Friendly Cats love having a kick with the kids

Saturday, July 27

ON The Footy Show on Thursday night Eddie McGuire asked Spider Everitt and I how the players felt about getting out into the community and holding footy clinics for kids.

Spider made some pretty disparaging comments about people's organisational skills.

Before I had a chance to answer Eddie's question, the show had moved on to something else.

At Geelong, we are very happy to be involved in developing the game through clinics.

Thanks to John Edsall, we have a terrific relationship with the Geelong Falcons and together we run the SmokeFree Clinics.

This year, more than 7000 children in the Geelong area and the Western District took part in these clinics. Six Geelong players normally attend each clinic.

Earlier this month, we had two very successful club clinics. One was held in Melbourne and the other was held in Geelong.

Peter Riccardi and I were photographed in the middle of hundreds of youngsters who were all wearing Geelong's blue and white hoops.

It was a fantastic shot.

About 500 kids attended the clinic in Geelong and our players had a ball running the drills.

The biggest kid of all - Billy Brownless - was also there.

On Sunday, August 4, we will hold an Auskick Clinic at Skilled Stadium.

Last year, we set a record for the largest Auskick clinic held in Australia with close to 1500 children involved.

Every player was there that day and we are hoping for a similar turnout this year.

Of course, a player isn't able to be involved in the clinics if he is injured.

It's very important for football clubs to put back into the community and our club does that when it can. It's not always easy because we also have to train, study, play footy and find time for our friends and families.

The clinics we do with John Edsall, and through Sarah and Simone in the membership department, are well run and well attended.

That makes it a pleasure for the players to be involved.

I don't know what Spider and the rest of the St Kilda boys gets up to, but I do know that Geelong is regarded within the AFL as one of the best clubs when it comes to seeking out the next generations of footballers and football supporters.