Since Adam was a boy…

“OK, now you have to be the toilet”

That’s weird.  Even when you hear it on a footy field.  I turned away from the Parent Orientation course (or how parents raised on rugby league can teach their sons footy skills) to see who on earth had said that.

It was Adam Kennedy, successfully tagging an Auskicker in a running exercise.

I exchanged glances with the Auskick Mum next to me.  “I’ve met Adam Kennedy a few times.  He’s great with the kids.”

“They’re all great with the kids.  Really polite and well-spoken  young men.” she responded.

We turned back and experimented with kicking on our “wrong foot”, while the little kids played training games and the bigger kids practised kicking and marking.

It was Club night for the kids in the “North” district at Blacktown.  700 kids and quite a few parents.  It’s the third one I’ve been to, but this is the first time they’ve run the clinic for the parents.  We get the development officer.  They leave the Giants for the kids.  The young coaches and players look more like big brothers taking a keen interest in the backyard.

Everyone’s on a high.  The boys had a win last weekend, their first away win.  But I’m more pleased at seeing two of my Auskickers’ Dads and one Mum, none of whom had an AFL interest until their sons did, giving it their all on the field.

A few hours later, with the young man in bed, I watch Adam Treloar and Adam Kennedy burst into tears when they find out they’re going to meet their idol: The Rock.  My son has presented Adam Treloar his guernsey and played kick to kick with Jeremy Cameron.  He didn’t burst into tears; he was struck dumb.  But then he’s seven and you don’t cry when you’re seven.

I suppose it’s a bigger build-up than usual for Adam Treloar.  He and Devon Smith will be playing their 50th AFL game against Carlton; the first of the kids to reach a milestone.  His video about the Rock goes viral, he gets challenged to bum-tap an AFL idol, Chris Judd.  He’s takes the “Ask A Giant” twitter and Facebook session. He’s refreshingly honest – he cries, he’s nervous, he farts while waiting on the red carpet and, like all boys, tells the world.

I’ve watch both these Adams make the transition from Junior to Senior football.  During 2011 we’d sit in the stands at Blacktown and watch these skinny kids play against Swans Reserves and teams from the ACT in the NEAFL.  One of them was an underage selection, but really I didn’t know how good he was in juniors.  The other was a kid passed over in the 2010 national and rookie drafts.  They were learning and trying their guts out.

It wasn’t until they put up the comparison stats between Adam Treloar and great current midfielders that I realised how good he actually was.  His stats were better than Ablett, Judd and Selwood after 49 games.  But to me he was just that kid who was always running in, tackling, contesting and then popping up with a goal or two to steady the ship when matters went awry.  He was actually one of the few Giants that I gave a pass mark to in the Richmond game because at least he was trying.  It’s like when you’re watching your kids grow up.  You don’t realise how tall they are until someone points it out to you.  You’re just so used to seeing it all the time that it becomes normal.

It was also a big week for my Auskickers.  For most of them it was their first half-time game at the Giants.  The only downside were the kids had to play in Carlton guernseys.  They weren’t happy, but hey, I gave them some advice that Adam Treloar had given me in “Ask A Giant”:  just have fun.

And they did; and they played well (albeit getting thumped in the process)

So I missed a huge chunk of the game, being downstairs and wrangling kids.  I got to see Dylan Shiel’s great individual goal in the first quarter.  I saw Jonathan Patton make it look effortless at both ends of the ground and I saw Adam Treloar stand up to his childhood hero, take the ball from the defensive 50 and run down the ground.  I saw Rhys Palmer play his best game for the Giants and thanked heavens that Buddy went to Sydney because our boys really need their Mummy.  My heart was in my mouth when Shaw missed from an open goal, but we held on.  We held on and we won.

Half of my Auskickers were standing down at the fence, cheering their lungs out – for many it was their first ever AFL game.  Their excitement, and the excitement of the team on the field with their first ever back to back wins, was infectious.  We went out on the ground for kick to kick and then joined the throng back at headquarters.  We were all on a high – why wouldn’t we be?  We’d been following the Giants since the Adams were just boys.

 

About Kath Presdee

Just a suburban girl, just a suburban girl. Lawyer by day, wife and Mum by night. I experience the agony and the ecstasy of sport, having followed Cronulla all my life, the Brumbies all their life and as a foundation member of the Giants.

Comments

  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Well done Kath love your passion for your giants . GWS are coming and there is no doubt , Treloar is going to be 1 of the elite players in the competition . No coincidence that GWS have been so much better with Phil Davis back not only a very good player but one of the very few players in the comp who is such a natural leader . Thank you Kath

  2. Cindy Growden says

    Really enjoyed Kath’s article from an important side of the fence. The influence of mums in Western Sydney has a much greater effect on the development of AFL in new regions than most people realise. And good on the young Giants players for recognising their responsibility too.

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