Oliver sup­port all rel­a­tive

McIvor Times - - LOCAL CLASSIES -

STAR AFL foot­baller Clay­ton Oliver’s fi­nals cam­paign with Mel­bourne continues this week and the Heath­cote com­mu­nity has good rea­son to fol­low his progress closely.

Oliver has fam­ily con­nec­tions to Heath­cote, be­ing the grand­son of well-known for­mer Heath­cote cou­ple Les and Rhonda Ste­wart who now live in Echuca.

Les is the son of Alby and Doris Ste­wart. Rhonda is the daugh­ter of Tom and Doreen Mans­bridge. Both fam­i­lies lived on the Kyne­ton Road in Heath­cote.

Alby and Tom were top footy play­ers in their hey­day and played in many pre­mier­ships for North Heath­cote in the early to late 1940s.

Les and Rhonda were born, raised and ed­u­cated in Heath­cote.

Clay­ton’s aunty Rhonda Man­nix still lives in Heath­cote and Clay­ton’s cousin Jonty Kelly is presently a good player for Heath­cote.

In 2016 Clay­ton was re­cruited by the Mel­bourne Foot­ball Club as the num­ber four draft pick in Aus­tralia, mark­ing the start of what is shap­ing up to be an out­stand­ing ca­reer.

In 2017, dur­ing his sec­ond sea­son, Clay­ton won the De­mons’ best and fairest award — a truly won­der­ful ef­fort for a 20-year-old.

From his stel­lar start, Clay­ton has car­ried his ex­cel­lent form into the 2018 sea­son, gain­ing se­lec­tion in the All Aus­tralian Team, which ranks him in the top 22 footy play­ers in the AFL.

Oliver is be­ing com­pared to past great play­ers such as Greg Wil­liams, Michael Voss and Chris Judd — all Brown­low Medal win­ners. There is lit­tle doubt that Oliver will score plenty of votes in this year’s count.

He is the most pro­lific pos­ses­sion win­ner in the AFL this sea­son and fit­tingly is play­ing in the fi­nals se­ries — and play­ing well at that.

In re­cent weeks, Clay­ton has signed a three-year deal to con­tinue to play with the De­mons and has, to date, played 59 games.

Oliver will line-up with the De­mons in the AFL pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal on Satur­day night in Perth as they take on West Coast for a spot in this year’s grand fi­nal.

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