Hometown heroes inspire

Carly LadenBroome Advertiser
Claremont Tigers coach Darren Harris and players with a few of the junior Broome Bulls players.
Camera IconClaremont Tigers coach Darren Harris and players with a few of the junior Broome Bulls players. Credit: Carly Laden

Footballers from across the West Kimberley region had a chance to hone their skills with successful AFL and WAFL players and catch up with a few homegrown success stories.

Claremont Tigers coach Darren Harris, players Ian Richardson, Tom Lee, CJ Oakley and Anthony Treacy, and retired Fremantle Dockers cult figure Kepler Bradley toured the West Kimberley, holding clinics and coaching courses.

The group ventured to Broome, Bidyadanga and Beagle Bay to work with as many junior and senior players as possible in their short stay during the Tigers’ bye week in the WAFL.

Harris said the tour was all about giving back to the regional communities, especially since the Kimberley was one of Claremont’s recruitment zones.

“We really wanted to get out into the communities, especially with Anthony and CJ, and we also wanted to make sure we continue to build the relationship between our zone and the football club,” he said.

“We want to show the people in the Kimberley that there are plenty of opportunities for both men and women to play football at a higher level.” Harris said there was plenty of raw talent on show during the visit, especially from Bidyadanga and Beagle Bay.

“Their awareness of space, how to use the football and their athletic talent is absolutely impressive to watch,” he said.

“You can just tell they love football.”

Former Cable Beach Greenbacks players CJ Oakley and Anthony Treacy said it was nice to come back home and have the opportunity to catch up with their former teammates and rivals in the WKFL.

“Coming back to Broome and the West Kimberley with the Claremont Tigers has been awesome,” Oakley said.

“It has been very exciting to be back in the league team at Claremont — it’s everything I wanted.”

Treacy echoed his teammates’ views and said he was excited to come back home for a quick visit.

“It has been a pretty big change going from the WKFL to the WAFL again, so coming back home to give back to the community is pretty surreal,” he said.

“It was cool to catch up with the rival teams like Bidyadanga and see how we’ve all been going since we last saw each other.”

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