Port Douglas duo to play for Gold Coast SUNS

Published Friday 20 May 2016

PORT Douglas skipper Kye Chapple and damaging midfielder Jesse Mawson will line-up for the Gold Coast SUNS reserves tomorrow at Metricon Stadium.

The talented duo were called up to play for the AFL club’s development side after impressing for the Crocs this season, with the match being played as a curtain raiser to the SUNS and Adelaide Crows clash.

Chapple has become arguably the most damaging forward in the AFL Cairns competition since relocating from Horsham last season, while Mawson is a dual premiership player for South Barwon in the strong Geelong Football League.

The Gold Coast reserves play in the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL), which acts as the feeder competition for the SUNS and AFL rivals Brisbane Lions, Sydney Swans and Greater Western Sydney.

Gold Coast SUNS Talent Manager Jason Torney said a growing injury list at the AFL club had given them an opportunity to expose the likes of Chapple and Mawson.

“This was a perfect opportunity to invest in the North Queensland Region and look at some of the talent playing in the North,” Torney said.

Port Douglas coach Brad Cooper said the news was a huge coup for his club.

“It’s very exciting for Kye and Jesse and also a massive opportunity,” Cooper said.

“They’re both very talented players who’ll acquit themselves well. The fact we have the Gold Coast Suns looking at players at our club is fantastic and shows it’s a growth area up here.”

Chapple, 24, tore the competition apart last year booting 113 goals for the Crocs and finished third in the league best and fairest. He’s started 2016 in much the same fashion with 24 majors after six games.

Mawson, 27, joined Port Douglas after a season with Barwon Heads and is developing into one of the stars of the AFL Cairns competition. The strong-bodied midfielder has been used up forward in the early rounds, booting 12 goals, but has shifted into the middle in recent weeks.

Both players represented Cairns in the All Stars representative match at Cazalys Stadium earlier this year and now get the chance to impress the swarm of AFL scouts watching tomorrow.

“I guess it’s a good opportunity to get noticed,” Chapple said.

“There will be a lot of the right people there but it will just be a good experience to play at that level and before the AFL boys at Metricon Stadium.

“We’re both looking forward to it.”

Chapple and Mawson arrive on the Gold Coast this morning where they’ll meet coaching staff and players ahead of the clash with Redlands.

Port Douglas has the bye this weekend in the AFL Cairns competition.