GOLD Coast has signed the first player from its new Darwin Academy zone by locking away speedy small forward Malcolm Rosas Jnr.

As flagged by last week, he has signed a two-year deal.

The 18-year-old spent the year playing for the Allies and Northern Territory Academy teams before finishing the year with five games for the NT Thunder in the NEAFL. 

"Many people in the Northern Territory have put a lot of time and effort into getting me to this position and I can’t thank them enough," Rosas said.

"I'm looking forward to putting my head down and working hard to make the NT proud."

As part of the assistance package handed to Gold Coast by the AFL last month, it was given Darwin as part of its Academy zone and granted the opportunity to pre-sign players from that region before the draft without having to bid for them.

Rosas impressed during the NAB AFL Draft Combine, finishing third overall in the 20m sprint (running 2.92 seconds) and recorded a strong 6:33 minutes in the 2km time trial.