Rising AFL star in St Kilda’s sights
A Cannons Creek teenager who had not heard of AFL (Australian Football League) 12 months ago, has won a fulltime training spot with Melbourne’s St Kilda side.
Former Porirua College student Joe Baker-Thomas, 17, said he was looking forward to strengthening his playing skills overseas.
In April he won a St Kilda rookie scholarship that included 10 days of training with the club.
Baker- Thomas, presently a North City Demons player, said he grew up playing rugby and initially struggled to learn the rules of AFL.
‘‘I got into AFL when I took part in a local tournament. I like the competitiveness of the game,’’ he said.
St Kilda commercial manager Ben Davies said Baker-Thomas would learn from the best about how to apply his craft.
Representatives from St Kilda visited Porirua last week to tour the city’s facilities, which will be used for training before next year’s Anzac Day test at Westpac Stadium.
Mayor Nick Leggett said Porirua was a sports town open to hosting all codes.
‘‘The key to growing our sporting success is growing the number of codes that kids have access to,’’ he said. ‘‘It is great to have players like Joe for kids to aspire to be like.’’