The Kewell kids had a ball

JACK Lowe now has a great tale to tell his grandchildren - the day he played alongside Harry Kewell.

The nine-year-old was among scores of the region's juniors who met the Socceroo star and his Melbourne Heart team-mates at a special autograph and training session.

Star attraction Kewell helped entertain the players, hosting short matches and even jumping in at times to show his fleet-footed skills.

Italo Stars midfield player Jack, who attends Goonellabah's Summerland Christian College, said it had been great to be on the same pitch as one of his football idols.

"It was amazing," he said.

"He is one of my favourite players; I couldn't imagine ever meeting him.

"He just said hello and chatted to us.

"It was absolutely brilliant to meet him."

Football FNC officials and coaches helped oversee the event, held at Lismore's Oakes Oval on Monday night.

Goonellabah under-11 player Jack Denny was another player to meet and play alongside Kewell.

"He has got great skill with the ball," 10-year-old Jack, who attends Lismore's St Carthage's Primary School, said.

"He was really friendly, a really nice guy - and a great player."

The event was part of the Heart's visit to the area and came a day after the team's trial match against A-League foes Brisbane Roar at the same venue.

Joanne Gahan, whose daughter Sarah was among the children involved, said the event could help participation levels in football.

"I think Sarah likes the social side of the sport," Ms Gahan, of Lismore, said.

"It keeps her fit by running around.

"If her team scores a goal they all are pumped. It is great to see.

"I think events like this are very important. The kids in this area do not get many opportunities in an area like this to meet top players.

"They are really excited - it's great to see them so happy."



THE Northern Star caught up with Harry Kewell during his visit to Lismore and asked him for a few of his football thoughts:

Best player played against: Gary Neville (former Manchester United and England right-back): He was such a tough opponent. It was more than about the football as well - just the way he approached games and was so organised.

Best player played with: David Batty (former Leeds United and England midfielder): He was a really intelligent player. He always played the right ball.

Proudest moment: Off the pitch, my four kids. On the pitch, I would just say making my debuts for my clubs. Every time I've done that, I've felt a lot of pride.

Sum up being Harry Kewell in one-word: Fun!

Advice for young players: Just have fun. That's what it's about. It's just about building your love around the game. If you love the game and want to play, that's a great start.

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