Valley little men fly
By TONY WHITE
FOR any footballer playing on the hallowed turf of the Sydney Cricket Ground in front of 37,000 fans would be a lifetime experience to savour.
Last weekend the dream adventure became a reality for a group of 18 Australian Rules Auskick children from Grafton and Maclean.
The group, aged between five to eight-year-olds including two girls, played a 10 minute Auskick game during the half-time break in the match between the Sydney Swans and West Coast Eagles last Sunday.
And the youngsters later formed a guard of honour when the senior players returned for the second half.
The trip was part of the AFL Auskick promotion schedule that allows country-based kids the chance to travel to metropolitan venues during first class matches.
Our young AFL future stars travelled to Sydney on a coach, sponsored by Yamba Twin Pines Motel, with 52 people aboard including parents and supporters.
"The kids absolutely loved it, they were thrilled," Grafton Tigers representative Nickie Jewell said. "Playing at the SCG was an experience I'm sure they will always remember."
The group was made up of players from the Grafton Tigers and Maclean Crows.
Maclean Crows representative Leticia Cashman said the kids were still talking about the trip.
"They had a fantastic day," she said. "It was very exciting for all of us. Running out on the SCG to play was just tremendous."
Each Saturday in Grafton and Maclean the junior Aussie Rules players are put through skill and training sessions before playing a half-hour Auskick match.
The two teams meet on a monthly basis.
Both clubs are searching for new players and interested parties can contact Jewell on 6649-4729 or Cashman on 6646-0201.
The tourists were: From Grafton Tigers, Josh McFadyan, Adam Carter, Chelsea Jewell, Jaslen Jewell; from Maclean Crows, Sam Cashman, Conner Nowell, George Ward, Gustav Maree, Lachlan Johnson, Ryan Johnson, Michael Carr, Mitchell Carr, Mitchell Francis, Matthew Gaudion, Samual Kempnich, Brodie Davis, Kurtlea Davis and Josh Shaw.