Former SMJFL trio ones to watch in 2018

Former South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) trio in Bailey Smith, Max and Ben King are set for a monumental year in 2018 with the NAB AFL Academy products set to be groomed for next year’s draft in a year of elite development.

Smith (East Malvern) and the King twins (East Sandringham) all hailed from the SMJFL before progressing through the ranks to the Sandringham Dragons and now the Academy, set to put them in pole position to find themselves on AFL lists at the end of 2018.

Under the guidance of Academy head coach Luke Power and assistant coaches, Brad Johnson, Peter Sumich and Brent Harvey, the squad will come together for accelerated AFL football and personal development camps to be help in Australia and overseas over the next 12 months.

The first camp took place in Darwin in late November based at the Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre, with the squad set to travel to the world-renowned IMG Academy in Florida USA in January 2018 for a High Performance Training camp where players will prepare for their AFL Draft year.

Part of the program also includes players heading to an AFL club for an insight into the training and day-to-day life of top-level players, with Smith (Carlton), Max King (Melbourne) and Ben King (Richmond) completing their placements in recent weeks.

Over two decades, the NAB AFL Academy has produced:

–       464 Drafted players – 81 percent of all NAB AFL Academy players

–       43 AFL All-Australians (including Dylan Shiel, Josh Kelly, Paddy Ryder, Tom Mitchell, Joe Daniher and Matt Crouch named in 2017)

–       Nine current captains (Travis Boak, Trent Cotchin, Jack Viney, Jarryd Roughhead, Shannon Hurn, Marc Murphy, Joel Selwood, Steven May and Jack Ziebell)

–       Four Brownlow Medallists (Chris Judd, Trent Cotchin, Patrick Dangerfield and Adam Cooney)

–       Four Norm Smith Medalists (Luke Hodge, Chris Judd, Andrew Embley and Cyril Rioli)

–       Seven NAB AFL Rising Star winners (Brett Deledio, Joel Selwood, Daniel Rich, Jaeger O’Meara, Lewis Taylor, Jesse Hogan and Callum Mills)

–       17 of the last 19 years since its inception produced the No. 1 Draft selection

AFL International and National Talent Manager Kevin Sheehan said: “The NAB AFL Academy continues into its third decade to provide accelerated development for our next generation of AFL Stars. As well as a major focus on the playing side of their development the Academy will again look to nurture our future leaders of the game with the environment created under Luke Power.”

Follow their journey in 2018 via the SMJFL website and social media channels!