Terrific trio: Swans teens who mixed it with men and won

12th September 2017 3:25 PM
UPDATED 13th September 9:06 AM
SUPER KIDS: Yeppoon Swans trio, Ari Miles, Zanna Stevenson and Nick Hay. SUPER KIDS: Yeppoon Swans trio, Ari Miles, Zanna Stevenson and Nick Hay.

AUSSIE RULES: Not content with claiming three straight flags, Yeppoon Swans are already working on generation next.

Last year saw 16-year-old defender Ari Miles slot into the back pocket, doubling up for under-17s and A-grade.

This season, a further two in booming midfielders Zanna Stevenson and Nick Hay have been promoted.

All three have the hunger - they listen, learn and adapt to playing with and against men - and share an unrivalled love for the game.

Weekly training begins at 4.30pm for the under-17s, they just roll through into seniors. Three-hour sessions twice a week minimum.

 

Yeppoon Swans Skipper Matt Wallin and Coach Mark Wallin with the Central Queensland Cup.
Yeppoon Swans Skipper Matt Wallin and Coach Mark Wallin with the Central Queensland Cup. Contributed

But there is one man who they need to impress to get the nod for senior footy - under-17s coach Craig O'Brien.

"Craig lets me know who and when they're ready," Swans A-grade coach Mark Wallin says of his promotion system.

"They won't be allowed up unless he gives them the all clear. He has had a lot to do with their development."

On Saturday, the seeds planted early bore fruit of a season well done. The terrific trio stole the show claiming the under-17s and A-grade flags for Yeppoon.

"We threw Ari into A-grade last year and he became a regular, we couldn't keep him out," Wallin laughed.

"Then did the same with Zanna and Nick and we can't keep them out. They're super fit and playing two games doesn't bother them.

"All three could definitely go onto another level, no doubt. They're already in academy players with Gold Coast and have the potential to make an AFL list.

"They've all come straight in against men and not been fazed at all. Sometimes kids are daunted but they haven't been at all.

"I puts the club in the perfect position going forward." 

Zanna Stevenson, Ari Miles and Nick Hay
Zanna Stevenson, Ari Miles and Nick Hay

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Wallin said all three are blessed with enough talent and work ethic to make it in the big leagues.

All three bring different assets to his champion side.

"Zanna has pace to burn, he wins most of our beep tests and time runs, he is super quick. We pushed him into the forward pocket and he is learning how to be a goal sneak

"Nick is an explosive midfielder with courage beyond belief, runs into any challenge. You can't hurt him - they try to - but he mixes it with the men already. I believe he will be a league medallist within three years. He is a superstar and we've really seen something in him.

"Ari was the first we blooded last year. A solid backsman, a big kid who is learning how to read the play. He takes such strong pack marks and can't be knocked over.

"This year Ari saw huge improvement, so much that he was a senior this year. Next year we will see it with Zanna and Nick."