The AFL has confirmed on the NAB AFL Academy team to take on the Collingwood VFL side on Saturday, May 21 at Frankston's Skybus Stadium, which will showcase this year's top draft talent.
Originally named in December, a further four players have been added to the initial thirty. This year marking the 25th annual intake of the NAB AFL Academy and comprises players eligible for the 2022 and 2023 drafts.
In all, there are nine 17-year-olds eligible for the 2023 NAB AFL Draft, with the remainder of the squad set to nominate for this year's edition.
Having "participated in an accelerated Australian Football and personal development program", the players will be keen to see how well prepared they are for elite competitions.
With the match set to start at 3pm on Saturday, only the top 25 top-age prospects will be able to take part. National Academy Manager and Coach Tarkyn Lockyer was keen for fans to see the elite talent within the AFL Academy.
"The players selected in the 2022 NAB AFL Academy represent the future of the AFL and have been selected as recognition for their football potential," he said.
“Selection into the squad is great recognition for all the players and continues to highlight the AFL as the first-choice sport for our most talented athletes. It is extremely pleasing to have all states and territories represented within the squad.
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“I congratulate all players who have been named in the NAB AFL Academy and I cannot wait to see them in action on Saturday.”
The match will give viewers the chance to see much-talked-about top prospect Will Ashcroft. The son of former Brisbane great Marcus, the teenager has been making waves in the academy for the past 18 months.
Similarly, former Essendon player Alwyn Davey's son Alwyn Davey Jnr has been getting rave reviews. The explosive speedster, whose twin brother Jayden is out with a knee reconstruction this year, could add something positive after a poor year for Bombers fans.
One to watch for Crows fans is Max Michalanney, who has also been named in the squad. The son of Norwood legend Jim, Michalanney is tied to the Crows and is eligible to be selected as a father-son prospect.
The squad also contains Oliver Hollands, the younger brother of highly touted Gold Coast youngster Elijah, who's edging ever closer to his AFL debut.
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Fans will also get a better look at the exciting top-end talents available in this year's draft. Besides Ashcroft, the likes of Jhye Clark, Harry Sheezel, George Wardlaw and Elijah Tsatas will strut their stuff. All four are Victorian-based prospects.
Outside of Victoria, exciting big men Jackson Broadbent, Jedd Busslinger and Harry Lemmey will be able to showcase their ability for those looking for key position players.
2022 AFL Academy - Australia U18 Team
|3||Will||ASHCROFT||06-04-2004||VIC M||Sandringham Dragons||Old Brighton Grammarians|
|4||Jhye||CLARK||23-07-2004||VIC C||Geelong Falcons||Queenscliff|
|7||George||WARDLAW||18-07-2004||VIC M||Oakleigh Chargers||St Peters|
|8||Oliver||HOLLANDS||16-01-2004||VIC C||Murray Bushrangers||Wodonga|
|9||Harry||SHEEZEL||13-10-2004||VIC M||Sandringham Dragons||Ajax|
|10||Jaspa||FLETCHER||24-02-2004||QLD||Brisbane Lions||Sherwood Districts|
|14||Alwyn||DAVEY||26-02-2004||NT||Oakleigh Chargers||Palmerston Magpies|
|17||Mitch||SZYBKOWSKI||09-01-2004||VIC C||Dandenong Stingrays||Beaconsfield|
|18||Anthony||MUNKARA||03-10-2004||NT||NT Thunder /
|19||Elijah||TSATAS||18-10-2004||VIC M||Oakleigh Chargers||Surrey Park|
|21||Lachlan||COWAN||01-12-2004||TAS||Tasmania Devils||North Launceston|
|24||Luke||TEAL||20-05-2004||VIC M||Oakleigh Chargers||Glen Iris|
|29||Matthew||JEFFERSON||08-03-2004||VIC M||Oakleigh Chargers||Ashburton|
|34||Aaron||CADMAN||03-03-2004||VIC C||GWV Rebels||Darley|
|38||Henry||HUSTWAITE||20-07-2004||VIC C||Dandenong Stingrays||Rosebud|
|40||Jackson||BROADBENT||02-12-2004||WA||Peel Thunder||Collie Eagles|