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GIANTS Academy Celebrates Trio of Debutants

Ryan Miller  April 30, 2018 2:26 PM

Nick Shipley (centre) was one of three GIANTS Academy Graduates to make their AFL debut across the weekend. - GWS Giants,Melbourne Demons,Essendon Bombers,Essendon,Melbourne,Etihad Stadium,Brisbane Lions,Spotless Stadium,Nick Shipley,Jason Saddington,Kobe Mutch,Charlie Spargo,AFL Academy

Nick Shipley (centre) was one of three GIANTS Academy Graduates to make their AFL debut across the weekend.

It’s a real buzz for the coaches and staff that have been involved in their development stages to see them get out there.

It was a busy weekend for the GIANTS Academy with three graduates making their AFL debuts.

Western Sydney product Nick Shipley became the 85th GIANT to don the orange and charcoal as he played a role in the GIANTS’ 34-point win over Brisbane at Spotless Stadium on Saturday. 

Albury’s Charlie Spargo collected 18 disposals and kicked two goals for Melbourne on Sunday afternoon at Etihad Stadium as they beat an Essendon side that featured Academy graduate and debutant Kobe Mutch. 

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Mutch, from the town of Gol Gol which is on the edge of the New South Wales/ Victoria boarder, had 20 disposals and was amongst the Bombers' best.

“It’s always good to see these guys get drafted and then secondly play their debut games,” GIANTS Academy coach Jason Saddington said. 

“It’s a real buzz for the coaches and staff that have been involved in their development stages to see them get out there. 

“There’s always a sense of pride there.”

The GIANTS Academy has had a total of 30 graduates drafted to 11 AFL clubs, with 24 of those players currently on an AFL list. 16 of those players have made their AFL debuts, 11 with the GIANTS.

Saddington said the Academy is providing great opportunities for players to find a pathway to the AFL and for clubs to get greater access to elite prospects.

“Part of the academy program is to produce players for AFL clubs and to grow that national talent pool,” he said.

“So, it’s great to see Charlie go to Melbourne and in his first year get an opportunity to play footy and also Kobe in his second year at the bombers play some good VFL footy and also get his chance in the top grade.

“Both boys played very well over the weekend as did Nick for the GIANTS.”

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