NIAS Report: Swans spread wings for AFL

The Inverell RSM NIAS AFL Squad with Sydney Swans players Daniel Robinson and Callum Mills.
The Inverell RSM NIAS AFL Squad with Sydney Swans players Daniel Robinson and Callum Mills.

The Australian Football League continues to spread its wings into the Northern Inland with the Sydney Swans sending players right across the region.

A highlight of the visit was two of the Swans up-and-coming stars Callum Mills and Daniel Robinson running a clinic for the developing Inverell RSM AFL squad. 

It is just the squad’s fourth year, but it’s already proving its worth with the first women’s senior competition kicking off in 2017.

The Swans players ran the athletes through some skills and drills, showing them the level that the elites work at, and giving them a taste of what is expected of the best Aussie Rules players in Australia.

Callum Mills debuted for the Sydney Swans in 2016 and missed two games all year.

He had such an impact on the competition that he was named Rising Star of both the Sydney Swans and the AFL.

Daniel Robinson didn’t have the same start with the Swans.

A reoccurring shoulder injury sidelined him in 2016 and he only played five games in 2017.

Despite spending more time injured than fit in his first three years, the Sydney Swans have shown faith in the young midfielder. The Swans extended his contract in 2016 for a further two years.   

The two young midfielders then participated in the NIAS Sportspersons dinner where they fielded questions from the audience.

Mills gave an insight into the mental battle involved in the Swans turning their 2017 season around after losing the opening six games.

Mills gave an insight into the mental battle involved in the Swans turning their 2017 season around after losing the opening six games.

Robinson shared his experience of having to fight off the demons of a persistent shoulder injury as he worked to get back into condition. 

The Inverell RSM AFL squad head coach Alan Martin said the experiences his athletes got from both the training session and the following dinner were invaluable.

“It’s the opportunities like this that the AFL and the Sydney Swans put on, that makes it arguably the biggest sport in Australia’s winter,” Martin said. 

“Their dedication to pushing the game into the regional area’s and giving genuine experiences to our young athletes that builds their interest in the sport.” 

ATHLETE PROFILE: Montana Harvey

Montana Harvey recognises that there is now a great future for women in AFL.

Montana Harvey recognises that there is now a great future for women in AFL.

Sport? I’m a member of Glen Innes Auskick in Women’s AFL and the NIAS Inverell RSM AFL squad.

What town or city are you from? Glen Innes.

How long have you been involved with NIAS? I have been involved with NIAS for 1 year

Age? I am 14 years of age

Ambition? To learn and develop my AFL skills, improve my fitness level and join a youth girls AFL team.

Greatest Influence on your Sports Career? My Dad, he has won the best and fairest awards in local regional AFL, Victoria and has always supported me.

Hero? Tom Mitchell from the Hawthorn Hawks.

The future: “It’s so inspiring to see the development of the women’s game and you can see that it is starting to become a viable career.”