Pilbara young guns notch big wins

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
The Pilbara Swans travelled to Exmouth to take on the Gascoyne Bulldogs.
Camera IconThe Pilbara Swans travelled to Exmouth to take on the Gascoyne Bulldogs.

A group of young footballers from the Pilbara have shown the Gascoyne who’s boss by handing their opposition a walloping 80-point defeat.

The Pilbara Swans, a team made up of 15 to 18-year-olds from Karratha and Paraburdoo, travelled to Exmouth on November 30 for two games against the Gascoyne Bulldogs.

The matches were organised by the Stephen Michael Foundation, with the idea being to pit the Gascoyne Development Squad, which is made up of players from Carnarvon and Exmouth, against the Pilbara.

The Swans team was chosen from 44 boys who registered and played in two selection games, with the final squad completing five weeks of intense training before heading to Exmouth.

West Australian Football Commission Pilbara regional development manager Vicki Agnew said over the course of the five weeks, the boys became a tight-knit group.

“They became so close that when you watched them play, you’d thinking they’d all been playing together for years,” she said.

“Their fitness improved, you saw the natural leaders coming out and just seeing these young men grow in such a short period of time was incredible.”

The Swans took on the Bulldogs in two matches, defeating them first 12.12 (84) to 0.4 (4) and then 9.7 (61) to 0.3 (3). Agnew said the players blew everyone away, both on and off the field.

“They acted like true professionals and they absolutely dominated,” she said.

“It shows that we’ve got the talent but it’s not just the kids, it’s the coaching people we had in place who were able to pull together a regimented program which allowed the players to prevail.”

The matches in Exmouth were closely watched by Swans Districts talent manager Greg Harding, with Agnew saying he gave great feedback about the whole team.

The hope is for the Pilbara v Gasgoyne match to become an annual event which would take place in Karratha next year and rotate between the two areas from then on.

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