BERTRAM footballer Kyle Donaldson is heading to the Gold Coast after being selected to represent Western Australia at the AFL Under 16 Championships.
The Peter Carnley Anglican Community School Year 10 student and WA 16s State Academy member was named this week in the final squad of 25 to travel to the championships.
A former Kwinana Knights junior, Donaldson (15) now plays his club footy for Jandakot Jets and has been in the South Fremantle development squad since he was 13 years old.
The young midfielder/forward said his game was so similar to Fremantle Dockers player Hayden Ballantyne’s that his teammates had dubbed him ‘Ballas’.
“My strengths are my goal sense and ball winning ability, plus I’m small and go hard at the ball, so the similarities are there,” he said.
“I was pretty confident I’d make the final team because I played really well in the trial games.”
Donaldson said he hoped to go as far as he could in football, and given his trophy haul over the years, he is well on track.
He is a back-to-back winner of the South Fremantle district best and fairest in his age groups – an award open to all players within South Fremantle’s junior zones – and won the same awards with Kwinana Knights as another of its former juniors, current Carlton Blues player Blaine Johnson.
“I’ve won the same awards as Blaine, both our names are on the same trophies, and he’s someone I look up to to know that I can make it,” Donaldson said.
To add to his achievements on the field, next year Donaldson will take up a place in the SEDA Fremantle Dockers Sports Development Program, where he will focus on football as well as complete years 11 and 12 studies.
The AFL Under 16 Championships run from July 4-10, and Donaldson will have an early chance to get accustomed to playing on an AFL ground as two of WA’s fixtures are at Carrara Oval.