Gold Coast Suns academy player Caleb Graham (right). Picture credit: NEAFL.
Gold Coast Suns academy player Caleb Graham (right). Picture credit: NEAFL.

Next Tom Lynch?

TOM Lynch is headed for the exit at the Suns but one of Gold Coast's best coaches has already identified one of the young guns who could one day take his place in the forward line.

Meet Caleb Graham, the Suns academy player lighting up the NEAFL on his way to the 2018 AFL draft.

The 17-year-old Cairns product won a QAFL premiership with Palm Beach Currumbin last year and Lions coach Chad Owens said the key forward was a bright prospect for the future.

Owens likened the 194cm talent, who weighs 84kg, to Brisbane Lions forward Eric Hipwood and believed Graham would be picked up by an AFL club at the end of the season.

"Caleb is like Hipwood at Brisbane," Owens said.

"He is not quite as strong a kick but he launches at the footy, runs hard and competes hard.

"He can play at both ends too.

"He used Caleb in our finals series last year as a forward and a ruck. He has a big leap and strong hands.

 

Gold Coast Suns academy player Caleb Graham. Picture credit: NEAFL.
Gold Coast Suns academy player Caleb Graham. Picture credit: NEAFL.

"He is athletic and can really fly hard at the footy. He is aggressive and takes a lot of marks."

Owens said the other promising key position player coming through the ranks was Dirk Koenen who also played in Palm Beach Currumbin's premiership side.

Koenen, who stands at 194cm and weighs 87kg, is mainly a key defender who has been playing in the Suns NEAFL side and he has been invited to the AFL's draft camp.

"Dirk is more of a key defender but he can play at either end," Owens said.

"In the academy series they even used him as a wingman. He can really play footy.

"He has an ability to mark the footy instead of just spoiling it. He is a good user of the ball and understands the game well.



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