The Sydney Swans have identified the potential of Gunnedah AFL newbie Harry Snook, inviting him to a training session at their academy based on his showing for the North West Stars at an under-17 carnival in Coffs Harbour this week.
After playing only two AFL games prior to the carnival for Tamworth Roosters’ under-17 side, Snook attended the training session at the Swans’ Coffs Harbour academy on Thursday.
AFL North West development officer Sonia Martin said the Swans had recognised Snook’s talent and “put him on the pathway”.
“What we were told was the Swans’ talent ID guys talent ID-ed six of our kids and invited two of them to train today [Thursday],” she said.
Moree’s Jack Montgomery could not stay the extra day in Coffs Harbour to attend the academy session.
Martin said: “Harry’s really good in the left pocket. If he can get in the forward pocket he’s got this real sweet spot [kick]. He was consistently popping goals in there. He’s got good hands and a good attitude.
“He’s got the right build for it and he’s got his head around it. Some kids read plays really well, and he was able to do that. He picked that up quickly.”
Snook, 14, was initially the first emergency for what was AFL North West’s first junior representative side, and he only made the team after a player pulled out.
In fact, he only auditioned to make the side at the request of his father, David.
Snook plays rugby union for Calrossy Anglican School and the Tamworth Magpies.
Martin, whose husband Alan coached the Stars, said: “His dad is a mad keen AFL guy.
“He rang and said, ‘I want to get my son into the representative team. We said, ‘He’s not playing for a local team.
“Harry had three weeks to get his act together and tick all the boxes for the coaches, which he did.”
Martin added: “Obviously his dad saw that and said, ‘I think my kid can do this’. Which was a very big call at the time.”
Snook said he was “very excited” to get the chance to train at the Swans’ academy.
He said: “Dad was keen for me to have a go at it [AFL], so I thought I’d have a crack.
“I’d like to stick with it and play as much as I can.”
That does not, however, mean Snook is ready to give up rugby.