WHILE most kids will be settling into a new school semester later this month, Coolum’s own AFL star Tom Ansell will be heading to Adelaide to represent Queensland.
The Fremantle Dockers supporter has been selected as one of the best in the state for his age group to play in the National Schoolboys AFL Championships (21st-29th July).
The Coolum Beach Breakers under-12 ruckman said his selection in the revered Queensland squad came as a shock.
“I was pretty thrilled to hear I had been selected and was among the top players,” Tom said.
“I just love the skill side of the game and having a kick with my mates.”
Tom’s father Chris Ansell said the wet and muddy conditions of the trials evened the competition out a lot.
“When it’s that wet it’s not a tall man’s game at all,” Mr Ansell said.
“We were there last year and the level of skill was really high and this year was no different.
“Tom should be proud of himself.”
Coolum Beach Breakers AFL Juniors club president Glen Farrow was not at all surprised by Tom’s selection in the side.
“Tom is hard to miss amongst other 12 year olds on the football field,” Mr Farrow said.
“He is a tall ruckman with blond hair and tall ruckmen with blond hair win Brownlow Medals.
“There is no doubt Tom is a gifted AFL footballer who works hard on his game and is very deserving of this achievement.”
Mr Ansell said Tom’s passion for the game had been obvious from a young age and was the driving force behind his success.
“Tom is always pestering me to kick the ball with him even after everyone leaves from training and on his days off,” Mr Ansell said.
“For 10 years he has been doing that and he is only 12.
“I love having a kick with him and seeing how much he continues to enjoy the game.”
By Aaron Wynne