Led by coaches and former AFL players Aaron Davey and David Rodan, the program provides 50 indigenous men, aged 18 to 24, with exposure to elite AFL programs and training, along with networking opportunities in corporate environments over two training camps.
Participants took part in a range of cultural, educational and community activities, as well as intensive training ahead of the Team Davey versus Team Rodan match played on Saturday.
Coinciding with the Indigenous Round, the second training camp will be held in Melbourne in May, culminating in the curtain-raiser match to the Dreamtime at the G clash, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
AFL head of diversity Jason Mifsud said the program was dedicated to helping participants achieve their goals and reach their football potential.
‘The AFL and Rio Tinto Footy Means Business program is committed to providing talent and development opportunities for young indigenous men from all over Australia, with the aim of seeing an increase in indigenous players selected to play at State and elite AFL level,’ he said,
Participants were selected by AFL talent managers based on football ability, engagement with their communities and their potential to serve as role models.
WA players to take part in Team Davey included Donald Lockyer (Port Headland), Albert Dean (Perth), Ashley Cooper (Karratha), Tim Yarran (Bunbury), Matthew McKenzie (Kalgoorlie), Steven Edwards (Joondanna), Kevin Pickett (Bunbury), Micky Ball (Wickham), Traye Bennell (Bunbury), Aaron Birch (Beagle Bay) and Nelson Ansey (Wickham).
Those in Team Rodan included Stephen Hodder (Port Headland), Dino Ross (Midland), Brandon Jetta (Bunbury), Dylan Nelson (Perth), Kaiden Matera (Perth), Lawrence Evans (Kununurra), Kelman Tullock (Port Hedland), Richard Bourne (Perth) and Matthew Lorne (Karratha).