Two talented young footballers from Perth’s south-east are another step closer to their dream of a career in the AFL after being selected for the state’s Under 16’s Academy.
Armadale Junior Football Club ruckman Luke Rockley and mid-fielder Jordan Douglas have been chasing a football since the moment they could walk, competing annually for more than a decade.
The pair were excelling, having been selected for the 2019 South Fremantle Football Club Development Squad and then organisation’s Futures Squad until COVID-19 restrictions saw the season cut short.
Despite the suspension of football, the committed 15-year-olds continued training six days a week – often one-on-one – and that hard work paid off.
In August, both Jordan and Luke among 50 talented young players across the state to be selected for the WA State Under 16’s Academy.
With a national carnival ruled out for this year, the boys are expected to participate in two intra-squad games in September and October.
As a result of the challenges presented by COVID-19, WA is the only state with an Under 16 competition – a competition expected to draw scouts from interstate.
While admitting that balancing the gruelling training schedule with year 10 studies was a difficult task, Jordan said he believed the hard work was worth it.
“It does take a lot of training, blood, sweat and tears, but it pays off,” he said.
“Even when the games were suspended, we were training one on one and watching highlights from home.
“I’m hoping to be drafted in 2022 – that’s the goal – and we’ll just keep working hard until we get there.”
Luke is training with South Fremantle Colts, The State Academy and Armadale JFC, while Jordan is training with The State Academy, Armadale JFC and Cecil Andrews AFL Academy.
The pair both thanked their fathers for their ongoing support.