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Spida Everitt with some Armidale Auskickers

Spida Everitt with some Armidale Auskickers

By James Polson (Armidale Express, 24/04/2009)
Retired AFL legend Peter ‘Spida’ Everitt hit Armidale on Wednesday for a junior AFL clinic with members of the local Auskick program.

The former Swans, Hawks and Saints ruckman took part in a number of drills with 10 of Armidale’s aspiring stars as part of Get Active Armidale week, which comes to an end today.

The 34-year-old, who started his career at St Kilda and was twice named in the All-Australian side, retired after the Swans’ semi-final loss to the Bulldogs last season.

Since hanging up the boots he has been filming a documentary series around Australia, currently airing on Foxtel, and it may not be too long before he is back in town.

The Great Australian Doorstep visited towns and communities in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, and Everitt said Armidale is on the itinerary for the second series.

“We’re going to start shooting at the end of May,” he said.

“We’re looking at smaller towns – Armidale, Tamworth, Ballina and those sort of places will be in the next series.

“Everywhere we visit we also do a clinic with the schools – not just footy but also hockey and other sports.”

Everitt, who tipped his former side St Kilda as the team to beat this year, said that while AFL was continuing to make inroads into the traditional powerbases of rugby league and rugby union, there was still a lot of work to do.

“There’s a long way to go,” he said.

“There’s a big enough platform with Auskick, the numbers across NSW are all up but there’s still a long way to go.”

Local Auskick co-ordinator Darren Ryder said more than 30 youngsters had already registered for the upcoming season, which commences on May 2.

“We’re hoping for 80 this year,” he said.

“The first year we had 12, and last year we had 75.”

Anyone interested in Auskick is encouraged to contact Ryder on 0427 331 973.

Not for reproduction except by permission of the Armidale Express

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