THREE players from the Bendigo Pioneers boys and girls programs have been named in 2024 AFL National Academy squads.
Lou Painter has been selected in the girls squad and the duo of Archer Day-Wicks and Jobe Shanahan have been named in the boys squad.
All players named in the academy squads were born in 2006 and will be eligible for selection in the 2024 AFL Draft and AFLW Draft.
The AFL National Academy is a football and personal development program that provides the next generation of stars with experiences, learnings and further opportunities to best prepare them for the next steps in their football journey.
Both the boys and girls squads will have three camps as part of the academy program, while both will also play two games during 2024.
Painter, whose home club is White Hills, was the Pioneers' girls best and fairest winner in 2022, while both midfielder/forward Day-Wicks (Sandhurst) and versatile Shanahan's (Moama) most recent game was on AFL grand final day when they played in the AFL Futures Match.
"Being part of the AFL National Academy is a fantastic achievement. All players selected in the boys and girls squads have demonstrated outstanding football ability and a determination to advance further in their football journey," AFL national talent manager Tarkyn Lockyer said.
"One of the philosophies of the AFL National Academy is to provide players with a different experience to what they receive as part of other programs they are involved in.
"Players will come together for high performance training camps and have the opportunity to play for their country in representative matches.
"They will also get to integrate into AFL environments and receive access to expert coaching and education to assist their football and personal development.
"The learnings and experiences players gain from the opportunities provided through the AFL National Academy is invaluable."