Wednesday, 13 July 2016
Subiaco were well represented in NAIDOC Round with three players of Indigenous heritage lining up against Perth.
The Lions have a club record of nine Indigenous players on their list in 2016 but Adam Cockie, Liam Ryan and debutant Jeremy Woodley proudly represented their club and culture against the Demons.
Indigenous mentor and Subi team-captain Adam Cockie believes that NAIDOC Round is a solid step in recognising the impact of Indigenous culture on our game.
“NAIDOC Round is a great idea in recognising the Indigenous players that have come from the Subiaco Football Club and West Australia as a whole. To have nine players representing SFC in 2016 is incredible” said Cockie
The Lions have had success in un-covering, overlooked Indigenous talent in the past with 2015 AFL draftee Shane Yarran and more recently Liam Ryan.
Players like Ryan were targeted by the club as potential stars and Subi are starting to reap the rewards.
“We’re only starting to see what some of these young Indigenous players like Liam Ryan and Jeremy Woodley can do. They always had the talent it’s just about offering the opportunity.” added Cockie
Adam Cockie hits a long bomb. Photo: Michael Flood
Cockie, who now also works as the Community Engagement Officer for the Lions District believes the resources for Indigenous development is sufficient but there’s always room for improvement.
“There could always be some more attention on youth and Indigenous programs to help support the kids from a younger age. Then by the time they reach AFL draft age they’ve been well educated through the appropriate pathway.” said Cockie
“If we can identify the players earlier the District can support them and keep them on the right path. Some do go walk-about but if we keep them together and maintain their focus the pathway will be a lot stronger,”
The cultural divide continues to dissolve and it can come from something as simple as football.
“Subiaco does a fantastic job of respecting and embracing the Indigenous culture and players but I also make sure the guys get out to the other players as well,” said Cockie
“It’s a two-way street in developing trust amongst the playing group and re-affirming that we’re all in the same boat.”