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Fremantle’s Next Generation Academy has returned to the Kimberley this week.
NGA coach Tendai Mzungu takes us through their next leg of the trip alongside Indigenous liaison officer Michael Johnson and NGA coordinator Wade Spilcker.
Wednesday 4 September
We kept last night’s dinner to a minimum, knowing that it was pancake day back at East Kimberley College.
We met the students in the junior school at 7.15am, where the maple syrup flowed while we mingled with the boys and girls.
After getting soundly beaten in table tennis by the 10-year-olds we needed something to build our confidence back up.
Michael Johnson and Tendai Mzungu FFC highlights on the projector screen!
Michael’s roll off marking and pinpoint passes along with my defensive running patterns, what could be better for these kids?!
After the self-indulgence subsided, we spoke to the kids about preparation and how they can best prepare for their upcoming carnival next week.
All good things must come to an end, so it was goodbye to Kununurra and the teachers and kids who make the experience so enjoyable each time we visit.
Special mention to James Castles, who is the Clontarf Director, who goes above and beyond to gives the kids the best opportunity on and off the sporting field.
Our next stop was Derby. But first we would fly 90 minutes to Broome and then jump in the car for two-and-a-half hours and head east to Derby.
Derby is home to NGA player Liam Henry.
We arrived in Derby at 3.30pm and headed to Derby District High School for a father/uncle/teacher/student football game.
We soon realised it was open to anyone and everyone to participate.
The game began with 50 on the field and ended with close to 80.
Both Michael and I who enjoy uncontested football, found the going tough early.
Luckily the kids tired and our experience came to the fore and we managed to patrol the half back line and rack up some second half stats.
A medic was called late in the 3rd when Johnno was tackled to the ground, but he soldiered on to be named in his team’s best.
Following the match another BBQ was put on for all involved and we had the opportunity to take photos and sign footballs and apparel for these kids (and adults).
There was also a 100m sprint race for the kids, which I’ve previously been embarrassed in, so decided it was best to sit this one out.