Matt Priddis reunites with former mentor Rod Willet to teach next generation of AFL stars

Rod Willet, left, and Matt Priddis.  Picture: Bruce Hunt d478684
Rod Willet, left, and Matt Priddis. Picture: Bruce Hunt d478684

FORMER West Coast Eagles midfielder Matthew Priddis has joined with his one-time development coach to take the game to youngsters.

He will attend local and country football programs as part of his fellow former Subiaco player Rod Willet’s new Kicks 4 Kidz AFL Academy.

The Brownlow medallist admitted he had not had a lot of time to think about football since retirement last year and a new career at In Front Australian Business Solutions.

“It gives me a great opportunity to give something back to football and the best place to start is with the next generation of footballers,” he said.

Willet first met Priddis when coaching the Subiaco under-16 development side and was impressed with what he saw.

“Matty Priddis was an outstanding junior player with a fierce determination to succeed,” Willet said.

“He had a background in surf lifesaving so he understood the nature of hard work and he was also a respectful young man.

“He deserves everything he’s achieved in football. With those qualities you can see why he is going to be such a great role model for the next generation of young footballers.

“Part of what we want to teach young footballers these days is much more that just football, we want them to be outstanding young men or women so when Matt has any free time I will be trying to get him down to the academy.

“AFL footy is a tough caper but every young footballer dreams of playing AFL.”

Willet spends hours watching football each week, starting with WAFL colts, reserves and then commentating a WAFL league game.

He still runs his Indigenous Youth Program in the Pilbara and the Kimberley and recruits for the Gold Coast.

The academy is hosting a program at Newman College on February 3.

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