Swans setting up camp
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
FANS of Australian Rules on the North Coast of NSW will have the opportunity to meet the Sydney Swans during their Telstra AFL Community Camp in Coffs Harbour.
The Swans will be in and around the Coffs Coast for four days from Monday, November 26, and during that time will conduct training sessions, visit schools and conduct NAB AFL Auskick clinics.
The local AFL North Coast competition will also be hosting a community dinner during this time.
The camp will bring the club's entire playing squad to the area as the 2005 premiers begin their preparations for next season.
The club's General Manager of Football, Andrew Ireland is excited at the prospect of the team returning to Coffs Harbour for the first time since the Swans played Carlton in a pre-season match in 2003.
"We're all looking forward to the week, we certainly enjoyed our time in Coffs Harbour the last time we were there and there are good facilities as well," he said.
"The week is a very important week for us and the reasons for that are twofold. Firstly it's a chance to get out into the community and secondly it's important from a training point of view.
"Missing out on the finals as early as we did this year means that our training will be fairly ramped up by that time of the year."
AFL General Manager, National and International Development, David Matthews, said the camps now traditionally kick off the AFL season.
"The Telstra AFL Community Camps give communities the opportunity to see AFL coaches and players at the highest level preparing for the season ahead. Clubs have the chance to have a positive impact on every part of a community, which is a fantastic prospect," Matthews said.
Now into it's fifth year, the AFL Community Camps program continues to grow and the Regional Manager for AFL (NSW/ACT) Northern NSW Shane McAloon believes that the upcoming camp is an exciting time for all AFL supporters in the area.
"The Sydney Swans bringing their Telstra AFL Community Camp to Coffs Harbour is a fantastic opportunity for all of our local AFL players and all boys and girls who are interested in having a go at AFL in 2008 to meet current AFL stars and learn a few tips from the best," he said.
"There will be plenty of opportunities to meet the players with school visits planned from Grafton to Port Macquarie and everywhere in between, a 'Super Clinic' with players teaching the skills of our great game and a Gala Dinner with all players and coaching staff in attendance.
"This is a real coup for Coffs Harbour, as Telstra AFL Community Camps are much sort after by footballing communities all over Australia. It will provide an opportunity for people at the 'grass roots' of our sport to spend some time with the elite, talk footy and find out a bit more about what it's like at the top."