The Naitanui Academy’s 14-year-olds have taken home Friday’s derby clash against Fremantle’s Next Generation Academy.
Players took the trip to Cockburn on Friday night, with pelting rain setting the scene for a thrilling match that went down to the wire.
It was a heavily contested match for the first half, with both sides battling it out in the midfield, but the Naitanui Academy players eventually managed create constant supply inside 50 and lock the ball in their forward-line.
Despite kicking 23 behinds for the match, the Naitanui Academy players came away with the win against Fremantle’s Next Generation Academy.
Twins Tyson and Decon McGuire were vital assets in the Academy’s engine room, after recently enrolling in the Naitanui program thanks to the work of Kim Hannah, who scouted the duo at a weekend match.
Wes Walley also put together a solid game in a series of dominant performances, while Jake Caton and Dwayne Ryder also impressed.
In the true spirit of the match, the Naitanui Academy players were also seen assisting an injured Fremantle player, helping him to his feet and calling over trainers.
Game Development Manager Michael Prior was pleased with the result of the match, and the desire displayed from the Naitanui Academy players.
“We were very pleased with the way the boys played and the way they went about it,” he said.
“It was pretty tight for the first half and then in the second half I thought we really got on top and were able to play the game in our front half.
“We had a lot of opportunities to score, so from that point of view it was really pleasing how the players performed.
“They represented the Naitanui Academy the way that we want to be represented, there was a period where a Fremantle player went down and a couple of our boys showed concern, helped him to his feet and called over some trainers which was really pleasing to see.
“We’d like to thank Fremantle and Wade Spilcker for putting the game on down at Cockburn, and to our partner BHP.
“Without BHP these kids wouldn’t have the opportunity to play our programs don’t cost them anything, it’s an inclusive program for Indigenous and Multicultural boys, and they really enjoy what they get out of the program.
“Without BHP we couldn’t do what we do for these boys.”