Yeah, if Long is to be delisted (and this is by no means a reason to retain him if the club feels he is not up to) then we will have the lowest amount of indigenous players on our list since his dad was drafted. The lowest in the AFL.
Yes, there is not a “quota” but at the very least there is a representation figure that the AFL is proud of that we are lagging sorely behind.
Micheal Long once said that Kevin Sheedy did more for reconciliation in Australia than anyone,
Aside from his flags indigenous engagement was Sheedys greatest legacy.
Today, and for a while now, we have talked the talk regarding our engagement of indigenous Australia, our support of the Tiwi Bombers and Wadeye, but it feels more like it’s a charitable venture now.
Now people may suggest that deliberately going out to draft an indigenous player is tokanism, and sure it is in some way. But at least with adding a player to our list we have a greater chance of return on our investment into indigenous culture.
This really hits home when you visit the top end and meet a kid called Matthew Lloyd and he barracks for Port.
Jack Munkara, Kevin Portamini and Hector Tipungwuti are all kids that could have been addded to our academy and all hand strong impacts in NTFL senior footy as juniors the season gone and could as far as I know be added, but the only word I have seen out of the club about the Tiwi, and West Arnhem is how they were part of our AFLW strategy. These are just the free hit kids I’m talking about.
I completely understand Sheeds comments and he has every right to air them and I’m glad he did.