Maitland Saints juniors (from left) Ollie Latter, Matthew Guy, Eddie Sutherland, Nathan Murdoch and Tyle Bartlett (not pictured) were part of successful campaigns by Newcastle representative teams. While the Maitland Saints may still be in their infancy the club’s future appears to be in safe hands.
Five Saints juniors have had a successful few months turning out for the Newcastle under 12s representative team that won the Challenge Cup on the Central Coast and the Newcastle Invitational Shield.
The team also finished runner-up at the South Coast Carnival at Nowra.
Nathan Murdoch, Matthew Guy, Tyler Bartlett and Eddie Sutherland all play with the Maitland Saints under 13s, while Ollie Latter is from the club’s under 11s team.
The team won all five games against teams from Illawarra, Central Coast and the north coast of NSW on their way to claiming the prestigious Invitational Shield.
Maitland Saints junior president Lindsay Guy said the skyrocketing popularity of Australian Rules football in the area was part of the reason behind the success.
“You’ll find that most kids play AFL in the Maitland come from other football code backgrounds and have treated AFL in the past as a second sport,” he said.
“What we’re trying to do is develop AFL as a first choice.
“But the kids that come from different sports all have skills that are comparable, the rugby league and union kids generally have good hands and tackling skills, kids from soccer have good feet.”
Guy said the success of the SydneySwans had helped AFL’s popularity in Maitland.
“Having a great team in Sydney helps,” he said.
“The popularity is growing unbelievably.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.