PM CAPITAL GIANTS Academy member and top-rated draft pick Jacob Hopper has been awarded the Carbine Club of NSW Sports Development Scholarship at a lunch in Sydney.
Hopper, 18, hails from Leeton in southern NSW and has been a member of the PM CAPITAL GIANTS Academy program since its inception in 2011.
Hopper flew to Sydney with his parents James and Deanna and was presented with his scholarship by GIANTS board member Paul Moore at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney.
"It's an honour to receive this award," Hopper said.
“My time in the PM CAPITAL GIANTS Academy has been great so far and I feel like my football has really developed over the last few years.
“AFL football is growing quickly across NSW and the ACT and it’s an exciting time to be part of the PM CAPITAL GIANTS Academy under coach Jason Saddington.
“It was extra special to have Mum and Dad here today because I wouldn’t be here without their support."
Rival coaches Leon Cameron and John Longmire were also present at the annual Carbine Club AFL luncheon ahead of Sydney Derby VII at the SCG on Saturday.
The Scholarship, valued at $2500, is awarded to outstanding young sportspeople to assist them with their participation and development in their chosen sports.
Hopper currently boards at St Patrick's College in Ballarat and plays for the North Ballarat Rebels in the TAC Cup competition.
He is a member of the NAB AFL Academy and travelled to Florida with the Academy for a 10-day high performance camp earlier this year.
He will represent NSW/ACT in the upcoming NAB AFL Under-18 National Championships before being eligible to be drafted at the end of this year.
“Jacob is shaping as one of this years top draft prospects due to his clean contested ball winning ability,” said PM CAPITAL GIANTS Academy Manager Jason Saddington.
“He has great adaptability in his game as not only an elite midfielder but a dangerous goal kicking forward.
“Jacob is a competitive beast with a strong work ethic and desire to improve and succeed.”
Hopper spent a week at the GIANTS in December last year with the club eligible to draft him under the Academy Bidding system as a member of the PM CAPITAL GIANTS Academy.