SUNNY DAY: Gold Coast Suns new boy Jarred Ellis (second left) was a hit at the sign-on day with young players (from left) Cailen Borthwich, Ethan Hulden and Jake McNabb.
SUNNY DAY: Gold Coast Suns new boy Jarred Ellis (second left) was a hit at the sign-on day with young players (from left) Cailen Borthwich, Ethan Hulden and Jake McNabb. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Jarred's adjusting to new life as an Aussie Rules star

HE may have been starstruck at first but it's strictly business now for gun Aussie Rules star Jarred Ellis.

The 18-year-old has been hard at work settling into life with AFL outfit Gold Coast Suns - and is already targeting a potential first grade spot.

After being recruited at the end of last year, the Lennox Head junior has been training and mingling with some of the club's big name players like Gary Ablett Jr and Karmichael Hunt.

Ellis admitted it had taken a while to get used to his new surroundings, but now he's one of the boys as well.

"At first I thought I was still having a kick around with my mates," he said. "Then it dawned on me that I'm at an AFL club.

"You watch these great AFL players on TV and then suddenly you are next to them in the changing room.

"I couldn't believe I was around some of these players, but now I've got over it. They're just my teammates.

"It's been my dream to play Aussie Rules. I didn't think it would ever come true."

Jarred, who attended Skennars Head's Xavier Catholic College and Lismore's St John's College Woodlawn schools, was handed a rookie deal by the Suns after impressing in the junior ranks.

The versatile former Ballina Bombers junior also developed his skills with the Broadbeach Cats before earning his Suns' call-up.

He has endured a "full-on" pre-season training period with the Suns ahead of the opening NAB Challenge pre-season clash with Essendon next Monday.

Ellis, who joined his squadmates helping to promote a sign-on day in Byron Bay on Saturday, is staying with a "brilliant" host family while he settles into life on the Gold Coast.

He has already been earmarked as a potential first grader by the club's coaching personnel - and also got his own Wikipedia page to boot.

Ellis said he had copped a couple of sprays from coaches during the pre-season, but it was worth it.

"You cop it on the chin," he said. "You know they are trying to make you a better player.

"Hopefully I can be involved in round one of the NAB Cup.

"I'm aiming to get as much game time as I can and push on from there."


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