Mark McVeigh (L), Tennille Callaway (C) and Tom Harley (R). Photograph by Phil Rogers
A fast-growing competition played in the shadow of the SCG is giving men and women of all ages the chance to test their skills against some former AFL stars.
If you’ve ever wanted to take a specky over Tom Harley, dodge around Mark McVeigh or chase down Tadgh Kennelly, then all you need to do is register for AFL 9s, an adapted version of Australian Football held at Moore Park.
The touch nine-a-side competition, now in its second year, makes it possible for any average Joe (or Joanne) to compete on a level playing field.
Tom Harley, a dual Geelong premiership captain and general manager of AFL in NSW/ACT, said the modified rules encouraged everyone to don some boots and get involved.
“We’re all about having fun and keeping fit,” Harley said.
“It really is the game for everyone, it doesn’t take long to learn and anyone can play.”
Harley, who played 198 AFL games over 12 seasons, said his mixed-sex team Shake and Bake – which includes former Essendon veteran Mark McVeigh – had a tumultuous start to the season.
“My wife Felicity is sidelined with pregnancy so not having her out there is costing us,” he joked.
“We also lost a few of our star female players early with the crossover of the netball season... but we’re starting to gel a bit more now.”
Teammate Tennille Callaway, 21, said playing alongside Harley and McVeigh had become second nature and she’s happy to put them in their place.
“They’re usually pretty good but if they make a mistake I have no problem letting them know about it,” she said.
“It’s a great game and everyone should give it a go.”
The AFL 9s spring competition at Moore Park is at capacity with 56 teams playing each week but other competitions take place at various locations around the city.
Registration for the summer competition is expected to open later this month. Click here to register
. By Matt Hagias
Courtesy of the Wentworth Courier
Last updated: Monday November 19, 2012 12:57PM