Indigenous skill to 'shine in fame game' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Indigenous skill to 'shine in fame game'

By Sam Lienert 09/05/2008 05:09:53 PM Comments (0)

Dream Team coach Mark Williams believes Saturday night's Hall of Fame game will provide a superb vehicle for displaying the talents of the AFL's Aboriginal players.

The Dream Team's 25-man side includes eight indigenous players and Williams expects the likely free-flowing nature of the MCG game to be ideally suited to their pace, skill and flair.

"Very much so, I can't wait to see," Williams said.

"There's going to be some brilliant run from defence, there's going to be some outstanding work in the forward line from our blokes."

The indigenous contingent includes skipper Andrew McLeod and the AFL's leading goal kicker Lance Franklin.

By contrast, Victoria's sole Aboriginal player is Sydney's Adam Goodes, with the home side lucky to have him, given he considers himself South Australian.

"I was born in SA, I see myself as a very proud Nunga boy," Goodes said.

The fact that he did not play any junior football in SA, instead starting out playing soccer, before taking up Australian rules after moving to Victoria as a teenager and representing that state meant Goodes was tied to the Big V.

"I am South Australian, that's where I was born and I'm Nunga ... I don't see myself as a Koori, which Victorian people do, (but) I'm just happy to be playing for the Big V this weekend," Goodes said.

Williams said the high proportion of indigenous players selected among the competition's elite was something the AFL should be proud of.

"It's just great to see how AFL has embraced the Aboriginal race and given them opportunity for these guys to be leaders of their race," he said.

Three of them - Shaun and Peter Burgoyne and Daniel Motlop - are from Williams' own club, Port Adelaide.

"The number of Aboriginal boys playing AFL footy is just a delight for all of us," he said.

"To think that that might be helping the social welfare of the Aboriginals is just brilliant and giving them a real focus of what they can be and how good they can be."

"All we can do is give them an opportunity."

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