Fremantle would like to congratulate the five Next Generation Academy players named in the squad of 40 that will be made available to WA in their upcoming NAB AFL U18 Championships games.

WA’s starting 22 for each game will be selected from the squad of 40, which includes NGA products Conrad Williams (Claremont), Mitch Edwards (Peel), Josh Draper (Peel), Chase Bourne (South Fremantle) and Jasper Scaife (West Perth).

NGA Coach Roger Hayden said all five players have been associated with the NGA for more than three years and deserved the opportunity to represent their state.

“Most of these players have been associated with the NGA since the U14s program, which we now call our Peter Bell Squad, all the way through to today as 17 or 18 year olds,” Hayden said. 

“Conrad came in later as he’s from Kununurra and came down to board with Hale when he was 15. The rest of the players have all been a part of our programs for four years and have been involved all the way through. 

“It’s fantastic to see the program continuing to produce talented young players who are looking to get their opportunity at AFL level. 

“Our NGA has a really strong history of representation at the highest level and we hope this pattern continues and sees these players continue to perform and create future opportunities beyond our NGA.”

Josh Draper contests a mark against Blake Acres at a Fremantle training session in January.

Four of the five players will be eligible for the 2022 AFL Draft at this year’s Championships, while Edwards is playing as a bottom ager whose draft year is in 2023.

“Mitch only just turned 17, so he is a bottom age player from Peel Thunder who is learning his craft as a ruck forward,” Hayden said.

“Conrad is going really well as a wing / half back both for Claremont and with Hale, hopefully he continues to improve and show his talents in those areas.

“Josh is another Peel product, a key forward. Unfortunately, he was injured a few weeks ago but fingers crossed he’ll come available later in the Championships. He’s in a good head space and has been helping out the NGA with our U15s and 16s Kick Start program at the club.

“Jasper is a key position forward at West Perth who pinch hits in the ruck and is learning all the different areas of the game.

“Chase is a pressure forward who has performed consistently in South Fremantle’s Colts program. He had a good game a fortnight ago moving into the midfield and is looking to grow his skillset beyond being a forward.”

In other State representation announcements Fremantle Dockers NGA Roger Hayden Squad members Basil Hart, Rama Evans, Noah Midani, Toby Whan and Jonah Klemke have been named in the School Sport WA State 15’s Squad, highlighting the depth of NGA talent the club has progressing through the NGA. 

WA’s U18 CHAMPIONSHIPS FIXTURE
Vic Metro v WA
Saturday 2 July
12.20pm (EST)
IKON Park
Broadcast on Fox Footy and AFL Website

Allies v WA
Saturday 9 July
12.30pm (CST)
Thebarton Oval (Adelaide)
Broadcast on AFL Website

Vic Country v WA
Sunday 17 July
GMHBA Stadium
12.30pm (EST)
Broadcast on Fox Footy and AFL Website

WA v SA
Sunday 24 July
Time and Venue TBA
Broadcast on Fox Footy and AFL Website