Suns to reveal AFL’s next big thing

By Laine Clark,

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    Excitement over the player dubbed the next Chris Judd has reached fever pitch ahead of his debut on the Gold Coast on Saturday night but teenager Jaeger O’Meara is unfazed.

    Expectations are sky high after O’Meara – who turned 18 on Thursday – received special permission to provide a tantalising taste of things to come in the pre-season AFL competition.

    However, Suns coach Guy McKenna has no concerns for O’Meara getting ahead of himself 12 months before he is allowed to play an official AFL game.

    “Jaeger’s a flatliner,” he said on Friday.

    “There’s not too much excitement in him.

    “He gets out there and does what he does, and does it very well – he’s settled.”

    His WA-based family are another story, however.

    “They’re going to all of a sudden see Jaeger play against some big brutes from Melbourne so it’s going to be confronting but I’m sure he’ll handle himself,” McKenna said.

    Indeed McKenna is sure of it after watching O’Meara emerge as one of the Suns’ best in last weekend’s intra-club trial.

    “He’s a kid, he’s not playing in the season but I want to expose him like I did with 45 players last year,” he said of the pre-season contest.

    “For us our season almost starts right now. The more time Gary Ablett can get alongside David Swallow, Dion Prestia, ruck to Zac Smith… the more we can do that the quicker we’re going to become (a good side).”

    The Suns have picked a strong side for the triple-header also featuring the Brisbane Lions and Melbourne but one name has set tongues wagging ahead of this weekend – O’Meara.

    After he starred at both the under-16 and under-18 national championships – and kicked four goals on WAFL debut at 17 – the Suns gave up the No.4 pick in the draft to secure the rights to the youngster in October’s mini-draft.

    “He’s got freakish natural talent, all around athletic ability, as well as ball winning ability, and evasiveness to get through traffic,” national talent manager Kevin Sheehan told the AFL website.

    “It’s very rare. There might be only one every few years as good as that.”

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (3)

    • February 25th 2012 @ 9:38am
      stabpass said | February 25th 2012 @ 9:38am | ! Report

      The production line in WA just does not stop.

    • February 25th 2012 @ 3:24pm
      Phelpsy said | February 25th 2012 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

      My son gets to play at half time next week. Two tickets offerred for accompanying adults – so will be able to get a good look at him if he plays. Smart move by the Suns too – giving two tickets away to parents – some kids parents haven’t been to a game of AFL – and I always reckon once you go – and get a taste of the atmosphere – you don;t go back – never been proper to Carrara though so not sure how it works there. As a Pies supporter I would get the big crowds everytime I go. I remember going to a Tigers V Melbourne game once after doing some fund raising at MCG – and was amazed at the totally different atmosphere with the low crowd – probably 20-25 thousand. I remember thinking “wow – this must be what it is like for toehr supporters of some teams”. Wheras each time i go it is like a final atmosphere. I always wonder if that is why RL struggles with crowds, it is sort of a chicken and egg thing – yet SoO is a sellout and the atmosphere is apparently unique outside the GF?? Which comes first though. If the sunbs can fill it they should get a good atmosphere – and that will grow regualr crowds. It will be interesting when the extensions come for the commonwealth games – will it be too big for a niche sport?

    • February 25th 2012 @ 7:53pm
      It's called football said | February 25th 2012 @ 7:53pm | ! Report

      What a contrast in publicity between the Suns & GC United!

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