A showcase of the Far South Coast’s finest Aussie rules players will be the platform of a special visit on Tuesday.
AFL hall of fame inductee, multiple premiership winning coach and current Greater Western Sydney (GWS) board member Kevin Sheedy will pay the Bega Valley a visit.
Everyone is invited to attend the Bega Showground on Tuesday where the Bega Bombers will host the junior and senior Stingrays representative sides in their final training session.
This is also an opportunity to meet one of the living legends of the Aussie rules code.
Stingrays head coach and AFL coordinator Adrian Pavese said the visit was a chance to showcase local talent to Sheedy.
“We are really pleased with how the squad has come together and the training has been first class,” Pavese said.
“We want to show Kevin that we have a strong viable competition down here, with many people who show a real passion for AFL in the Sapphire.”
Sheedy will watch some of the training, and present jerseys to the junior and senior teams.
Assistant coach Luke Taylor, of the Tathra Sea Eagles, echoed Pavese’s sentiment.
“We want to showcase the best players in the comp,” Taylor said.
“The ball hardly hits the ground when you have 24 of the coast’s best on the ground,” he said with a laugh.
Despite coming from clubs all across the coast, teamwork has been paramount and resulted in strong combinations, Taylor said.
“Pav has bought a real professionalism from the training side of things, he has 30 years of coaching experience.
“We’ve got some great combinations and developed a really speedy running style.”
The visit will be used as an opportunity to promote pathways with the GWS club.
“I think it will benefit everyone involved as we are in the Giants zone and we really want to show Kevin that their is some super talent here,” Pavese said.
Meanwhile, Taylor said GWS development is already underway in the area, but the visit will take opportunities a step further.
“We run some GWS development squads and training.
“We have our toe in the water.
“The visit just promotes the brand and Sheeds and GWS want to have as much impact down here as possible.”
Taylor hoped the visit from one of the code’s biggest names would also help encourage juniors.
“The more things we can do like this and promote the code it helps juniors get involved.”
Taylor said the visit is a reward for the hard work of SCAFL this year.
“It’s nice for him to show interest in our junior and senior rep teams.
“He’ll be all about making sure we’re going in the right direction.
“Whenever you have someone the calibre of Kevin Sheedy, it’s just a feather in the cap of our league,” he said.
The visit will be hosted by the Bega Bombers and they are urging everyone to head along.
The club will have fires to keep warm and a full canteen running.
It is also hoped Sheedy will be available for some quick Q and A sessions in between the training runs.
Sheedy is expected to arrive at the ground at about 5pm with training sessions from 4.30pm.
Meanwhile, organisers are confident the senior team will form the strongest rep side the coast has seen in the last decade and a visit from Sheedy is an added bonus.
The organisers want to show off SCAFL’s best to the locals, not just Sheedy and are urging everyone to head along.
“Hopefully people will see 24 players training the house down leading into the big game,” Pavese said.
“Our skills and running power has been first class and when you get the best players together it should go up a notch or two.”
Merimbula’s Jack Murphy has been named the captain of the 22-man team - with two emergency players listed.
“He leads from the front every week, he’s courageous and does exactly what you want your captain to do,” Taylor said.
“He was an obvious choice.”