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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Gold Coast Suns visit Byron this Friday

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Matt Lodge

Ten years ago, the Brisbane Li- ons were at the height of their powers, becoming the third club in history to win three consecutive premierships.

So close to the northern rivers, the Lions were the AFL team to follow and so you can imagine the excitement of us 10-year-old kids when two Li- ons players made the trip to take a football clinic at Bangalow’s Shultz Oval – the first time we’d seen a real AFL foot- baller up close.

Fast-forward to today, and the northern rivers now has a new team to get very excited about and they’re only half the distance up the Pacific Highway.

The Gold Coast Suns will be making the voyage down to actively participate in the in- augural AFL Northern Rivers Juniors Community sign-on day on Friday, March 22.

As a young developing group entering their third year of the competition, the Suns have many stars to get excited about for season 2013.

Up to 20 players will be making the journey down the highway and will be on hand to give expert advice to help the youngsters with their footy and life in general.

The AFL places a high priority on community engagement and an essential duty of players is to return to grassroots level to run local football clinics.

As a former player for Carl- ton myself, clinics dealing exclusively with kids made your position as a footballer worth- while… just seeing their smiles.

This Friday gives an opportunity for the youngsters to impress the top players with their footy skills, while obtain- ing as many autographs and photos as possible. Conversely, The Suns are looking to sign up new fans, while also encouraging more kids to play the Australian game locally.

I urge the whole northern rivers AFL community to get down to Ewingsdale for an afternoon of immense fun this Friday from 4.30 to 7.30pm at the Byron Regional Sports and Cultural Complex.


 Matt Lodge is a former Carlton AFL player

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