Centre State Exports and the Adelaide Football Club have recently combined to hold their annual Crows Country Kids Clinic.
Twenty regional clubs from South Australia were asked to nominate one of their most talented 13 or 14 year old players to participate in a 'learning and training day' with staff from the Adelaide Crows.
The clinic was held at Adelaide Oval in July while the Crows players conducted their 'captain's run' training session ahead of their pivotal match against Essendon the following night.
Co-captains Rory Sloane and Taylor Walker both took the time to interact with the kids over the fence.
Of significance, this year's clinic included its first junior female attendees, Shineah Goody of the Southern Eagles FC and Kayleigh May of Kadina FC.
Given the rapid growth of female participation in Aussie Rules Footy, we were fortunate to have Hannah Martin of the Adelaide Crows AFLW side, and a born and bred Yorke Peninsula girl, come and have a chat to the kids about transitioning from country life to city life and the journey to becoming an AFLW premiership player.
This year marked the fifth consecutive year of running the clinic that has continued to be a great success.
This year there were five clubs invited from the Adelaide Plains and Clare Valley region.
Centre State Exports' Dan Martens said the comment was made to him by several of the parents and club contacts, that many of the smaller regional communities don't get opportunities like the clinic that was hosted.
"The strong connections Centre State Exports has with these farming communities has provided an opportunity for these kids to be able to participate in a clinic that offers them a great insight into the life of a professional footballer," he said.
"We are delighted to be able to give back to some of these communities especially given many have had to deal with trying farming conditions over the past 12 months."
Macauley Smith (Balaklava), Dylan Williams (Hummocks), Charlie Baker (Mallala), Billy Ingham (MinMan) and Stevie Riley (Southern Saints) were the talented young players nominated by their clubs.
The football department at the Adelaide Crows developed a program that allowed the young footballers to advance their understanding of what is required to reach an elite level and to discuss different aspects of life as a footballer such as daily routines, university studies, diet and nutrition.
With the clinic being held at Adelaide Oval, it allowed access to some key staff members from the Adelaide Football Club.
Assistant coach (Lameroo's own) Michael Godden, fitness and nutrition specialists Nathan Heaney and Brie Salagaras and physical performance assistant Jordan Sellar were amongst those to provide the kids with intellect in various areas of the football world.
The highlight of the day for many of the participants was the one on one time spent with South Australia's very own 'country boy' and Crows ruckman Sam Jacobs.
Sam gave the boys some real insight into the hard work, dedication and sacrifice that's required to make it in the AFL.
The participants had the opportunity to be put through their paces in a training and skills session with physical performance assistant Jordan Sellar and AFLW player Elouise Jones.
The day concluded with a guided tour of the change rooms and team facilities for both the parents and kids.