Young Bellingen Bulldogs selected for QBE Sydney Swans Academy Program

Local junior AFL Bellingen Bulldogs players Sam Case and Kyan Upsall have had their football dreams grow brighter after being selected for the North Coast Sydney Swans Academy talent development program. 

These two 13-year-old boys from Bellingen High School both have a passion for the exciting and athletic sport of AFL, and playing with the Bulldogs has provided a great base for developing their skill and confidence.

The Bulldogs are building a reputation for producing talented and committed players with Sam and Kyan joining two other Bulldogs players, Harrison Lee and Declan Bambery-Young at the Academy.

Academy winners: 13-year-old Bellingen Bulldogs AFL players Kyan Upsall and Sam Case have had their talent noticed. Photo by Rachael Case.

Academy winners: 13-year-old Bellingen Bulldogs AFL players Kyan Upsall and Sam Case have had their talent noticed. Photo by Rachael Case.

The North Coast QBE Sydney Swans Academy program has training hubs in Grafton, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie with about 30 boys aged 11 to 17 years involved. Sam, Kyan, Harrison and Declan train every week in Coffs Harbour with the Academy under head coach Rod Mapleson.  And last November saw fellow Academy member Jake Brown, a Coffs local, became the first person from this region drafted to the AFL.

AFL is growing rapidly in popularity in NSW, as it is truly the Australian Football game for everyone.  With the launch of the National Women’s AFL last year, there is also a growing pathway for girls to participate in the sport up to the national level. The North Coast AFL will have a women’s league this year and there are opportunities for female talent development with the North Coast Academy of Sport.

This year the Bellingen Bulldogs will host their training and home games in town at Connell Park. If you have kids keen to play AFL our family friendly local club welcomes all new members – girls, boys and parents!  Registration can be covered by the government’s Active Kids voucher, Auskickers get a great starter pack, and all players are provided with their playing kit thanks to our generous community sponsors.

For more information please contact Andrew Perrot on 0428 195 664 or email bellingenbulldogs@gmail.com.