Five young Eyre Peninsula footballers were among the group of regional players from across South Australia to join the Adelaide Crows for a ‘training day’.
Twenty clubs from across the state were invited to nominate their best 13 and 14-year-old footballers to take part in the annual Cros Country Kids Clinic on July 11 at Adelaide Oval.
Joining from the Eyre Peninsula were Dusty Wheare (Lock), Harvey Pedler (Cummins Ramblers), Phoenix Foster (Wudinna United), Liam Gerber (United Yeelanna) and Jack Grosser (Eastern Ranges).
The young footballers had access to key members of Adelaide’s coaching, recruiting and training staff, including assistant coach Ben Hart, head of football Brett Burton and player education and academy coordinator Jarrod Meers.
The boys enjoyed one-on-one time with Adelaide ruckman and “country boy” Sam Jacobs who gave insight into the hard work, dedication and sacrifice needed to play AFL.
They also took part in a training session with a guided tour of Adelaide Oval finishing off the day.
Mr Meers said staff tried to deliver was that the players needed to make the most of any opportunities that came their way and to enjoy their football.
“It’s important that they have a balanced life, maintain a good education and ensure that they take to several positions on the field to be versatile players in their upcoming football careers,” he said.
This was the fourth consecutive year the Crows had run the clinic, in conjunction with Centre State Exports, with more than 50 different SA country football clubs participating.
Centre State Exports grower service manager Paul Lange said it was great for opportunities like this to be made available for regional communities, including on Eyre Peninsula.
“Our strong farming links to those communities provide a great opportunity for these kids to be able to participate in a clinic that offers them a great insight to the football world,” he said.