2600km road trip to play footy in Lismore
WOULD you drive almost 30 hours in a car to simply to play a game of footy?
Some would say 2673km is a heck of a road trip just to thread the Sherrin between the sticks, but for these passionate Aussie rules players, the dusty drive from Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory to Lismore was worth every bump on the road.
Owen Paterson, 29, and Tommy Gillett, 28, did the drive from their small town 500km north of Alice Springs to join mate Andrew Baker, 38, who was already ensconced in the Lismore Swans AFL Club.
Bronson Plummer, 21, who flew in on Monday, said being part of the Lismore Swans AFL Club lineup represented a new life and stage in their footy careers.
Baker said coach Joey Mitchell was instrumental in recruiting them from the Barkly AFL in the NT, to Lismore.
He said it was a significant step for the foursome, who have known each other all their lives.
“Some of us have worked together, went to school together, we’ve all played in many, many premierships together despite the age gap,” Baker said.
“I’ve played with Bronson and his dad in the same team at different times over a 20-year period.”
Baker said the moment he saw the Swans play, his heart was for the red and white jersey.
“I came over a few years ago and saw the Swannies play Byron, the bottom team playing the top and the Swans were absolutely hammered, I think they kicked one goal,” he said.
“But I liked the look of them, and I thought, ‘this is the team for me’.”
“We are mates,” Paterson said with a grin.
“Baker offered us a better lifestyle and bit of work.”
Plummer said he was keen to meeting the rest of the team and commence training.