Coaching an 11-year-old goal kicking star

Meet Adam Kerinaiua Jnr, the 11-year-old goal kicking prodigy from St Marys in the Northern Territory Football League U12s competition. The youngster booted 104 goals this season for the St Marys U12s team, a side that I had the pleasure of coaching. Arguably his most important goal of the season came deep in the last quarter in his side’s grand final on the weekend. He kicked a mighty torpedo punt through the big sticks, which went a long way in sealing the premiership win for the Saints U12s. Reaching a ton of goals is a rare feat for someone of his age and it is unsure whether or not it is a record for a junior season in the NTFL. He plays mainly in the forward line but spends fair portions of the game in the middle. Due to the mercy rule imposed if a side trails by more than ten goals, a number of Kerinaiua’s goals were not credited on the score sheet.

(Adam Kerinaiua Jnr – Photo courtesy of Clare Rawlinson ABC Darwin)

Kerinaiua booted his 100th goal for the season in the preliminary final win a fortnight ago. The first person to run on the field to congratulate him was his father Adam Kerinaiua Snr, a three-game AFL player with the Brisbane Bears in 1992. Junior Kerinaiua will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of his father and current idol, Brisbane Lions captain Jonathan Brown, in making it to the AFL. Already there are similarities in playing styles with Kerinaiua possessing a superb ability to read the play, strong marking skills and an exceptional kick on goal. His uncle Shane Kerinaiua is a Tiwi Islands superstar and holds the record for the most goals kicked in a Tiwi Islands Football League season with 124 in 2003/04.

(Junior Kerinaiua and Myself) – Photo courtesy of Clare Rawlinson ABC Darwin

Perhaps even more impressive about the youngster’s season is that he is one of the youngest players in his side and is still eligible to play in the U12s competition next season. Kerinaiua’s biggest haul for the year came against Darwin Buffaloes in round six when he booted 17 goals in three quarters of football.

The young Saint was rewarded for his season by claiming his side’s best and fairest award and finishing runner up in the U12s Atkinson Medal for the competition best and fairest by only one vote.

By – Jackson Clark

About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.


  1. PeterSchumacher says

    It’s always exciting to read about new talent or possible new talent, of course he is a long way out from being an 18 or 19 year old potential star but nevertheless, what a start. And good on you Jackson for making us aware of Adam, and indeed the fact that you are coaching footy.

  2. Great story, Jackson. Thanks.

    Keep kicking those torps, Adam!

  3. Great stuff Jackson. I remember watching Adam Kerinaiua Snr on TV play his few games in 1992, he looked a real talent. I was disappointed he never played at AFL level again and always wondered what happened to him.

Leave a Comment