Sea Eagles junior in Suns academy
YOUNG Whitsunday Sea Eagles player Eli Gunders will represent the club on the national stage when he plays for the Gold Coast Suns academy team in Albury in September.
The talented teen will compete against players from the Brisbane Lions, Greater Western Sydney Giants and Sydney Swans academies in the tournament and was the only Whitsunday Sea Eagles player selected for the under-15 tournament.
"I went to a testing day for the academy in October last year and soon after got a letter saying I had been selected in the academy. We train every Monday or Wednesday here or in Mackay and I've really enjoyed being apart of it all," he said.
Eli was one of only four country players to be selected in the squad and Suns academy and Sea Eagles development coach Jamie Fuhrmann said that his selection is a deserving reward for his hard work.
"This is a fantastic opportunity and reward for a young kid that has worked really hard to improve himself as a footballer. Eli started in the local Auskick competition and has continued to improve every year culminating in an exceptional individual performance throughout the finals last year," Fuhrmann said.
"From there he was rewarded with an invitation to join the Gold Coast Academy where he has developed at a rapid rate and everyone at the academy is hoping he performs well in Albury and most of all enjoys the experience whilst learning valuable lessons in going to the next step in AFL."
Eli is now focusing on the under-15s finals campaign and will look to stamp his mark locally before competing against Queensland and New South Wales' best in Albury from September 23-26.