Young Bulldog throws AFLX a bone

February 22, 2018

Shepparton East Primary School students were enthralled by stories from Western Bulldogs players Nathan Mullenger-McHugh (left) and Tom Campbell on Monday.

Western Bulldogs rookie Nathan Mullenger-McHugh believes the AFLX format has a bright future after taking part in the action at the weekend.

‘‘It was fun, I really loved the concept of it and it would have been definitely a big success by the AFL, so it’s a great concept,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s good fun to play, I hadn’t been exposed to it that much before, but I really enjoyed myself and I think a lot of local clubs will start to embrace it a little bit more.

‘‘It’s great for training, good fitness and good fun and that’s the main thing. I know my younger cousins loved it, so I think a lot of kids will be getting behind it.’’

Speaking at Shepparton East Primary School on Monday as part of AFL Goulburn Murray’s player appearance program, Mullenger-McHugh and team mate Tom Campbell thrilled students and teachers alike.

‘‘It (visiting regional areas) is really important,’’ Mullenger-McHugh said.

‘‘When you’re young you really remember those boys that make the effort to come out and it really shows when they show a lot of care.

‘‘I still remember a couple of players that came to our primary school and local footy club, it might just be getting a handball from one of the players, and it makes your day and makes you want to get involved and learn more about the game.’’

The more experienced Campbell took the lead for most of the discussion, guiding his rookie team mate through the process.

‘‘We do AFL community visits every year, it’s a really great part of the job coming out into the community and getting to talk to kids about what it’s like to be an AFL player,’’ Campbell said.

‘‘I think it’s great that we’re able to have a more experienced player with the younger players to just go through the community appearances together and share some experience and guide them through the process.

‘‘In pre-season we train really hard and there’s sort of a monotonous grind to the work, and to get out to the community and see what footy’s really about and the smiles on kids’ faces when we turn up it makes it all worthwhile.’’

Students from Congupna, Katamatite, Tungamah, Currawa and Devenish primary schools also received visits from Bulldogs players on Monday.

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