Gold Coast nabs NT talent ahead of AFL draft

Updated October 30, 2019 16:47:31

Arnhem Land’s Malcolm Rosas has signed up with the Gold Coast Suns as a priority pick before the AFL draft after impressing recruiters at a recent camp in Melbourne.

Key points:

  • Gold Coast Suns get priority access to Darwin players under a new deal
  • Malcolm Rosas is the first AFL player from Bulman in Arnhem Land
  • Rosas finished third in the 20-metre sprint during the AFL draft combine

The 18-year-old was the only Northern Territory player invited to the AFL draft combine, where he finished third in the 20-metre sprint.

Rosas also shaved 17 seconds off his personal best time in the 2-kilometre time trial.

“My pace is probably my biggest attribute, the first 10, 20 steps is my biggest weapon,” he said.

“I just had to do my best, and try and impress the clubs and people watching.”

The small forward said his support network in Darwin and back home in the central Arnhem Land community of Bulman had helped him progress.

“It’s pretty nerve racking, but I guess you can’t really control it,” he said.

“When you get a lot of good support around you, I guess it becomes easier, you push yourself, and people push you.”

Rosas is the first AFL signed player from Bulman, which is a seven-hour drive from Darwin.

“It’s a little community out there, all our family is from there, it’s good to get back home,” he said.

“Bulman is still home, always”.

Rosas was 15 years old when he first played senior football, lining up with the Darwin Buffaloes in the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) competition and later with representative side NT Thunder in the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL).

AFLNT talent and pathways manager Wally Gallio said the young forward’s lightning pace made him stand out among other players.

“Even at a younger age, watching him play junior footy, you just knew he had something about him,” Mr Gallio said.

“It was his speed, and he’s got that left foot which makes him stand out.”

Suns rush to bring Rosas to Queensland

The Suns put in place a range of programs at the end of last season aimed at boosting the team’s success, after its slow progress since entering the AFL competition 10 years ago.

Among the measures is a new partnership with the Northern Territory, which includes some home games in Darwin and a first pick of male and female players ahead of other clubs.

Gold Coast Suns academy manager Jason Torney said the club was in “a bit of a rush” to get Rosas to Queensland.

“I’ll bring him back on Thursday and training will start next week,” he said.

“So he doesn’t have to wait until the draft, which is late November.”

The AFL national draft is on November 27.

Topics: sport, australian-football-league, darwin-0800, nt, australia

First posted October 30, 2019 16:31:53