Players and staff of the Bulldogs have been visiting Dimboola this week at a part of the 2017 Australia Post AFL Community Camp program.
The Dimboola Football Club hosted two players on the field on Monday night.
The Bulldogs picks in the 2016 NAB AFL draft, Lewis Young and Fergus Greene took the juniors and Under-17’s through some drills.
Lewis Young told the Dimboola boys, “I am quite impressed with the intensity that you guys show in your training. Good luck with your season ahead, and I hope you all have a great year.
Eighteen Bulldog members traveled to Horsham for the football camp along with a ‘valuable piece of silverware.’
Selectors were impressed with the five games Greene played for the Bendigo Pioneers this season, playing in the forward line where his marking and kicking abilities were a highlight.
Young was drafted from Sturt in South Australia at the age of 17, and just scraped into the draft by 11 days.
The students at St Peter’s Lutheran School were also treated to a visit from Lewis Young and Mitch Wallis yesterday.
The children lined up at the gate of the school in anticipation of their visitors. After assembling in the school library, the boys introduced themselves.
Lewis Young is a draft player from South Australia and wears the number 33 on his gurnsey. Mitch Wallis wears number 3 on his gurnsey.
Mr Wallis said he has played 95 games in which 60 games were as a midfielder. Mr Wallis said he was privileged to be drafted in 2011 to the Western Bulldogs under the father and son rule.
“My dad played 250 games for the Bulldogs,” he said.
The boys told the students that they work full time training from Monday to Friday.
“That’s our job, we get up at 8.00am and train until about 5.00pm each day,” said Wallis.
The students had many questions for the players ranging from family life to diets. The boys were more than happy to answer all the questions the children had put up.
Mr Wallis explained to the students that the average career as an AFL footballer was about four years, and that they had to consider their career beyond AFL.
“I am at university studying for a bachelor of business that I hope to finish this year,” said Mr Wallis.
Mr Young said, “I will focus on my football this year and then I want to train as a teacher.”
Mr Wallis is suffering a leg injury and unfortunately missed out playing in the premiership.
“Only the players who played in the game received a premiership medal. Although this is under review, I support the old rules as it gives me motivation to do better this year,” Mr Wallis told the students.
Both players signed a card for each of the students at the school.
Dimboola Primary School also welcomed Brett Goodes, Matt Suckling and Kerrin Collins to visit the school.
Matt Suckling wears the number 1 on his jersey. He was recruited from the Hawthorn Football Club, in which he was a member of their 2014 and 2015 AFL premiership sides.
Suckling had struggled with injuries in the 2016 season, but when he did play, managed to get a very high disposal rate.
Kieran Collins plays with the number 32 on his jersey. Mr Collins has only played one game of AFL with the Bulldogs, and was out for the rest of the season with injuries. He is hoping 2017 will be a better year for him at the tender age of 18, still has a big chance to prove himself.