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Tuesday, December 19 2017 @ 03:14 am ACDT

2017 National AFL Male Kickstart & All Nations Championships – Day One

Australia
On a beautiful, sunny day at the Blacktown International Sportspark in western Sydney, the sirens have blown and the football is well and truly under way. It marks the business end of a long process for those U15 boys who have made it to the final selection to represent their state’s Kickstart or All Nations teams. Now, all of the training and hard work pays off.

The tournament commenced with an opening ceremony at the Rooty Hill RSL. All players entered the function room during the Smoking Ceremony, performed by Uncle Greg Simms. Councillor Brad Bunting offered the official welcome from Blacktown City Council on behalf of Mayor Stephen Bali before Sam Graham, CEO of AFL NSW/ACT welcomed all to such a prestigious event for New South Wales. Narelle Long, AFL Championship manager also welcomed the layers, officials and supporters.

The audience were also entertained by the Lucky African Dance and Drum Group before retiring to prepare for the matches on Sunday.

The morning session provided plenty of highlights and excitement, with many great passages of play thrilling the crowd. Scores from the morning session were:

Kickstart -

South Australia 6 2 38 d Victoria 3 1 19
Northern Territory 3 6 24 d Tasmania 2 3 15
Western Australia 11 5 71 d NSW/ACT 1 1 7
South Australia 9 2 56 d Queensland 1 1 7

All Nations –

NSW/ACT 5 1 31 d Northern Territory 2 2 14
South Australia 2 5 17 d Western Australia 2 3 15
Tasmania 8 8 56 d Queensland 1 2 8
Victoria 5 8 38 d NSW/ACT 3 6 24

The extended break after the morning session saw the first of the education sessions for players. Former Brisbane Lions premiership player, Chris Johnston, spoke of the high expectations placed on young players hoping to forge AFL careers at the highest level. Was joined by former Geelong premiership player, Mathew Stokes, who reiterated the personality characteristics that prospective players ideally require to succeed on their football journeys.

Another former Brisbane Lions premiership player, and now Director of Academies at Port Adelaide, Shaun Hart, spoke of the actual playing attributes that recruiters and selectors are looking for in conjunction with the emotional and social attributes those recruiters value. These presentations are an invaluable component of the event, allowing players to understand the importance of off-field expectations as well as the more obvious physical skills.

The afternoon match results saw:

Kickstart –

Northern Territory 9 4 58 d Victoria 3 4 22
Western Australia 4 7 31 d Tasmania 2 2 14
NSW/ACT 9 6 60 d Queensland 2 4 16

All Nations –

Northern Territory 3 5 23 d Queensland 2 3 15
South Australia 10 5 65 d NSW/ACT 1 2 8
Western Australia 10 6 66 v Victoria 1 2 8

Day Two is sure to provide just as much endeavour and entertainment as the Blacktown International Sportspark – in the heartland of the Greater Western Sydney Giants supporter base – hosts the cream of indigenous and multicultural Under 15 talent from across Australia.
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