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Swans Swoop on Nicky Winmar Cup

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 12:09 AM

The Swans District claimed a number of big scalps in its pursuit for victory at the Nicky Winmar Carnival on the 1st March at Bendigo Bank Stadium. The Nicky Winmar Carnival, which was named after past St Kilda FC star Nicky Winmar, was designed by the Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR) in partnership with the WA Football Commission (WAFC) to provide young Indigenous males with clearly defined pathways to participation at junior community clubs and exposure to WAFL Development Squads. The Nicky Winmar Carnival also developed to provide young Indigenous males with the chance to qualify for the National KickStart Championships.

The Swans District coupled with Swan Districts Football Club paved the way for a strong campaign, subsequent to the nomination of two metropolitan sides in 2014. Despite having more than 60 players wear the black and white in 2014, the coaching staff planned to take the next step by promoting the Nicky Winmar Carnival through junior community clubs and secondary schools. Swans District staff planted the seed in November 2014, following a number of discussions with key secondary schools such as Clontarf Aboriginal College, Guildford Grammar and La Salle College.

The success of the Swans District Nicky Winmar Carnival strategy has been predominantly down to the manpower and resources poured into the program.  The program has seen the participation of a number of key WAFC, WAFL and secondary school stakeholders including Swan Districts FC Operations Manager, Rick Anderson, Swan Districts FC Player Development Officer, Steve Thomson, Guildford Grammar Aboriginal Liaison Office, Andrew Beck, Lockridge Primary School Teacher, Darius Schwarz and Clontarf Aboriginal College Director, Dan Toner.

Thanks to the support of South West Coaching and Talent Coordinator, Jamie Douse and V Swans High Performance Manager, Clint Degebrodt, Swans District had the capacity to support a metropolitan and a regional Nicky Winmar Carnival side. The Swans District metropolitan side dominated Pool 1, which was composed of Claremont/Subiaco, East Fremantle/Midwest, Goldfields, Midlands, Perth, South Fremantle and West Perth. Swans Metro was undefeated at the Nicky Winmar Carnival, subsequently finishing number one in Pool 1.

Swans District Metro narrowly defeated Claremont/Subiaco by two points in Round 3, following a magical banana kick from 40 metres by skipper Joe Hinder. The stage was set in the Semi-Final with Swans District Metro facing East Perth in a one-sided contest, which saw Swans Metro win 5.6.36 to 0.0. The Grand Final pitted Swans Metro against its closest neighbours Perth Metro, which finished top of Pool 2 following a nail-biting one point win against Claremont/Subiaco.

The Grand Final saw another outstanding display of slick ball movement and sheer pace from Swans District Metro, which led to a resounding victory for the Black Ducks against the big bodied Perth Metro. The Swans Metro performance was highlighted by Eli Hill and Ryan Bennell, who showcased their elite skills at the Nicky Winmar Carnival, whilst Mitchell Henry, Joe Hinder and Isaiah Humphries put in dominant displays in their respective positions.

The Swans District was proud of all players who pulled on the black and white jumper and the great support they provided to each other at the Nicky Winmar Carnival across the 7 matches. The Swans District wants to personally tank administration and coaching staff, parents and players who participated in the Nicky Winmar Carnival.  The Swans District also thanks DSR and WAFC for pouring their significant energies into compiling the Nicky Winmar Carnival. The Swans District now sets its sights on going back-to-back in 2016.