North Coast locals selected in the NSW PSSA state team
Of the 280 plus students at the PSSA state carnival in Sydney during the week, the North Coast’s Remy Bordignon and Jake Brown have been recognised as two of the best players by being chosen in the NSW state team.
Coffs Harbour’s Bordignon (who plays for Coffs Harbour Swans) and Grafton’s Brown (Lower Clarence Eagles) will join 21 other students when they travel to Perth for the School Sport Australia Championships being held in July.
The team will embark on a three-day training camp in Barooga starting on July 14 before heading to Sydney on July 23 to meet the Sydney Swans and to be assigned their jumpers for the trip. The team will then fly out of Sydney the following day for the event.
The state coach, Travis Irvin, said the PSSA state carnival was a huge success and provided students with a platform to showcase their talents in front of teachers and coaching staff alike.
“For some of these kids, they have never been to Sydney before, now they get to go a plane for the first time in their lives,” Irvin said.
“The kids selected in the state team are all talented athletes and will get the chance to play with like-minded people and to play at another level.
“This is the starting point for many kids as they progress through the Talented Player Program. This is not our focus, more so, we want these students to have the time of their lives with their friends and their family. “
The PSSA state carnival is the equal largest primary school based event in Australia, tied with only rugby, bringing students from 13 different regions together for a sports carnival.
While at Blacktown Olympic Park for the three day event, students received a rare insight into the life of an AFL player.
Former Geelong dual premiership winning captain, Tom Harley, traded in his football boots for a whistle as he took to the stage as an umpire for the Barrier and Sydney South West match.
Harley also took the opportunity to speak to the players and their parents providing encouragement and congratulations to the developing young footballers. Riverina local and former Sydney Swans great, Paul Kelly, came to the event to wish all of the kids participating good luck.
Some students swapped their football boots for a note pad and a recorder as they pretended to be journalists at a Sydney Swans ‘press conference’.
It was a fantastic occasion for young aspiring footballers to ask their favourite Swans players some questions about how they got involved in the game and the commitment required to make it in the AFL.
The activity was made even more special given four of the five players in attendance, Kieren Jack, Craig Bird, Nathan Gordon and Dylan McNeil, have all competed in the PSSA carnival before going on to be listed with the Swans. Byron Sumner was the other Swans player who attended the press conference.