Ris­ing AFL star in St Kilda’s sights

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By SAM DUFF

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.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.