By: JESS WEBSTER
Round 15 Rising Star Nominee: Brad Scheer
Gold Coast Academy member Brad Scheer never looked out of place in his return to NEAFL football on Saturday.
Playing his first match of the NEAFL season, the AFL draft prospect picked up two NEAFL MVP votes for his 27 disposals and eight inside 50s as the Suns won a thriller over Brisbane by two points at Metricon Stadium.
The 17-year-old is no stranger to senior football, having created history as Palm Beach Currumbin’s youngest ever senior debutant at just 15 in the 2014 QAFL season.
It proved to be a breakout year for Scheer, who went on to win the QAFL Rising Star Award as well as the Alan McLean Medal for the best-and-fairest player in the National Under-16 Division 2 Championships.
He made his NEAFL debut last season and was a member of the Allies side which contested the National Under-18 Championships last month.
Highly-rated amongst AFL recruiting staff, Scheer said he has enjoyed playing regular games this season after battling injury last year as he looks to make his AFL dreams a reality.
“Last year I was injured a lot and this year I’ve played every week. That’s the most pleasing thing – that I’m back enjoying my football again," he said.
“I enjoyed being back with people I’ve trained with before and it was good to come away with a close win on the weekend, which is the most important thing.
“It (AFL) is my main goal, it’s all I want to do. I’m just working hard every day, every week, every game, and hopefully by the end of the year I’ll be lucky enough to be on an AFL list.”
Scheer was one of a number of under-18 representatives to come back into the NEAFL last week, with half of the Allies squad playing across five different teams.
An inside midfielder who is hard at the contest, Scheer loves the competitive nature of the game and has been a part of the Suns Academy for five years.
Gold Coast Academy manager, Jason Torney, said the Suns coaching staff had plenty of confidence in the youngster to come into the NEAFL side and have an impact.
“They were pretty confident in giving him some pretty big roles and not just putting him in a forward pocket or back pocket,” he said.
“It wasn’t a breakout game, it was a 27-disposal game playing in some major positions, so we were rapt. He has been in some high-level (under-age) programs which has given him a springboard to NEAFL football.
“Over the last two or three years he’s been able to take himself from that early matured player to a real inside player, who wins the contested ball not just because of his size, but his ability to read the play, his hands are elite and he makes very good decisions.
“That’s probably the most pleasing thing - is he has been able to adapt over that three-year period to continue to be one of the better players in his age group.”
The Rising Star is awarded to the most promising young talent in the NEAFL competition.
Nominees must be under the age of 21 and played less than 20 senior games (excluding games as AFL top-up players) at the start of the 2016 season.
Keep track of all the 2016 nominees and watch their individual highlights on our dedicated Rising Star page here.
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