Next Generation Academy prospect Liam Henry is taking in as much as he can as he represents WA in the 2019 NAB AFL U18 Championships.
The forward/midfielder from Derby is a part of the Fremantle’s Next Generation Academy, which aims to identify and develop young Indigenous talent in the Kimberley region.
Henry has played in both of WA’s games so far in the U18 championships.
He kicked three goals in WA’s win against Vic Metro on 8 June at Lathlain Park played in a loss to South Australia in a curtain raiser to Freo’s win over Port Adelaide on Saturday at Optus Stadium.
As someone with aspirations to play AFL, Henry said he relished the opportunity to play at Optus Stadium.
“Playing at Optus was definitely a great experience. It was good to see the Freo boys there watching and I’ll be watching and cheering them on as well,” Henry said in a post-game interview.
“South Australia came over and competed really well. It’s sad that the boys didn’t get up but we’ll reassess and get back next week for the Allies game.
“It’s been a good experience and, hopefully, I’ll fly over (for the Allies game) and get that experience of travelling as well.”
Henry said he has learnt a lot from his involvement with Fremantle’s NGA, which is coached by former Freo player Tendai Mzungu.
“It’s definitely helped a lot, we’ve learnt a lot of off-field stuff and we’ve had Tendai giving us that on-field feedback as well,” Henry said.
“It’s good to have someone of his experience. I guess he’s been there and done that and played at the highest level of footy.
“He knows his stuff, the ins and outs of how to get into the AFL. He’s definitely passed that onto me.
“We’re improving our skills and it’s also helped us with the nutrition and everything else. We’ll continue to work closely with Tendai through the year.”
WA play the Allies at Alberton Oval in Adelaide on Saturday 22 June and Vic Country at Marvel Stadium on Wednesday 3 July.