National junior AFL comp kicks off in Albury

A sports oval beneath a cloudy sky.

More than 300 kids from across the country will arrive in Albury this weekend to showcase their footballing talent, which is expected to give the city’s economy significant economic boost.

Key points:

  • Albury Mayor Kylie King says event will inject an estimated $4 million into the city’s economy
  • Ms King says the event will also give locals a chance to see potential superstars up close
  • Some of AFL’s biggest names participated in the competition before they became stars

School Sport Australia’s 2022 National Under 15 AFL Championships will begin at 5pm today with an opening ceremony at Lavington Sports Ground.

Matches will get underway tomorrow and continue throughout the week.

There will also be a “cultural immersion day” for players at Burraja Cultural Centre.

Albury Mayor Kylie King said the event offered a great opportunity to showcase the city and inject some much-needed money into its economy.

“Our economic development team have estimated that it will bring around $4 million into the local economy,” she said.

“[It’s] certainly a welcome boost to the economy for our locals.”

Ms King it was also a chance for the city’s youth to see “the potential stars of the future”.

A sports oval beneath a cloudy sky.
Hundreds of young AFL players from around the country will show off their talents at the Lavington Sports Ground in Albury over the next week.(ABC Goulburn Murray: Callum Marshall)

‘A first serious look’

Albury City Council and the New South Wales Combined High Schools Sports Association have partnered with School Sports Australia to bring the event to the region.

School Sport Australia board member Peter Smith said he had been going to the championships since the early ’90s, including the last time Albury hosted the event in 2001.

“There’s no doubt there are talent scouts here from the AFL clubs and they get reports back on players,” he said.

“This is really their first serious look at the talent in AFL around the country.”

He said there were a number of AFL stars who had gone to the championships in the past, including Adam and Joel Selwood from the West Coast Eagles and Geelong, respectively.

“One that sticks in my mind is Buddy (Lance) Franklin [who] played in the WA team at a championship down in Victoria,” he said.



Author: Ivan Robinson