Midfielder Reece Conca got the chance to see the Kimberley’s football talent first hand during Fremantle’s AFL Community Camp this week.
While the majority of the players on the camp were further south in Broome, Conca was joined by teammates Leno Thomas and Isaiah Butters, assistant coach Roger Hayden and NGA coach Tendai Mzungu in a trip to the very far north of Fremantle’s NGA recruiting zone, visiting Kununurra and Warmun.
Thomas, who hails from Warmun, and Butters are two of four players on Fremantle’s list who are graduates of the club’s Next Generation Academy, alongside Jason Carter and Liam Henry.
Conca was particularly impressed with how quickly women’s football is growing in the region.
“It’s a real privilege to come up here and spend some time with the kids, share a bit of wisdom and some footy skills with them,” Conca said.
“The girls are brilliant. Some of the programs that they’re putting in place are fantastic and it gives them a real opportunity to show their talent.
“This community is doing a fantastic job getting the kids into programs. We’ve hopefully, signed a few up for the future, there’s a couple of real talents in there.”
Conca said Mzungu has done a great job in building relationships in the region.
“Muz is a real fan favourite for everyone up here, and also in the Freo community and the world in general,” Conca said.
“He’s a great man and he’s leading the way with our Next Gen Academy and it’s great to come up here and see him have a good chat with the kids and kick some footys.
“You can tell the community is really buzzing with us coming up. It makes it a lot easier for us, knowing that everyone is engaged and really wants to buy into Freo coming up here.”
Conca added that Mzungu was also a great motivator as the players continued their pre-season preparations in hot and humid conditions.
“We had a tough run, Muz came along which was nice. He’s in in the prime of his life post-footy career,” Conca said.
“We were running on some pretty thick grass, it’s pretty humid up here so we were pretty sweaty.
“We got it done and I’m actually feeling very cherry ripe now which is nice, I can really enjoy myself.”