Broome Advertiser - - Front Page - Jakeb Wad­dell

His­tory-mak­ing WAFL player Keifer Yu re­turned to his home town re­cently and has a sim­ple, but in­spir­ing mes­sage for young ath­letes try­ing to crack it in Perth — stick at it.

A his­tory-mak­ing Kim­ber­ley foot­baller re­turned to his home­town re­cently and has sent out a mes­sage of en­cour­age­ment for lo­cal play­ers try­ing to crack it on the big stage in Perth.

Keifer Yu moved back to Broome late last year af­ter a decade at the Clare­mont Tigers WAFL side, where he be­came the first man from the re­gion to record 100 games at the club and only the sec­ond indige­nous player to do so.

The suc­cess of the for­mer St Mary’s Col­lege stu­dent seemed some­what of a rar­ity for the Kim­ber­ley, with home­sick­ness caus­ing a wave of young lo­cal foot­ballers to throw in the towel soon af­ter mov­ing away to chase their dreams.

And for Yu, that was al­most the case.

“A few years into be­ing with Clare­mont, I wasn’t play­ing as well, I was dropped from league games and started re­ally miss­ing home,” he said.

“I was con­tem­plat­ing chuck­ing it in for good so or­gan­ised a meet­ing with the cap­tain and coach, who gave me guide­lines on what I needed to im­prove on and where I was at.

“They told me to keep go­ing for the fol­low­ing year, have a big pre-sea­son to get my fit­ness up. “The next year, I played ev­ery league game and some re­ally good footy.”

Yu’s ad­vice for those who have the op­por­tu­nity to make it in foot­ball was to grasp it with both hands and stick it out.

“I un­der­stand what a lot would go through when they move to a big city like Perth,” he said.

“For me, I was no longer in a com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment. I was at a club where the ma­jor­ity of the peo­ple were white, didn’t un­der­stand where I came from, the life­styles us boys grow up with, the cul­tural side of things and how big and im­por­tant fam­ily is. It is easy to say now, but my ad­vice is to stick it out and set some re­al­is­tic goals you can achieve.

“Many of the boys go down there and think they’re go­ing to play league WAFL games straight away and it is often not the case.

“Keep­ing busy is also im­por­tant. I was work­ing the whole time but I saw some other Kim­ber­ley boys come through that weren’t work­ing so just got bored, home­sick and moved back up.”

Yu is now work­ing as a youth men­tor at the Wir­rpanda Foun­da­tion and is ex­pect­ing his first child in a mat­ter of weeks.

Pic­ture: Jakeb Wad­dell

Pic­ture Daniel Wilkins

Keifer Yu dur­ing his time with the Clare­mont Tigers.

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