Browsing he news sites this morning I came across this article on WA Today (Article)
This quote struck me: "It was a chance for him to bond with the players for a couple of weeks, train, just be normal," Simpson said of Rioli's return to the club in pre-season".
It is probably just me but what's normal here? Is it normal to be home with your wife who is expecting a child in March or is it normal to be training in a football club surrounded by team mates? Where is it most likely that he can "just be normal"?
I think the quote exposes a lack of perspective of what the larger world is about when viewed from the bubble of an AFL club.
While we are here compare these two quotes, firstly from Leno Thomas talking about joining the Dockers: "I pretty much grew up in Warmun all of my life," Thomas told the Fremantle website last November. "It’s a small community. Footy is a big thing back there, everyone loves it. It’s a great community.
"I’ve got two sisters down here and one brother. I gave them a call today and told them about it. I told my mum last night and they were really happy about it."
Secondly from Peter Bell: "Whilst only having just joined the club, we value Leno very highly as a part of the Fremantle family and will work closely with him to ensure he is able to uphold the standards expected of both an AFL player as well as the broader community". (Both fromLeno Article)
There is such a huge gulf between the bubble and Aboriginal communities
I trust working with Leno extends beyond a personal development plan on an excel spreadsheet. This academy is going to have some great benefits for our club. But there will be some work to do for these lads who have grown up in remote areas and the club better be sincere in doing that work.