Spirit learn from the colts clash at camp

Peter de KruijffThe Kimberley Echo

Aspiring footballers from across the Kimberley tussled with WAFL club Claremont’s colts team in a gruelling hot-weather exhibition match on March 4.

There was more to the Kimberley Spirit under-19s camp than the match in Kununurra, which ended in a loss, 14.12 (96) to 3.3 (21). The camp allowed players from as far away as Looma, Bidyadanga, Broome, Derby, Warmun, Balgo and Wyndham to learn about what it takes to play in a competition such as the WAFL or the AFL.

For Claremont, it provided an opportunity for its players to gain a better understanding of where some of its players come from as the Kimberley is a feeder region for the club.

The Perth team also travelled to Warmun for a training session.

A Kimberley Spirit player gets away with a cheeky karate kick mark.
Camera IconA Kimberley Spirit player gets away with a cheeky karate kick mark.

Kimberley Spirit program co-ordinator Shaun Norman said a lot of effort had gone into putting on the camp and the KRSP Cup.

He said it was the first hit-out of the year for most of the Kimberley boys and the first game for the colts, who had been doing pre-season training for weeks.

Claremont dominated the first quarter, controlling the play and booting 5.6 while keeping Spirit scoreless.

Looma’s Winston Nellie kicks one of his two goals for the Spirit side.
Camera IconLooma’s Winston Nellie kicks one of his two goals for the Spirit side.

In the second term the humidity hit the colts hard as Spirit’s strong work from the middle earned them more chances in their forward 50m and Winston Nellie, from Looma, managed to thump the home side’s first goal.

Nellie snagged another and Sean Williams, from Broome, got one of his own in the second half after playing the first two terms with the colts.

Spirit players Kaunell Shaw, from Fitzroy Crossing, Huzlemi Hunter, from Bidyadanga, and Kununurra’s Taylen Bin Busu also had a run with the Claremont team for half the game.

Keifer Yu Medallist Sean Williams from Broome.
Camera IconKeifer Yu Medallist Sean Williams from Broome. Credit: The Kimberley Echo

Williams was named man of the match after the game and was presented with the Keifer Yu Medal.

An exchange of guernseys was also held with each side picking a player they thought had a good game from the other team.

Claremont player Isaac Barton was presented with a Spirit guernsey while Colts coach Ross McQueen said they didn’t have a jumper on them for Rocky Carlton from Warmun, however, he should come down to Perth and try one on there and have a run.

Barton praised the Spirit side, saying if they had done as much training as Claremont they game could have been a lot closer or gone the other way completely.

Taylen Bin Busu, in the Claremont stripe, challenges the mark.
Camera IconTaylen Bin Busu, in the Claremont stripe, challenges the mark.

Colts coach Ross McQueen said he was happy with the effort from his squad ahead of their first practice match against Peel Thunder before the regular season.

“A lot of these kids haven’t played colts at all, so it was a good chance to see them in a game situation,” he said.

“It was a great experience — our first time in the East Kimberley.”

“It gives our kids a better appreciation of the vast distances involved.”

McQueen said he thought captain Lewis Henry from Derby was one of the stand outs from his team as well as Elijah Murray from Fitzroy Crossing who snagged four goals and started training with the colts just after Christmas.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails