JAXON Mawson-Gulliford from the Manning Mustangs will head to Coffs Harbour next week to represent North Coast Force under 13s in the AFL Northern NSW Carnival starting on Tuesday.
He’ll be a ruckman. The carnival will attract teams from North Coast, Central Coast, Hunter Coast, Northern Rivers and North West.
Jaxon is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week, earning a $50 open order from Iguana. An impressive display at the carnival could see Jaxon included in the AFL talented player program, a forerunner to the State team and the Sydney Swans Academy. Jaxon was selected in the North Coast squad following impressive performances in trials held at Tamworth. He was also asked to have a run with the 15s, but will only play in the 13s.
The Force will train in Coffs Harbour on Monday before competition gets underway on Tuesday, concluding on Wednesday. North Coast community football manager Paul Taylor explained that the program continues to grown in popularity and opportunity and next week’s carnival will showcase the best players between the Hawkesbury and Tweed Heads.
North Coast will play three matches on each day.
Jaxon and AFL have a bit of history. Originally from Sydney, he started playing the game when he was six, originally with the Rooty Hill Power before switching to the Penrith Giants. He’s been targeted by talent scouts and is a member of the Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants Academy and also the Adam Goodes Academy. He’s been a member of the Goodes Academy for the past three years and expects to travel to Sydney again later this year for further coaching.
He’s a keen supporter of the Giants and has been to Sydney to see them in action on five occasions this season.
AFL is still in its infancy in Taree, with the Manning Mustangs involved in the North Coast juniors.
Jaxon plays 13s with the Mustangs but admits it has been a bit of struggle at times for the side, especially for games away from home, when numbers have been scarce.
So Jaxon is looking forward to next weekend’s carnival in Coffs and hopefully impressing for further honours.
While he prefers to play as a ruckman, Jaxon said he’s also happy to play at the back.
Jaxon has also dabbled in a rival code – rugby league since moving to the area last year.
“I’ve had a couple of games with Chatham High,’’ he said.
He’s been given a run in the forwards and as a centre in league.
However, at this stage he remains an AFL diehard and his goal is to play on the big stage one day – if all goes to plan, with GWS.