Brent keeps eye on the long-term goal
Thursday, 1st December, 2011
For many young footballers the game is an all-consuming passion, but Brent Rose knows there’s more to life than Aussie Rules.
The West youngster recently took part in a football and life skills camp in Sydney as part of the Footy Means Business program which is run in partnership between the AFL and mining company Rio Tinto.
The camp was held in the lead up to the AFL’s National Draft, and attracted 50 of the best young Aboriginal players from around Australia.
The week-long program covered the usual football gamut of fitness, nutrition and game skills, but mainly focused on readying players for their life away from the field.
Players were asked to set long and short term goals for their future outside of football and were also mentored by AFL and Rio Tinto staff.
Rose, whose mother is a descendant of the Wiradjuri people, said the camp had given him and his fellow indigenous teammates much to consider.
“Most of them are there for the footy, but it was all about if you don’t make it in footy, what you do with life,” he said.
“Just that there’s other paths in the future, and that you have to have other things to fall back on.”
The trip wasn’t all theory however, and the players were split into two teams coached by former AFL stars Chris Johnson and Xavier Clarke for an exhibition match.
The teams were originally scheduled to play at the SCG, but heavy rain meant the game had to be moved to a ground in the Moore Park precinct outside the oval.
Rose lined up on the back flank and won praise from local GWS Academy coach Dale Tonkin for his skill and speed.
“He played in the defensive half and showed great run and carry. His foot skills were also quite good,” he said.
The 21-year-old said it was a great experience to take on some of the country’s best indigenous talent.
“It was good to play against them, and also see where I’m at ability-wise. It was pretty quick game, but it was a good pace.”
As part of the program Rose will now get the chance to play in a curtain raiser at the MCG in May next year before the AFL’s annual “Dreamtime at the G” match.
In the meantime he said was looking forward to playing with West in the 2012 season.