Kids brush with AFL greatness as Brisbane Lions visit town
OUT of this crowd of juniors, one of them could have the potential to headline the Brisbane Lions in the future.
That's what assistant coach Ben McCarthy thinks after getting a hands-on display of the Fraser Coast's rising talents at an AFL community camp organised by the star Brisbane team in Hervey Bay yesterday.
Members of the team visited the Maryborough Bears, Bay Power and Hervey Bay Bombers clubs during their two-day tour of the Fraser Coast and dropped into St James Lutheran College yesterday for an Auskick clinic with students.
Mr McCarthy said the visit was an opportunity to promote the game and give kids a taste of AFL.
"We live and play in the Brisbane CBD but the heartlands of footy are... out in country Queensland," Mr McCarthy said.
"Throughout the year the players are terrific in going to their local clubs and promoting the game.
"The kids are the best one to ask about the results, they enjoy getting out."
Oscar McInerney, Ryan Lester and Archie Smith were among some of the Lions talents who visited the school for the same clinic last year.
St James' junior school sports coordinator Lysbeth Corney said the clinic helped kids pursue higher aspirations for their sporting careers and get enthusiastic about the game.
She said one student, Alistair Heckles, had been selected into the Brisbane Lions young academy to pursue his AFL dreams because of the clinics at the school.
"It's amazing, the kids love to participate in any sport, in particular AFL," Ms Corney said.
"We've had a couple prior to Alistair, like Noah Parry, who has taken up a developmental officer's position with the Young Lions.
"It's an amazing opportunity for the kids."
See page 28 for more coverage of the Brisbane Lions' visit to the Fraser Coast.