AFL Academy Player Focus: Jake Rogers

GOLD Coast’s academy products impressed on the national stage on Saturday, none more so than Jake Rogers. The diminutive midfielder had a game-high 26 disposals to be named his side’s best player over two its showcase games, after managing 13 touches and a goal against Port Adelaide’s reserves.

His performance helped the AFL Academy beat Carlton VFL by four points at Marvel Stadium, with the crafty teen not only holding his own against bigger bodies, but also in opposition to AFL-listed players. We put his starring performance under the Player Focus microscope.

>> AFL Academy Scouting Notes: Game 1 | Game 2

Allies-logoAllies, SUNS Academy-logoSUNS AcademyMidfielder

Jake Rogers

Height: 170cm

Weight: 68kg

DOB: 02-03-2005

Clean hands
Decision making


Rogers was born in Victoria and is a Collingwood supporter, but moved to Queensland at a young age and joined the Suns Academy at 12 years old. He climbed the ranks and has been highly touted for a couple of years now, having represented the Suns and Allies Under 18 sides as a bottom-ager.

His output was consistent across three NAB League (now Talent League) and two National Championships appearances in 2022, averaging around 18 disposals. Rogers thus earned selection in the Under 17 Futures showcase on AFL Grand Final day and was inducted into the National Academy.

This year, he turned out thrice for the Suns Academy for averages of 26 disposals, seven tackles and four inside 50s, signalling a marked shift in production levels as one of his side’s premier players. He was adjudged the National Academy’s best player over two games, too.

Next on the agenda for Rogers is to represent the Allies once again as representative season enters full swing. Having played mostly through the midfield with stints up forward, he is defying his size and could potentially earn a senior berth with Gold Coast’s VFL side later in the season.

>> Preseason Q&A: Jake Rogers

Rogers gets a kick away on Saturday | Image Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos


AFL Academy 13.8 (86) def. Carlton VFL 13.3 (82)
#9 Jake Rogers (Suns Academy/Queensland)

Stats: 26 disposals, 13 contested possessions, 6 clearances, 4 marks
CBAs: 15/28 – 4/6 | 3/7 | 4/8 | 4/7


Rogers racked up almost half of his total touches in the opening term, attending four of six centre bounces and getting busy around the ground. He led all comers with 12 disposals (five kicks, seven handballs) to quarter time, looking a clear best afield candidate from the off.

Working hard from contest to contest, Rogers got his handball game going early and did everything at speed. His efficiency was impeccable, darting passes out of traffic and quickly moving the play on with each possession.

He held up well under physical pressure too and was incredibly polished in his ball handling, keeping his composure in tackles to find free teammates time and time again. Overall, an ominous start which signalled how Rogers intended to go on.


After his hot start, Rogers rotated into the second term off the bench and missed a few early centre bounces. His first touch came after five minutes, with the teenager recovering a loose ball at half-back and handballing further back to Harley Reid when no other options presented.

His cleanliness at ground level began to be tested with added physical pressure, though Rogers continued to show composure in the clinches and as always, did not waste a possession. In a positive sign for the Allies, he linked with Tasmanian Ryley Sanders particularly well at stoppage.

Rogers still led all comers come the major break despite some heavy rotation in term two, adding four disposals to bring his tally to 16 (six kicks, 10 handballs). His possessions were often short, but sweet all the same.

Jake Rogers at AFL Academy training | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


Rogers started term three on the pine but took little time to get stuck back into the action upon being introduced. He slotted straight back into midfield and showcased his ability to get involved in short spurts – be it with sharp clearance possessions or hard chases.

One of his classiest disposals was a handball over his shoulder while standing in a tackle inside defensive 50. Working like a quick offload in rugby, the pass kept play going and allowed the Academy to stream forward coast-to-coast for a goal.

That ability to fire off effective handballs while being tackled was displayed a couple more times during term three, but Rogers also evaded opponents nicely – slipping a would-be tackler’s arm over his shoulder to escape and get a handball away.

Rogers’ late disposals ensured he would remain the top ball winner heading into the final break, with all his standout spatial awareness, smarts and class on full show to the end.


Term four was where Rogers translated his ball winning ability around the ground to centre bounce impact. He sharked the first two centre clearances, with the first seeing him hit up Jack Callinan on the lead inside 50.

His kicking on the move was super on both occasions, and Rogers’ timing to push off and accelerate once he nabbed the ball looked pretty special. Overall, he drove his legs and took metres more often in term four, capping off a terrific day to finish with 26 disposals and six clearances.

Rogers in action for the Suns Academy | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


You have to have some absolutely elite traits to make it at AFL level at 171cm – no less in midfield – and Rogers has plenty of them. He ticks the boxes in terms of athletic ability, boasting sharp speed and agility to go with an improved endurance base.

As any good small should be, he is super clean at ground level and makes elite decisions with ball in hand, while also proving to be up to the rigours of competing against bigger bodies. In a positive from Saturday’s game, he still made quick and efficient decisions under pressure.

Gold Coast may have a fight on their hands in maintaining all three of its top-end academy products this year, with talls Jed Walter and Ethan Read regarded as first round prospects. Rogers may too be in that frame, but is arguably not far off it if his latest game is any indicator.

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