Tom Price junior footballers play at Optus Stadium

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Fortescue Junior Football League —Tom Price footballers about to play at half-time of the recent West Coast Eagles vs Melbourne Demons AFL game at Optus Stadium.
Camera IconFortescue Junior Football League —Tom Price footballers about to play at half-time of the recent West Coast Eagles vs Melbourne Demons AFL game at Optus Stadium. Credit: Glen Walton

Young Tom Price footballers had a blast donning the jerseys of one of their favourite teams and soaking up the atmosphere of a 56,000-strong crowd at Optus Stadium earlier this month.

At the half-time break of the West Coast Eagles v Melbourne Demons match, 14 junior and sub-junior players aged 9-12 with the Fortescue Junior Football League — Tom Price played off against Perth junior team Riverton.

Fortescue Junior Football League — Tom Price secretary Fiona Agnew said the town’s Auskick players had participated in an AFL game’s half-time entertainment about three years ago but this had been a rare opportunity for slightly older children to have their turn.

She said there had been a lot of excitement among the players leading up to the game, and though there had been some nerves about playing in front of such a large crowd, they had all taken the experience in their stride.

“Some of the parents were saying it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she said. “A lot of people in Perth don’t get this opportunity, so for the children up here to get it is huge.

“I suppose for a lot of the kids it’s a dream to play AFL, and to go out there is the beginning of their dream.”

The local footballers were also excited to have brushes with several AFL players at the game.

Before the match kicked off, the entire group met West Coast player Kurt Mutimer, who gave them a pep talk and answered their questions about what it was like to be an AFL player.

One lucky team member, Kaiaua Scott, 10, and his father also met Eagles star player Lewis Jetta one-on-one.

Team members raised funds in the Tom Price community beforehand to cover some costs of the trip.

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