Sydney Swans draft Aliir
Thursday, November 21 2013 @ 04:32 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
The 19 year old Kenyan born Sudanese youth drafted by the Sydney Swans last night may need to have a globe (or perhaps Google Earth) handy when he tells his grandchildren his life story. He was born in Kenya (1994) in a refugee camp after his family fled war ravaged Sudan. The family came to Australia in 2003.
We first heard of Aliir Aliir in 2010 when he was selected in the World XVIII team - he was living in Queensland and was identified as a talented footy youngster with a good leap and great skills. He was regularly found on the lists of goal kickers and best players in junior footy for Apsley Hornets in Qld.
In 2011 he returned to the World XVIII team and captained the team in their first win against an Indigenous Under 15 team ahead of the National Under 16 Championships. The World team went on to beat the Northern Territory and the South Pacific team that year and also went down to Qld by just three goals.
When 2012 came around he found himself in the Queensland Under 18 team and playing with Apsley in the NEAFL and was an outside chance to be drafted. He attended the 2012 Draft Combine and looked likely to end up on an AFL club list. But after no AFL clubs took a chance on him, he moved with his mother to Perth.
This year he has been playing with East Fremantle as a tall defender and his skills, in particular the view that he almost always is able to keep his feet saw him again as a possible draft chance. He attended the National Draft combine in Melbourne last month and was rated as a strong chance going into the National Draft held on the Gold Coast last night.
With pick 44 the Swans gave Aliir Aliir yet another new home, lets hope his story in the harbour city turns out to be a long and fruitful one. While he has the globe out he may want to point out the homes of some of his Sydney team mates including Canada, USA and Ireland.