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Category: Academy News


The sacrifice pays off for Jack Bowes

Queensland teenage prodigy Jack Bowes has made a lot more sacrifice than most other draftees whose dreams turned into reality at Friday night’s National Draft at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion.

After playing a year of senior football in Cairns, Bowes relocated to the Gold Coast from Cairns at the start of 2015 as a 16-year-old, leaving friends and family behind in Tropical North Queensland in order to develop himself as a footballer and as a person.

“(At the) under 16s national carnival Dom (Ambrogio) and Scott (Clayton) and that, the List Managers, sat down with my family and they offered me the chance to relocate down to the Gold Coast,” Bowes told SUNS TV on Friday.

“It wasn’t an easy decision at first but I’m so glad I made it and come through the other side well.

“It was challenging along the way but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

READ: Will Brodie ready to match it with the big boys

Signed by the SUNS Academy as a 13-year-old, Bowes was able to increase his time learning from Academy Manager Jason Torney and Academy Head Coach Andrew Raines as a result of the shift.

“It’s been a massive influence on my career so far,” Bowes said.

“Jason Torney and ‘Rainesy’ have been awesome for me on and off the field. They coach through the way they teach and I can’t thank them enough for their time and all their support that they’ve given to me.”

READ: Midfield goals for 193cm Jack Scrimshaw

Along with learning from the Academy staff, the silky midfielder has also been able to build relationships with the SUNS playing group, training with them at Metricon Stadium and representing the club at NEAFL level.

Represented by Connors Sports Management, Bowes has spent time with fellow Connors clients Tom Lynch and Mitch Hallahan and pick their brains about life at the top level.

“Through my management as well I’ve had the chance to meet Tommy Lynch and Mitchy Hallahan so they’ve been awesome,” Bowes said.

“They were probably the first blokes I met at the club and then you’ve got the likes of Tommy Nicholls and all the first year players in Brayden Fiorini and Darce (Macpherson), ‘Joycey’ leading the way through the Academy there so they’ve all been awesome.

“I’ve got to build some relationships with them so far and keen to continue on that.”

Pick 10
Jack Bowes
Height: 187cm
Weight: 78kg
Junior Club: Cairns


SUNS add Academy player Max Spencer to rookie list

Defender Max Spencer is the third Gold Coast academy player to become a SUN this week, joining fellow graduates Jack Bowes and Brad Scheer.

The Palm Beach-Currumbin product, who joins the SUNS as a category B rookie, is another example of how the club’s elite junior development program is proving to be a vehicle for Queensland talent to make their way into the AFL system.

Spencer is the sixth success story to graduate from the club’s Queensland recruitment program and onto the Gold Coast SUNS playing list, joining former academy players Andrew Boston, Jarred Ellis, Jesse Joyce, Bowes and Scheer.

Spencer played 11 NEAFL games with the club in 2016 alongside SUNS-listed players, averaging 14 disposals and kicking five goals.

“It has a been a dream for a long time to play AFL football, so to play for the Gold Coast SUNS is a dream come true,” he said.

GC SUNS Talent Academy Manager – Jason Torney, delivered the good news to his now Academy graduate.

“I got a phone call this morning from Jason Torney, who rang me and gave me the good news and obviously wasn’t expecting it that early, was expecting some-time this afternoon but I couldn’t be happier.”

Spencer credited the GC SUNS Talent Academy for helping him reach closer towards his AFL dream.

“It was crucial, thankful for Jason and Aaron Rogers, and Andrew Raines, to give me the opportunity to improve and succeed through the academy, and obviously the opportunities that came through the academy have led me to where I am today so I am incredibly grateful.”

The Gold Coast SUNS have now finalised its playing list for the 2017 season.


GC SUNS finalise 2017 senior list

The Gold Coast Suns are celebrating a successful NAB AFL draft, welcoming five new players including four top Ten selections.

GC SUNS List & Strategy Manager, Scott Clayton was thrilled with the club’s 2017 draft performance.

“We are delighted to be welcoming five elite young players, including two of our own Academy-listed players in Bowes and Scheer to the Gold Coast Suns” Clayton said.

“We complete the player acquisition phase delivering four mature players and five draftees all who can make an immediate impact in 2017.”

The Suns secured exciting small forward/midfielder Ben Ainsworth with its first selection (4), utility Jack Scrimshaw at No. 7, inside midfielder Will Brodie (9) and academy product Jack Bowes (11).

In the lead-up to the draft, Ainsworth was widely tipped to be snapped up in the top three but when he slipped to the fourth pick, recruiting guru Scott Clayton was more than happy to pounce and bring the Gippsland Power captain to the SUNS.

Ainsworth is a brilliant overhead mark for his size and will bring a real X-Factor to Metricon Stadium, providing a threat both in the air and at ground level and the ability to be a match-winning player. In his final four games for the Power, Ainsworth averaged 29 disposals and kicked 12 goals.

A talented left footer, Scrimshaw starred as a rebounding defender for both Vic Metro and TAC Cup side Sandringham in 2016, averaging 23.7 disposals per game for the Dragons. Sandringham looked to place the ball in Scrimshaw’s hands at every opportunity with his agility, decision-making and clean hands making him a perfect quarterback for his side.

At a height of 193cm, Scrimshaw has the potential to develop into a modern-day midfielder in the Ilk of a Marcus Bontempelli.

Meanwhile, Brodie is a clearance machine with an insatiable thirst for getting his hands dirty and winning the contested footy.

A member of the NAB AFL Academy, Brodie demonstrated his ability to play opposed to bigger bodies against VFL sides Werribee and Geelong in April. He was awarded the MCC President’s Medal as the Academy’s best player against Werribee with 20 disposals and seven inside 50s and followed up with 22 touches the following week off half-back.

Bowes is officially a SUNS player after being selected with pick No. 10 in Friday’s 2016 National Draft.

The Sydney Swans placed a bid for Bowes with their first selection on the night, which SUNS List Manager Scott Clayton had no hesitation in matching.

Nicknamed the ‘Rolls-Royce’ of this year’s draft crop, the silky midfielder is known for his agility, composure and decision-making ability.

Excitingly, Palm Beach-Currumbin product Brad Scheer became the second local Academy player drafted by the Gold Coast in the 2016 NAB AFL National Draft after Geelong’s bid at pick No.67 was matched by the SUNS recruiting team.

Scheer is a solidly built inside midfielder with a thirst for winning the contested footy but can also shift forward and impact the scoreboard.