High-flyer runs on field for 150 games

YOUNG GUN LOOKS FOR­WARD TO BRIGHT FU­TURE

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - SPORT - Danielle Jarvis

HE MAY be just 15 years old but Liam O’Keefe has al­ready shown his ded­i­ca­tion to both the St Clair Crows Ju­nior Aus­tralian Rules Foot­ball Club and the game it­self, play­ing his 150th game last week.

The cel­e­bra­tions were short-lived when half­way through the sec­ond quar­ter, an­other player landed on Liam’s an­kle, caus­ing it to frac­ture.

The in­jury has left the cen­tre half-back with eight weeks on the side­lines.

“It felt like it died. I can barely stand up by my­self,” he said. “When it (the abil­ity to play) gets taken away, you re­alise what’s

His fa­ther and club head coach, Richard O’Keefe, said he was proud of Liam.

“From a coach­ing per­spec­tive ... he has been in­stru­men­tal in the club for five pre­mier­ships. We’ve won four from five.

“As a player he’s grown both phys­i­cally and in terms of stature in the club.

“He takes on lead­er­ship roles in the club. He’ll be the club cap­tain next year.”

De­spite his suc­cess as a player, Liam said he would much rather um­pire pro­fes­sional AFL games than play in them.

O’Keefe said the young AFL star had been nom­i­nated for the AFL NSW ju­nior um­pir­ing tal­ent pro­gram, Next Gen­er­a­tion.

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