Forty talented young AFL players will take to the field as the curtain-raiser for the 2014 Indigenous Round when the West Coast Eagles play North Melbourne at Patersons Stadium on Sunday.
The bi-annual Newcrest Mining Western Desert Shield, played before the main game and supported by the State Government, will feature players from remote communities in the North-West including Warralong, Parnngurr (pronounced Bung’or), Nullagine, Punmu, Jigalong, Kunawarrtji and Kiwirrkurra.
Sport and Recreation Minister Terry Waldron said the 40 players ranged in age from 16 to 23 and some of them would be coming to Perth for the first time.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for these players to experience playing footy on an official AFL oval,” Mr Waldron said.
“I’m sure these young players will put their best skills on show and enjoy a great game of footy. Who knows what future stars we might be watching?”
As part of their visit to Perth, the players will tour the West Coast Eagles facilities and be presented with their team jumpers at a special evening at the Department of Sport and Recreation’s Leederville office.
The jumpers acknowledge the Ngurra Kujungka, formerly the Western Desert Sports Council, in their design and the Western Desert League for which the teams play.
The footballers have travelled to Perth by bus and will be staying at the Department of Sport and Recreation’s Woodman Point Camp.
The curtain-raiser is supported by West Coast Eagles, Newcrest Mining, Ngurra Kujungka, West Australian Football Commission and the State Government
The State Government, through the Department of Sport and Recreation, has a number of Aboriginal sport development programs and also publishes The Chronicle, a magazine covering Aboriginal sport across WA
Minister’s office - 6552 6100