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Vic Country dominates AFL Academy squad

Darcy Parish of Vic Country poses during the 2014 Under 18 portrait session at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on July 01, 2014. (Photo: Justine Walker/AFL Media)
Darcy Parish is looming as one of the top picks in 2015
VIC COUNTRY has dominated selection for the NAB AFL Academy, with 11 players from the region picked in the top-aged squad eligible for the 2015 NAB AFL Draft.
 
The group of 31 players was announced on Sunday, with more than a third coming from clubs in country Victoria.
 
Many of Vic Country's crop featured this year during the under-18 championships and loom as early draft picks next season, including midfielders Darcy Parish and Rhys Mathieson, tall forward Josh Schache, half-back Darcy Tucker and possible Sydney Swans father-son prospect Josh Dunkley.
 
Following the Australian Institute of Sport's decision to withdraw from the program, the Academy will have a revised structure in 2014/2015, with up to 35 to be picked in the level two squad.
 
Selectors have left four positions open to be filled through the course of the program for players who have standout form in the back end of the season.
 
Among the group is jet midfielder Callum Mills, tied to the Sydney Swans as a zoned Academy player, as is Jacob Hopper, who plays for North Ballarat Rebels in the TAC Cup but is in Greater Western Sydney's Academy zone.
 
South Australian forward Ryan Burton and midfielder Stephen Tahana have also shown promising signs ahead of their draft season in 2015, as has West Australian talent Callum Ah Chee.
 
Among the new faces in the level two group are Victorian pair Harley Balic and Sam Weideman. Balic is an athletic forward with a basketball background, while Weideman, a tall forward, is the grandson of Collingwood great Murray Weideman.
 
As part of their program, the level two squad will head to America during January for a high performance camp, and each player will spend two week-long stint at AFL clubs to fast track their development.
 
The 25-player level one squad – who become draft eligible in 2016 – has also been announced following last month's NAB AFL Under-16 Championships.
 
Sam Petrevski-Seton, from Claremont, was a standout for Western Australia during the carnival and has been rewarded with selection, while Jonty Scharenberg, the younger brother of Collingwood's top-10 pick Matt, is also in the squad.
 
The 2014/15 groups are the 18th intake of the academy, with nine current AFL captains former graduates of the program.
 
LEVEL TWO SQUAD
 
NSW/ACT: Callum Mills (North Shore), Dylan McDonald (Murray Bushrangers/Albury), Jacob Hopper (North Ballarat Rebels/Leeton-Whitton)
 
South Australia: Ryan Burton (North Adelaide/PHOS Camden), Stephen Tahana (North Adelaide/Gaza), Aaron Francis (West Adelaide/Loxton North), Tim Sullivan (Glenelg/Port MacDonnell), Luke Partington (Port Adelaide Magpies/Tumby Bay)
 
Queensland: Ben Keays (Morningside)
 
Tasmania: Jake Sushames (North Launceston)
 
Vic Country: Jacob Weitering (Dandenong Stingrays/Mt Eliza), Rhys Mathieson (Geelong Falcons/Bell Park), Darcy Parish (Geelong Falcons/Winchelsea), Kieran Collins (Dandenong Stingrays/Langwarrin), Josh Schache (Murray Bushrangers/Seymour), Aidyn Johnson (Bendigo Pioneers/Echuca), Thomas Cole (Bendigo Pioneers/Strathfieldsaye), Sam Skinner (Gippsland Power/Moe), Josh Dunkley (Gippsland Power/Sale), Darcy Tucker (North Ballarat Rebels/Horsham Saints), Gach Nyoun (Dandenong Stingrays/Narre Warren)
 
Vic Metro: James Parsons (Eastern Ranges/Norwood), Nick O’Kearney (Calder Cannons/Keilor), Sam Weideman (Eastern Ranges/Vermont), Liam Jeffs (Eastern Ranges/East Ringwood), Harley Balic (Sandringham Dragons/Mordialloc-Braeside)
 
Western Australia: Yestin Eades (North Ballarat Rebels/Midvale), Callum Ah Chee (South Fremantle/Kelmscott), Greg Clark (Subiaco/Sorrento Duncraig), Kade Stewart (South Fremantle/Katanning), Jordan Snadden (East Fremantle/Bull Creek Leeming)
 
LEVEL ONE SQUAD
 
NSW/ACT: Zachary Sproule (Albury), Kobe Mutch (Wentworth),
William Setterfield (Scot’s/Caulfield Grammar), Harrison MacReadie (Henty)
 
South Australia: Jonty Scharenberg (Glenelg/PHOS Camden), Jack Graham (North Adelaide/Tea Tree Gully), Steven Slimming (Sturt/Unley)
 
Queensland: Jack Bowes  (Cairns), Brad Scheer (Palm Beach Currumbin), Jacob Allison (Aspley), Curtis Marsden (Palm Beach Currumbin)
 
Vic Country: Jarrod Berry (North Ballarat Rebels/Horsham Saints), Will Brodie (Murray/Notre Dame), Ben Ainsworth (Gippsland Power/Morwell), Jarrod Korewha (North Ballarat Rebels/Koroit)
 
Vic Metro: Jordan Galluci (Eastern Ranges/Lilydale), Jack Scrimshaw (Sandringham Dragons/Beaumaris)
 
Western Australia: Noah Hura (Peel Thunder/Mandurah Centrals), Sam Petrevski-Seton (Claremont/Halls Creek), Sam Powell-Pepper (East Perth/Wesley), Jeremy Goddard (Claremont/Marist), Luke Strnadica (East Fremantle/Winnacott), Joshua Rotham (West Perth/Whitfords)
 
Tasmania: Ben McGuinness (Lauderdale)
 
Northern Territory: Brandon Parfitt (Nightcliff)