Academy to raise curtain for the Swans

When the Sydney Swans take on North Melbourne on 19 February there will be plenty of local interest with the North Coast Academy of Sport AFL Boys Squad set to play the curtain-raiser, whilst the Girls Squad will also play at half time in the main match.

The Academy program is only in its first year and has been acknowledged for the outstanding work it is doing in developing pre-elite young players with involvement on match day for the JLT Community Series. The athletes have been training both as a squad and individually throughout the off season and are keen to show their wares at the Stadium.

Matt Anderson, Academy Head Coach, said this is a rare opportunity for the players. “This will be the first time that a curtain-raiser has been played prior to a Swans pre-season match so it’s a huge honour for our athletes. Not only will they get to play the intra-squad match, they’ll also be able to get a first hand look at how AFL teams prepare on match day and the standards they set on and off the field. It’s a great learning opportunity that very few people get.”

The boys intra squad match starts at 11:45am, with gates at the Stadium to open at 11:30am. This match will be officiated by Academy umpires Amanda Guthrie, Max Kornhauser, and Tom Steward, with Max and Tom then having the chance to act as ball stewards in the main match.

The girls will play an intra-squad match at half time in the Swans v North Melbourne main match and will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase Youth Girls footy to the big crowd. AFL North Coast will be starting a Youth Girls competition in 2017 and this will be a fantastic opportunity for girls who have been inspired by the opening rounds of AFL Women’s to learn more about the local competition.

The Academy girls will be joined on the Stadium at half time by Auskick players from the Grafton Tigers, Northern Beaches, Coffs Breakers, Sawtell Toormina Saints, Bellingen Bulldogs, and Nambucca Valley Lions clubs.

The 2017 AFL North Coast season gets underway in April and registrations are now open for Auskick, Junior, and Senior clubs. To find a club go to play.afl and search by town or postcode.