Ethan Read

height: 202cm

weight: 92kg

D.O.B: 07-07-2005

Leagues: AFL U18 Championships, Coates Talent League Boys

  • Snapshot
  • Analysis
  • Summary

SNAPSHOT: “A 202cm ruck who covers the ground supremely well, Ethan Read shapes as the unicorn of this year’s draft.”

There has been a boom in talent across the Allied states recently, and Queenslander Ethan Read is near the top of what looks like being a groundbreaking crop. The Gold Coast Academy member is one of three Suns considered top 15 talents, and as a 202cm ruck with rare running capacity, he’ll yield a pretty penny.

Read has been prominent throughout the junior pathway, representing his state at Under 17 level and turning out in last year’s Futures showcase on AFL Grand Final day. His exploits were enough to earn selection in the 2023 National Academy, which he made two appearances for this year. More exposure against senior opposition followed with a VFL debut in Round 21 against Sydney.

After four outstanding Coates Talent League games with the Suns Academy this year, Read took out the esteemed Hunter Harrison Medal and was named Gold Coast’s Most Professional player. He also put together a full National Championships as a key member of the Allies’ undefeated title-winning squad.



+ Follow-up work
+ Marking
+ Mobility
+ Production
+ Running capacity
+ Upside


- Ruck craft
- Strength

Read has set himself apart this year as the top ruck prospect, though not purely for his craft in that area. The 202cm, rangy tall presents high upside in the way he moves and the skills he offers for a player his size. He has the capacity to act as a fourth midfielder of sorts at stoppage, but also clunks marks around the ground as any tall should. The difference is, Read's running capacity is more akin to that of a midfielder.

The 18-year-old raised eyebrows at the recent National Draft combine, finishing as one of just three players to clock a 2km time of under six minutes. While his results in the other tests were less exceptional, Read arguably showcases enough agility, and aerial ability on the field to suggest that data matters little.

Conversely, his numbers in the way of gameday stats jump off the page across the board. Read averaged over 20 disposals at both Coates Talent League and representative level, clunking six marks per game in Suns colours to go with 19.5 hitouts (8.3 to advantage), and 3.8 clearances. Here, his follow-up work and marking presence around the ground are better reflected.

In the way of skills, Read is clean below his knees and relatively efficient with ball in hand. He often picks out the right options by hand and foot and possesses obvious aerial range. The fluency of his play is likely transferable to each key position post, and versatility is something which the Suns may continue to explore with him. It could see Read become a tall utility in the mould of Geelong's Mark Blicavs.

For all his upside, there remains some clear areas for improvement in Read's game. He has filled out his frame but was found out a little for a lack of strength at times this year, particularly while rucking in his lone VFL outing. Though, he beat AFL-listed opponents for mobility up forward, so will likely look to play to that style at the next level.

Developing his strength and contested game will also lend to better ruck craft, which Read himself said he was seeking to enhance in preseason. Even against the likes of Western Australia's Mitch Edwards this year, Read beat him around the ground but was trumped in the ruck. So, that begs the question of whether he's best suited there, or perhaps at either end of the ground.



Gold Coast has done the ground work to ensure it will be able to match bids on four likely academy products in this year’s intake. Read is one of three considered a top 15 candidate, and is arguably within the best 10 players nationwide. He may need time to develop, but has enormous upside in the way he covers ground and is comfortable below his knees. Players like him don’t come around often.

Follow-up work
Running capacity
Ruck craft

AFL U18 Championships


Coates Talent League Boys

2022SUNS Academy182442700532081036.
2023SUNS Academy5624802400107809100414.
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