Ten players from Richmond’s Next Generation Academy - the highest representation of any Victorian AFL Club Academy - have been selected to represent Victoria in the Kickstart and All Nations squads for the National Diversity Championships in Blacktown, Sydney later this month.
Over 200 participants from culturally diverse backgrounds will represent their state for the annual tournament from April 14 – 19, competing for the coveted Kickstart and All Nations titles.
Richmond, along with the other Victorian AFL Clubs played a pivotal role in the selection process of both representative squads, identifying and developing talented Multicultural and Indigenous youth through their Next Generation Academy programs.
In addition, participants were also selected based on their performance from AFL Victoria’s Multicultural Schools Cup and local regional trials.
Of the 41 players from Victoria selected in the U/15 tournament, 10 are from Richmond’s Next Generation Academy, eight players in the Kickstart team and two selected in the All Nations squad.
Tom Hunter, Richmond’s Academy Coach said the Club was proud of its Academy participants being selected to represent their state.
“The National Diversity Championships is a fantastic opportunity for the players to test themselves against the best Indigenous and multicultural talent from all over Australia,” Hunter said.
“We’ve been engaging with some of our Academy participants for up to 18 months, they’re working really hard to continue to improve and get the best out of themselves, and we wish them all the best in the tournament.”
Richmond’s Next Generation Academy Zones include AFL Central, Central Murray, Goulburn Murray, North East Border, Sunraysia and Wimmera Mallee – the Murray Bushrangers and Bendigo Pioneers catchments.
The Club has been working with AFL Victoria and the regional AFL centres to identify and develop the next generation of Indigenous and Multicultural talent.
Richmond’s Academy is supported by Plenary Group, enabling the Club to provide the necessary resources to develop its Academy talent, as well as connect and engage with the diverse communities in Richmond’s Academy Zone.
Last year, the Club recruited its first Academy participant onto Richmond’s senior list, drafting Mildura product, Derek Eggmolesse-Smith as a Category B Rookie.
2018 Victorian All Nations squad
Hayce Morali Alama
Achoung Agog (RICH)
Moala Polata (RICH)
2018 Victorian KickStart squad
Indigenous Cultural Heritage
Jake Zerbato (RICH)
Malachi Atkinson (RICH)
Jayden Armstrong (RICH)
Mackenzie Cowley (RICH)
Wiradjuri/ Wamba Wamba
Zach Dwyer (RICH)
Kydan Atkinson (RICH)
Jordan Hynes (RICH)
Noah Handy (RICH)