The next generation of future AFL stars will be on display this weekend as the very best talent from AFL Victoria’s Laguntas and Jim Stynes squads join forces to face off against the class of the Under 16 Vic Country squad.
Kicking off on Saturday June 10 at Punt Road Oval, the exhibition match will be the first of its kind as players from the Laguntas and Jim Stynes Multicultural Programs will combine to form a Diversity All-Stars squad.
Supported by the AFL, the Korin Gomandji Institute (KGI) and AFL SportsReady, the Laguntas program aims to develop the pathway to the AFL competition for Indigenous male players aged 16-18, while the Jim Stynes squad engages with talented male footballers from multicultural backgrounds.
It will be an almighty experience for the Diversity All-Stars squad as they get to test their football ability against the brightest upcoming talent from regional Victoria.
The exhibition match will also be a great challenge for the Vic Country boys who will look to gain some match fitness for the upcoming NAB AFL U16 Championships ahead of its first hit-out against Vic Metro on June 24.
AFL Victoria Diversity Talent Manager Chris Johnson said that he is excited to give the elite talent from both programs the opportunity to compete against the very best, but most importantly, to shine a light on the cultural aspect of the match.
“While the match is important for the development of the boys’ talent on field, the opportunity for the Indigenous and the Multicultural boys to share their culture with not only one another, but to come together and share it with the Vic Country squad is a huge part of the game.”
Vic Country Talent Pathways Manager Lee Fraser said the match is a great opportunity to fine-tune certain elements of his side’s game ahead of the Championships, but also a great opportunity to educate their players on the cultural aspect that surrounds the match.
“(The cultural aspect) has been a really great part of the education for the country boys,” Fraser said.
“It’s a really good gathering all-round and a good celebration in general and a great opportunity for our boys to be a part of it.”
- Saturday June 10
- Punt Road Oval, Richmond
Article by Jake Morris