. There is plenty of talent knocking about the Sunshine State, and we highlight a bunch of prospects to keep an eye on.

>> 2023 AFL Draft prospects: Allies


Ethan Read (Palm Beach Currumbin)
07/07/2005 | 200cm | Ruck

Read has some rare attributes for an athlete who measures up at over 200cm. The smooth moving Suns Academy ruck is super clean in possession and not only beats opponents for reach aerially, but also covers the ground well and is polished below his knees. He’s the type of tall who could end up being anything, with his primary station being on-ball but with potential to enhance his potential via development up forward.

Jake Rogers (Broadbeach)
02/03/2005 | 172cm | Small Forward/Midfielder

A Suns Academy member with plenty of tricks and upside, Rogers ticks plenty of boxes as a small. Whether it be up forward or on either side of midfield, the nippy prospect absolutely cleans up at ground level and gets out of tight spots with a blend of eye-catching agility and sound decision making. Having already made his Allies debut, Rogers defies his size with performance and the natural nous to hold his own.

Jed Walter (Palm Beach Currumbin)
08/06/2005 | 194cm | Key Forward

Potentially the best of the lot as far as Allies prospects go, Walter is one of the top key position talents in this year’s crop. The Suns Academy standout loves to compete and throws his well-developed frame around, offering true presence inside attacking 50. He hunts the ball and hits packs hard when leaping for marks, capping off his work with proven scoreboard impact. Walter could well be the first club-tied player to attract a bid come draft time.

Jed Walter is the Suns’ top prospect in 2023 | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


Boston Everitt (Southport Sharks)
18/12/2006 | 183cm | Forward

A player of interest for Suns and St Kilda fans, Everitt is the son of former Saint, Hawk and Swan, Peter. Though not quite as tall at this stage, he shapes as a chip off the old block with his ability to play above his height up forward. In Gold Coast’s Under 16 side last year, he even took a few centre bounce ruck contests. Everitt has been added to St Kilda’s Next Generation Academy, and will be eligible for father-son selection in 2024.

Will Graham (Palm Beach Currumbin)
02/02/2005 | 186cm | Midfielder

Alongside the Suns’ trio of National Academy members, Graham turned out in last year’s Under 17 Futures showcase on AFL Grand Final day. He’s a solid inside midfielder at 186cm, who remains strong in the contest and can help shift play to the outside by hand. While he didn’t get to represent the Suns Academy last year, he is set to be an integral part of their engine room come season 2023 before putting his hand up for Allies honours.

Leo Lombard (Burleigh Bombers)
05/10/2006 | 175cm | Midfielder/Forward

Lombard announced himself last year by taking out Gold Coast’s MVP award during the National Development Championships, while also being named in the All Australian side. The small midfielder/forward loves to take the game on at speed, weaving his way into attack on fast breaks from congestion. The lively customer is accustomed to playing forward too, where he may feature as he develops throughout his bottom-age campaign.

Caleb Nancarrow (Cairns City Lions/Oakleigh Chargers)
31/05/2006 | 195cm | Ruck/Forward

Another bottom-age gun out of the Suns Academy, Nancarrow offers raw talent. The spring heeled key position prospect utilises his rare athleticism both in the ruck and up forward, where his aerial range exceeds just about every opponent. There’s plenty of potential to harness and filling out to do, but Nancarrow is on the right track as part of both the Suns and Oakleigh Chargers talent programs. He’s also boarding at Scotch College in Victoria.

Harry Sullivan on the ball for Queensland’s U17 side | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

Looking further into the Suns’ list, there are seven over-agers (2004-born) set to return from last year’s squad. Among them are Allies representatives Marlin Corbett and Jared Eckersley, who offer handy versatility but may well make the midfield their home again in 2023.

Harry Sullivan is a top-ager who, like Nancarrow, is tied to a Coates Talent League club. After making his debut for the Sandringham Dragons last year, he’ll seek to built in 2023.

A familiar name in the 2025-eligible crop is Zeke Uwland. He’s the brother of 2021 Suns draftee Bodhi, and plies his trade as a running small defender with penetrative kicking skills.


Beau Addinsall (Burleigh Bombers)
Nelson Beikoff-Smart (Palm Beach Currumbin)
Jezz Butler (Cairns City Lions)
Marlin Corbett (Surfers Paradise)
Max Cruse (Broadbeach Cats)
Taine Dawson (Broadbeach Cats)
Will Derrington (Cairns Saints)
Jared Eckersley (Broadbeach Cats)
Charlie Elliot (Palm Beach Currumbin)
Matthew Evans (Hermit Park)
Boston Everitt (Southport Sharks)
Will Graham (Palm Beach Currumbin)
Finlay Gray (Broadbeach Cats)
Kyle Greenwood (Cairns Saints)
Lachlan Gulbin (Burleigh Bombers)
Cody Harrington (Broadbeach Cats)
Finn Hay (Palm Beach Currumbin)
Max Hudson (Broadbeach Cats)
Cooper Hynes (Broadbeach Cats)
Nathan Kady (Labrador Tigers)
Joe Kennedy (Broadbeach Cats)
Campbell Lake (Labrador Tigers)
Ben Leeds (Surfers Paradise)
Leo Lombard (Burleigh Bombers)
Max Masters (Broadbeach Cats)
Zai Millane (Burleigh Bombers)
Jai Murray (Burleigh Bombers)
Caleb Nancarrow (Cairns City Lions/Oakleigh Chargers)
Ben O’Brien (Yeppoon Swans)
Alan O’Neil (Broadbeach Cats)
Ethan Read (Palm Beach Currumbin)
Jake Rogers (Broadbeach Cats)
Jack Stringer (Palm Beach Currumbin)
Harry Sullivan (Sandringham Dragons)
Zeke Uwland (Burleigh Bombers)
Jed Walter (Palm Beach Currumbin)
Nick Williams (Surfers Paradise)
Oscar Wood (Surfers Paradise)
Joshua Young (Labrador Tigers)
Joshua Zanker-Close (Broadbeach Cats)

>> 2023 Suns Academy (U18 Girls)

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