Eagles fly in for visit
Football fans rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in AFL on Tuesday when the West Coast Eagles visited Busselton as part of the club’s community camp.
Growing up in Bunbury, Eagles wingman Lewis Jetta was close to home when he joined West Coast veteran Sam Mitchell and midfielder Dom Sheed at Vasse Primary School on Tuesday.
The students asked all the important questions, with ruckman Nic Naitanui’s return and the Fremantle Dockers the hot topics.
“It’s always nice to get down south,” Jetta said.
“It’s always funny to hear the questions they are going to ask.
“I still remember Adam Selwood coming to Newton Moore Senior High School ... I was so excited and now that I’m one of the guys that’s coming to the schools, it still brings a smile and excitement.”
The former Sydney Swan hopes for a run in the forward pocket this season after recovering from a pre-season calf injury.
“At the moment, we have a pretty healthy list and it’s hard to get into spots,” he said.
“I just enjoy playing footy and wherever he wants me to play, I’ll play. It’s just learning different roles, so I can have that under my belt rather than just traditional wingman.” Despite the absence of Mitchell and Brownlow medallist Matt Priddis this season, Jetta said the team would be just as competitive.
“There’s definitely a lot of experience gone, but that’s the exciting part — we’ve got a lot of young guys coming through,” he said.
Meanwhile, veteran defender Shannon Hurn, Jamie Cripps and Nathan Vardy got to know Busselton residents at a meet-and-greet at Hungry Jack’s on Tuesday afternoon. Spencer Gummery, 4, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2015 was just one of the fans who shook hands with his favourite team members, courtesy of the Make A Wish Foundation.
The players met several other fans over the two days, visiting schools and aged-care homes including Baptistcare’s William Carey Court and Busselton National Lifestyle Village.
Hurn said regional trips, including the community camp, helped to promote football and connect players with their fans.
“Not all the time as young kids you get to go to the city to see your favourite team — to see West Coast, to see Fremantle, to see someone play — so to come down is really good,” he said.
“You can put a smile on a lot of kids and adults and fans (faces) and that is really what you play sport for.”
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