Indigenous youth soar at Nicky Winmar Carnival
Indigenous youths from across the state put their football skills on show at the 2012 Nicky Winmar Carnival held at Bendigo Bank Stadium in Mandurah.
27 March 2012
Photos courtesy of Bill Crabb.
The February event featured teams of under 15s playing in a round-robin style competition.
South Fremantle Metro emerged as winners this year after taking out Claremont in a close grand final thriller watched by a crowd of over 800.
South Fremantle Metro was undefeated throughout the event with Callum Ah Chee taking out the honour of best player.
The carnival provides a unique opportunity for talented young players to be identified by WAFL and even AFL clubs.
Regional players from areas such as the Kimberley, Wheatbelt, Goldfields, Midwest, Great Southern, Pilbara and South West took part in the carnival with participants placed into teams based on geographic WAFL zones.
Some participants were lucky enough to get the opportunity to play under the guidance of former AFL players such as Des Headland who coached the Subiaco team.
The best players in the carnival will be selected in the coming week to participate in the AFL Kickstart Program – WA is the only state which uses this format to select the squad.
The WA team was last year undefeated in the AFL Indigenous Kickstart U15 National Championships which were held on the Gold Coast.
Indigenous Sport State Coordinator Clem Rodney said the carnival provides an opportunity for players to develop their skills and draw the attention of WAFL clubs.
“The event provides a real opportunity for young players to have their talent recognised and we hope to see a number of these players offered a place in WAFL development pathways,” Mr Rodney said.
“Indigenous people have contributed greatly to the history of AFL and events such of these will allow the next generation to continue playing a vital role in the development of the sport.”
The Fremantle Dockers were out in force on the day with Antoni Grover, Jonathon Griffin, Anthony Moribito, Roger Hayden, Jordon Wilson King and Jesse Crighton all present.
Players, coaches and spectators alike had an opportunity to mingle with these AFL stars and many walked away with autographs and pictures of the players.
An exhibition match was also held on the day in which men aged 16-23 took on women of all ages.
Nicky Winmar himself presented the cup to the grand finalists; he is regarded as one of the best footballers to have emerged from Western Australia and played more than 250 games during his AFL career.
He was named in the St Kilda team of the century, is a two time All-Australian and won the 1989 Trevor Barker Award.
The event was also attended by Larry Kickett, the first Aboriginal commissioner appointed by the WAFC and AFL National Indigenous Program Manager Luke Jeffery.
The AFL has expressed interest in adopting the WA model used in the carnival for use in other states.
Best player – Cedric Cox
Runner up – Jarrod Humphries
Best player – Calvin Thorne
Runner up – Joshua Garlett
Best player – Jesse Woodley
Runner up – Derek Nannup
Combined Side (East Perth Colours):
Best player – Michael Headland
Runner up – Harley Stack
South Fremantle Metro:
Best player – Callum Ah Chee
Runner up – Jahrell Scattini
Best player – Gary Scott
Runner up – Maurice Comeagain
Best player – Liam Bennell
Runner up – Russel Wynne
Best player – Myron Kickett-Hayward
Runner up – Neil Winmar
South Fremantle Regional:
Best player – Kerry-Frank Hill
Runner up – Eli Kickett
Female Exhibition Game:
Best Player – Deja-Ann Clanton, Kirby Bentley