Future stars in spotlight

AFL clubs may have signed NRL young guns Israel Folau and Karmichael Hunt but the search continues for more players to pick up AFL in Northern NSW when the Future Stars Carnival comes to Coffs Harbour on July 16.

The event, which will be held at Coffs Coast Leisure Park, provides an opportunity for boys in years five and six who do not currently play AFL with a local club to experience the game.

This is the ideal chance for talented athletes to showcase their talents, especially with Northern NSW zoned to the Sydney Swans and their newly established academy.

The Swans’ development manager, Chris Smith, said the club will be watching at the Future Stars Carnival next month for players to join the academy.

“We’re expecting a large proportion of our academy to be made up of players from alternative sports – it’s a priority for our academy,” Smith said.

“We believe there is an enormous potential for talented young kids to adapt to AFL once placed in our academy, where there will be concentrated training schedules, elite facilities and coaches. Hopefully we can attract players with the necessary passion and dedication so they can fulfil their potential.”

Last year Northern NSW took a team to the Future Stars Carnival in Sydney, with many of these players joining local clubs in 2010 and several making representative teams in their first year.

With greater interest in talented athletes taking up the sport, Northern NSW will host their own carnival next month, with three Northern NSW squads competing from the North Coast, North West and the Mid North Coast regions.

The selected players have been identified through participation in the primary schools’ Paul Kelly Cup as well as nominations from school teachers.

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