Six young NT remote players to light up MCG before Dreamtime game

Footy Means Business 2019_770

Six young Territorians from remote/regional communities will travel to Melbourne next week for Camp 2 of the 2019 AFL Rio Tinto Footy Means Business program and will play the curtain-raiser to the Dreamtime at the G match on Saturday 25 May. 

Following on from the program’s first camp held in Perth in April, Angelo Lungguy and Jayden Wurrikgidj from Gunbalanya will join Justin Talal and Benson Wunungmurra from Gove and Kelly Dijana and Marcus McDonald, from the Centralia Australian regions of Areyonga and Papunya respectively, for the five-day experience. 

They will take part in some skill development and cultural awareness activities, along with gaining a better understanding of what elite AFL football involves with visits to the Essendon and Richmond Football Clubs. 

As part of the 2019 Sir Doug Nicholls Round celebrations, the Rio Tinto Footy Means Business participants will showcase their skills at the MCG before the annual Dreamtime at the G clash between Richmond and Essendon. 

Participants will be divided into two teams - the Palya Squad (Yellow) and Kunpu Squad (Red) - which will be led by former NT Thunder and Western Bulldogs player Brett Goodes and local West Australian footballer Shayne Taylor as their respective head coaches.

AFLNT Talent and Pathways Manager, Wally Gallio said the young players would enjoy a unique experience. 

“Being invited to the second camp is a great reward for the players who showed good commitment and invested in the first camp.

“These programs continue to allow remote Indigenous NT footballers the opportunity to play in such an auspicious occasion and to pick-up valuable life skills and experiences that they won’t soon forget.”

AFL General Manager Game Development, Andrew Dillon said Camp 2 of the Rio Tinto Footy Means Business program would highlight the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander talent to the wider AFL industry.

“The Sir Doug Nicholls Round is a wonderful occasion to celebrate the contribution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have made to our game, so it’s fantastic to have the next generation of players from the Rio Tinto program part of the Dreamtime at the G match,” he said.  

“To have an opportunity to visit elite AFL Clubs, create new friendships and develop skills both on and off the field will hold these players in good stead to become future leaders both in our game and in their local communities. 

“The Footy Means Business Program has become a real standout program for young men, and we thank Rio Tinto for their continued support of all our Indigenous programs.”

A LIVE stream of the curtain-raiser match will be available on 7plus, and the official AFL App.

To be selected for the AFL Rio Tinto Footy Means Business Program, candidates must be:
·       Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
·       Not engaged in AFL or Second Tier competition
·       Employed (part time or apprenticeship), undertaking education/training or be involved in community programs
·       Aspirational and display leadership qualities

Rio Tinto is one of the largest private sector employers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women in Australia. Rio Tinto is the principal partner of all AFL Indigenous Programs and now in its ninth year of involvement in the leadership development program, Footy Means Business.

2019 AFL Rio Tinto Footy Means Business Squad:

Palya Squad

Head Coach: Brett Goodes 

Assistant Coach: John Boxer

NT: Justin Talal, Kelly Dijana, Marcus McDonald, Benson Wunungmurra

QLD: Clinton Sullivan, Thuraka Sammons, Tui Lowah

SA: Kailen Kelly, Michael Burgoyne 
TAS: Bailey Grey, Harrison McIvor
VIC: Jai  Nadjamerrek, Jy Lambley, Joshua Chatfield, Sanipepea Egan, Kyle Thomas

WA: Dennis O'Dene, Tyson McEwan, Aneaus Brierly, Israel Cedar

Kunpu Squad

Head Coach: Shayne Taylor

Assistant Coach:  Steven Raymond

NT: Jayden Wurrikgidj, Angelo Lungguy

QLD: Fitzroy Greenwool, William Levi-Gobbey

SA: Michael Drover, Adrian Peel, Jamahl Weetra, Leon Kenny

TAS: Jesse Shepheard

VIC: Kyle Lambley, Billyjack Smith, Yemurraki Egan, Peter Clarke, Darren  Allen

WA: Dylan Corbett, Jaymie Harris, Len Papertalk, Paul Ryan, Dylan Hansen