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Thursday, June 04 2020 @ 04:07 am ACST

A Good Day For Footy? No, A Great Day!

Power Park in Gordonvale, Far North Queensland, always reverberates to the sounds of kids squealing, shouting and laughing whenever training or matches are taking place. Being one of the most picturesque football grounds in Australia with Walsh’s Pyramid towering behind the southern goal posts, watching over the town like some benevolent parent, it’s as if the kids are trying to impress and the majestic “mountain” smiles down on their happiness.

That’s on a normal day.

But when, as happened last Sunday, you add in a legend of AFL football, Adam Goodes, those squeals of delight find a higher octave – a louder and more raucous level of happiness, fun and joy.

(Picture: Adam Goodes with Power fans)

Adam Goodes needs little, if any, introduction to football followers. Even non-followers are aware of his stature in the game, and in the pantheon of Australian sporting legends.

A dual Brownlow Medallist (the AFL’s highest individual honour), dual Sydney Swans premiership player, Indigenous Team Of The Century player and 2014 Australian Of The Year, Goodes boasts an incredible array of achievements. Beyond the football field, Goodes has also been a tremendous role model to footballers everywhere, most particularly amongst indigenous kids.

His visit to the Pyramid Power football club in Gordonvale was part of a joint Toyota/AFL promotion, with the club being the recipients of an inspirational prize. A club which began in 2005 and boasts an indigenous player base in excess of 90%, Pyramid Power could have no better visitor to inspire the kids and bring together the community it serves.

When his clinics began (immediately after a match between Pyramid Power Under 15’s and the other mainly indigenous club The Eagles which went Power’s way by a solitary point) a herd of kids ran to the northern goals to be with their hero as Goodes led kicking drills.

When it was time to move to the centre of the field for the next set of drills, the herd followed and swelled further. Goodes’ magnetism was electric as kids went where their hero went. Goodes was a veritable “pied piper” and the kids responded accordingly.

Goodes spared nothing. He chatted to kids and adults alike, posed for the ubiquitous “selfies”, commented on the footy match prior, calling it exciting to watch, remarked at the beauty of the location and even kicked a few extra footies around for the kids (or adults) who wanted more.

Adam Goodes seemed to enjoy himself at Power Park, Gordonvale, and will leave with some happy memories. But local footy, and particularly Pyramid Power and the Gordonvale district, left with both a tremendous boost for the game and a glowing endorsement for what has been achieved locally in AFL by one of the greatest players to ever pull on a footy boot.

Perhaps the greatest legacy, however, is that an indigenous leader and role model took a club’s indigenous kids under his wing for a day and validated everything they have achieved and love.

This wasn’t just a good day for footy in Gordonvale. It was a great day.

(Picture: Adam Goodes with Walsh's Pyramid in background - Courtesy: Sam Davis - Northern Beaches News)
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