Victoria has finalised its Kickstart and All Nations representative squads ahead of the 2018 AFL National Diversity Championships this month.
Following a successful state leadership camp in Halls Gap, Victoria’s best Under 15 Indigenous and Multicultural players will pull on the Big-V jumper and travel to Blacktown, Sydney for the National Diversity Championships on April 14 – 19.
Held annually, the National Diversity Championships provide a unique opportunity for over 200 participants from culturally diverse backgrounds to represent their state and compete for the coveted Kickstart and All Nations titles.
For the first time, Victoria’s 10 AFL club Next Generation Academies (NGA) played a pivotal role in the selection process of both representative squads, with AFL clubs identifying talented Multicultural and Indigenous youth to be a part of their Academy programs.
In addition, participants were also selected based on their performance from AFL Victoria’s Multicultural Schools Cup and local regional trials.
A host of talented young indigenous stars from across regional Victoria form the final 22-player Kickstart and 19-player All Nations squads, with AFL South East, AFL Goulburn Murray, AFL Barwon and AFL Western District among those with representatives.
Leading Victoria’s representative squads for 2018 are coaches Sanjeet Singh (All Nations) and AFL Victoria Indigenous Programs Manager Brad Copeland (Kickstart).
AFL Victoria Multicultural Engagement Coordinator David Rodan said both men were the right fit to lead the next generation of Victorian Indigenous and Multicultural talent.
“Both Sanjeet and Brad bring a wealth of experience to the group, having been involved in football for a number of years,” Rodan said.
“The program is a terrific opportunity for those who haven’t grown up around football as well as those who are outside our traditional pathways. We have a couple of players that have never played in a competitive football environment before, plus basketballers, rugby players and even soccer players who have crossed over to AFL, so it’s very exciting.
“Participation in our Kickstart and All Nation squads is an important step for the development of more Indigenous and Multicultural talent seen at the elite level and we are proud to provide our players with the tools to tackle any challenge life throws at them, both on and off the field.
“All our coaches understand the importance of embracing our cultural heritage and Sanjeet and Brad’s guidance will help players return to their respective communities as young leaders and role models for their peers.
“I know AFL Victoria Indigenous Programs Manager Brad Copeland and I are extremely pleased with the final squads, and we are looking forward to producing another competitive performance at this year’s carnival.”
Victoria will take on representative sides from South Australia, Queensland, NSW/ACT, Tasmania, Western Australia and Northern Territory for the coveted National U15 Kickstart and U15 All Nations Cups when the competition kicks off on April 14.
See below for a list of Victoria’s 2018 Kickstart and All Nations squads
2018 Victorian All Nations squad
|2||Ben Bourke||Lebanon||Yarra Junction|
|3||Kareem Sagor||Sudan||West Footscray|
|7||Youseph Dib||Lebanon||Mount Waverly|
|8||Douth Jock||South Sudan||Pakenham|
|9||Fionn Lodge||Japan||Altona Meadows|
|12||Hayce Morali Alama||Samoa||Narre Warren|
|14||Kento Dobel||Japan||Lake Gardens|
|15||Achoung Agog||South Sudan||Shepparton|
|18||Bol Wol||South Sudan|
|19||Bol Dengdit||South Sudan||Broofield|
2018 Victorian KickStart squad:
|No.||Given Name||Indigenous Cultural Heritage||Region|
|2||Malachi Atkinson||Yorta Yorta||Mooroopna|
|3||Billy Collins||Arrunda/ Wathaurong||St. Leonards|
|4||James Hood||Kurnai||East Bairnsdale|
|7||Tommy Macumber||Yorta Yorta||Gisborne|
|8||Zack Charles||Wemba Wemba||Berwick|
|11||Jacob Cunico||Bundjalung||Hazelwood South|
|12||Ralph Bamblett||Wiradjuri/ Wamba Wamba||Mernda|
|13||Zach Dwyer||Yorta Yorta||Shepparton|
|14||Kydan Atkinson||Yorta Yorta||Moorpoopna|
|15||Travis Meldrum||Yorta Yorta||Kings Park|
|19||Walker Racovalis||Yorta Yorta||Doreen|
|20||Joshua Thompson||South Morang|
|21||Steven Hately||Yorta Yorta||Dingley Village|
|22||Simon Glass||Gunai/ Kurnai||Dandenong North|