Published on April 4, 2018 11:45 am

Action during the match between SA and Vic during the 2017 AFL Diversity Champs (Photo by Brook Mitchell/AFL Media)

Big V finalises 2018 Diversity Champs squads

Victoria has finalised its Kickstart and All Nations representative squads ahead of the 2018 AFL National Diversity Championships this month.

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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

No. Name Cultural Heritage Region
1 Kai Supartu Bali Cranbourne
2 Ben Bourke Lebanon Yarra Junction
3 Kareem Sagor Sudan West Footscray
4 Emiliano Alexio Argentina Croydon
5 Alecsander Mccomb Japan Cheltenham
6 Malik Elfakahani
7 Youseph Dib Lebanon Mount Waverly
8 Douth Jock South Sudan Pakenham
9 Fionn Lodge Japan Altona Meadows
10 Navdeep Singh India Truganina
11 Elliot Triegaardt Mauritius Rowville
12 Hayce Morali Alama Samoa Narre Warren
13 Tyreece Leiu Samoa Lysterfield
14 Kento Dobel Japan Lake Gardens
15 Achoung Agog South Sudan Shepparton
16 Moala Polata Tonga Robinvale
17 Zachary Cilecken Turkey Croydon
18 Bol Wol South Sudan
19 Bol Dengdit South Sudan Broofield

 

2018 Victorian KickStart squad:

No. Given Name Indigenous Cultural Heritage Region
1 Jake Zerbato Shepparton
2 Malachi Atkinson Yorta Yorta Mooroopna
3 Billy Collins Arrunda/ Wathaurong St. Leonards
4 James Hood Kurnai East Bairnsdale
5 Dylan Bryant Gippsland
6 Darnell Edwards Geelong
7 Tommy Macumber Yorta Yorta Gisborne
8 Zack Charles Wemba Wemba Berwick
9 Jayden Armstrong Wurundjeri Shepparton
10 Mackenzie Cowley Tongala
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
16 Hunter Vaughn Williamstown
17 Jordan Hynes Bendigo
18 Noah Handy Mildura
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
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