By JESS WEBSTER
Gold Coast has always felt like home for aspiring AFL draftee Brodie Foster.
He began playing football on the coast before the club was founded, but it didn’t take long for the SUNS to make a big impact on the young midfielder’s career.
Foster joined the SUNS Academy in just its second year, some six years ago when he was in the under-13s at Surfers Paradise – a club that his father also plied his trade with.
“I’ve pretty much learned all my footy skills from the academy from (manager) Jason Torney and (coach) Andrew Raines,” Foster told neafl.com.au.
“They’ve been awesome, and now getting the opportunity to come up and play NEAFL every week has been great, and hopefully at the end of the year I can get picked up (in the AFL Draft).”
Foster was unlucky not to be snapped up last year when he won the NAB Under-18 Academy Series MVP award for the SUNS last year, represented the Allies and was invited to attend the AFL’s Rookie Me Combine.
Although disappointed at the end of the year, Foster has responded in the best possible way by posting career-best numbers amongst playing every NEAFL game for Gold Coast this year.
His latest performance against Redland on Saturday, where the midfielder accumulated 22 disposals, six clearances and four rebound 50s, earned Foster the Round 13 Tribal Sport NEAFL Rising Star nomination.
“Definitely my 18th year was probably the hardest with the SUNS Academy, Allies, and playing with lots of different teams,” he said.
“It was pretty tough for a couple of months after not getting drafted, especially knowing at least three of your best mates that you played with were going to live your dream and you’re not going to.
“But I think it’s definitely made me stronger this year, it’s made me more confident to go out there and play good footy.”
The SUNS retained Foster on their Under-19 Academy list where he’s averaged 19 disposals, three inside 50s, five tackles and three clearances per game.
He spends four days a week at the club and is desperate to become the latest product of the famous Palm Beach Currumbin High School footy factory to join the SUNS.
Foster, who has grown up playing footy and attending school with the likes of SUNS players Brayden Crossley, Jacob Dawson, Jesse Joyce, Brad Scheer, Max Spencer, and Jacob Heron, doesn’t want his association with the club to end this year.
But he knows the only thing he can control is the impact he has in the NEAFL.
“Doing an AFL pre-season with the club has really helped me, it’s really set me up for a good year,” he said.
“Being around AFL players, seeing how they go about it and being able to use things I learn off them has helped me be more consistent.
“I try not to worry about the end goal too much, I just want to concentrate game-by-game and make sure I’m doing everything right and playing good footy.”
The Tribal Sport NEAFL 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 Academy players) at the start of the 2018 season.
Keep track of all our 2018 nominees here.
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