MajakDaw - First Sudanese to be rookied to the AFL
TAC Cup team: Western Jets
Position: Under sized ruckman and kicking goals, like Brad Ottens from Geelong.
Sporting Background: Soccer
What are some of you achievements in playing Australian Rules Football?
I’ve only been playing for six years and made it to TAC Cup played a full season this year – something that I’ve always wanted to do.
Which country did you family arrive from?
Came from Sudan six years ago
What are some of your ambitions?
I want to be the first Sudanese to get drafted to a club
How did you start playing AFL football?
Some friends from school asked me to come down and play. Came down and after a few days started playing U/14’s.
What was it about the game that you loved the most?
I just loved getting footy. I wasn’t a good kick so that’s something I had to work on.
Did it take you a while to get your skills right?
To drop the ball right for kicking.
What are some of the opportunities that Australian football has given you outside the game?
To be in involved in the community to make more friends.
Helps to integrate into the Australian way of life for some refugees who come into Australia, its kind of hard for them to fit in.
Refugee background – what are some of the challenges you have faced as an AFL
A few racist remarks. It doesn’t affect me. Spoke to the coach about it and said not to worry about it.
What are some of the support networks to achieve your goals?
I was very young when I started.
Network of friends is very important and asking questions
Are your parents involved?
They have come to a couple of games seen me play they have enjoyed it and my brother started playing this year.
How can football clubs help people from multicultural backgrounds to play the game?
Make them feel more loved. It’s pretty hard when you are starting.
So it gives people a new start.
At first, the langage barrier affected me.
Essendon - The way they run the footy they are a very quick side.
They have a young talent list.
My idol is Paddy Ryder. He is a great athlete.
Do you have an involvement with the AFL multicultural camp 2009?
Multicultural officers speak with the kids, my job is to motivate people. They can see me and see that there are people from their country playing.
I wish I could do this at their age.
This camp will help them achieve some of their goals?
Yes, definitely helping them and giving them a headstart with people who really care what they want to do.
These kids are going to speak about it is probably one of the best experiences that they have had in a while. They're going to speak to others and it might get them to play footy.