Young guns get taste of AFL life

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The 19 lucky Kimberley footballers with their coaches before departing Broome.
Camera IconThe 19 lucky Kimberley footballers with their coaches before departing Broome. Credit: Carly Laden

A selection of young footballers across the Kimberley got the chance to experience a taste of what the elite level is like at a four-day high-performance camp in Perth from April 16 to 19.

The 2018 North West Academy Camp saw 30 aspiring footballers from the Kimberley and Pilbara regions travel to Perth for a series of AFL workshops and play a scratch match against some of the talent at the Fremantle Dockers Next Generation Academy.

Kimberley Spirit program co-ordinator Shaun Norman said the camp was an opportunity to reward the most committed players to the Kimberley Spirit program across the various regional hubs.

“We’ve got a few players from Kununurra, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek and Broome coming down to Perth,” he said.

“This is the next level up from what they do in their regional hubs, in terms of making their dreams of becoming an AFL footballer a reality.

“We’ve had several people that have gone through this academy and have reached the AFL level, the most famous probably being Carlton’s Sam Petrevski-Seton.”

“This is a real platform for these guys to be seen by the Claremont Football Club and the Fremantle Dockers Next Generation Academy, but it also gives them a taste of what it’s like to be an AFL footballer.”

Broome’s Sean Williams, 15, said there was definitely excitement in the air as the boys waited in the Broome International Airport terminal.

“I think everyone is pretty keen to get down to Perth because this is such a big experience for the boys,” he said. “I’m looking forward to mixing with the boys from the Pilbara and the rest of the Kimberley as well as getting into the training workshops and playing a match against the Fremantle Dockers Next Generation Academy.”

Fellow campers Kaunell Shaw, 15, and Jai Long, 15, also expressed excitement towards travelling to Perth and interacting with the Claremont Football Club and the Fremantle Dockers Next Generation Academy.

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