Five players will take the next step in their football journey as part of the 2021 Crows Academies Boys NGA squad.

Jacob Lochowiak, Issac Keeler, Lam Simon, Isaiah Dudley and Blayne O’Loughlin have begun training at the Club under the watchful eye of Crows development coach, Matthew Wright.

Through the program, these players will have the opportunity to experience an AFL environment and work with Crows’ AFL players, coaches and staff, all aimed to prepare them for life as an AFL footballer.

They will train with the main AFL squad once a week on top of skills training, access to top-level coaching, game and nutrition education, personal development opportunities, and gym sessions using the Club facilities.

In 2020, James Borlase and Tariek Newchurch became the first Crows Academies NGA players to be contracted to an AFL club when they were drafted to the Adelaide Football Club.

Crows Academies Manager Jarrod Meers said these players have inspired the 2021 group to dream big.

“To know James and Tariek were exactly where they are now this time last year, it certainly gives them an extra boost of motivation to know they are on the right path if they put in the work,” Meers said.

“We know this exposure to senior players and experiencing the intensity of an AFL-level training session is hugely influential and has helped last year’s draftees adjust when stepping up to the professional level.

“We are really impressed with how the boys have trained so far and look forward to continuing to challenge and invest in them ahead of the 2021 draft.”

NGA Academies are a joint initiative between the AFL and AFL Clubs which aims to attract, retain and develop talented players and growing participation in the under-represented segments of our community.

The Crows Academies Program is proudly supported by Bridgestone.