Contributed by: Wesley Hull
In this article from the NT News, four boys from the Northern Territory get a taste of international footy through their participation in an International Rules match in Ireland. In a unique stepping stone to bigger things, both for themselves and others who might wish to follow in their footsteps, these Territory lads have travelled ground that few of their contemporaries have.
From never kicking a round ball in Tennant Creek to beating the Irish in Ireland.
That is the story and journey of Barkly quartet — Liam Holt-Fitz, Matthew Green, Mattaniah Bain and Kyrell Barton who beat the Irish in a number of contests at the hybrid International Rules game over the past fortnight.
The lads, along with their Wanderers Australia AFL Training teammates, earned some green and gold pride as they went undefeated through the tour.
Coached by former Sydney Swan Jason Saddington, they racked up wins against Irish teams Monaleen, Ballinacourty, Lucan Sarsfields and Emmets Gaelic Athletic Associations.
The group travelled through Ireland playing against and training with local teams as well as touring the facilities of professional clubs.
Tennant Creek Clontarf Academy director Randall Gould, who accompanied the four on the trip, said they were all standouts against the local teams.
“Our fellas played so well, Matthew Green really dominated — coaches and opposition were in awe at times,” Gould said.
“Against Lucan Sarsfields, not only did our boys hold their own they were in the better players. “Mattaniah and Kyrell both spent a half in the goals.
“It was played in 80kmh winds and with rain that felt like needles in the face.”
Gould said they made lifelong friends from all over Australia.
“They have left a huge impression on their fellow players, coaches, supporters and families they have stayed with all over Ireland,” Gould said.
“Personally, I am so proud of these young men.
“They have represented themselves, their families, Tennant Creek and the Northern Territory so well.”
Now back in the Territory, the Barkly lads returned to the oval ball in the NTFL Under-18’s with Green and Bain playing Waratah while Holt-Fitz represented Nightcliff at TIO No. 2 on Saturday morning.
Holt-Fitz got the bragging rights over his mates with a starring performance in the Tigers win in damp conditions.
Story and Image: NT News: http://www.ntnews.com.au/sport/afl/tennant-creek-quartet-go-undeafated-through-their-tour-of-ireland-against-local-teams/news-story/10c969554866baac3542f3e5740c4064
World Footy News