Gold Coast Suns Academy talent Ethan Read is arguably the best ruckman preparing to enter the AFL system at November's National Draft.

Read is a certainty to end up on the Sunshine Coast due to the Suns' Academy access to the youngster, with the 18-year-old soon to be afforded the opportunity to learn the tricks of the rucking trade behind established veteran Jarrod Witts.

Developmental backup ruckman Ned Moyle is also integrated at Carrara, with Read set to enter the fold under incoming senior coach Damien Hardwick.

While a towering prospect -- standing at a skyscraping 202 centimetres -- Read has been described as something of a fourth midfielder due to his impressive ground-ball skills and standout aerobic capacity for a key-position player; recording a two-kilometre trial time under six minutes, which turned recruiter heads.

Read got a valuable sneak peek at senior opposition this year, making his VFL debut with the premiership-winning Suns in Round 21 against the Sydney Swans reserves.

The 18-year-old made four solid appearances for the Gold Coast Academy in the Coates Talent League this year, as well as pieced together a complete National Championships campaign as a key contributor to the Allies' star-studded squad that won its maiden title.

Read averaged 22 possessions, eight marks, and 13 hit-outs per game; a formline that was eye-catching enough to earn All-Australian honours for his Allies efforts.

Gold Coast Academy talent and draft prospect Ethan Read (Image by Rookie Me Central)

Positional versatility is another attractive trait Read boasts, having showcased an ability to go forward and make an impact in addition to his influence through the middle of the ground.

Read's flexibility around the ground has aided in drawing comparisons to malleable Geelong utility Mark Blicavs, who can play just about anywhere on the field.

However, if it comes down to it, the Queenslander wants to be in the centre bounce more than anywhere else.

"Right now I prefer playing ruck, but wherever anyone wants to put me, I don't mind," Read recently declared via Fox Sports.

Wherever the impending draftee is ultimately deployed by the mastermind Hardwick in the coming seasons, Read shapes as an extremely promising up-and-coming Sun, but will aim to add more muscle upon his integration at the top level.

Position: Ruck
Weight: 92kg
State: Queensland
Club: Palm Beach Currumbin


  • Aerobic capacity
  • Overhead marking
  • Versatility
  • Long-term potential development

Draft Range

  • Top 10

Potential Landing Spots

AFL Comparison

Expert comments

"Ethan Read, one of the 200cm+ prospects, he's really rising his stock recently," Rookie Me Central lead draft guru Michael Alvaro told Zero Hanger.

"They've got four 200cm players in the Academy and he just covers the ground so well. His marking ability is pretty good [but] he probably needs to work on his contested game.

"He gets jumped into a little bit in the ruck, but [there aren't] many athletic big guys who can do the things that he does. He's super clean, [he] can just impact around the ground.

"That's what you want to see, there's so much upside with him."