SCHOOLYARD bragging rights will be on the line when Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes take on Collingullie-Glenfield Park in the Riverina League grand final on Sunday.
The sledging has already started at Mater Dei Catholic College this week as four talented schoolboys prepare to tackle the big stage.
Demons young gun Matt Kennedy might be one out at school this week but he will be flanked by 21 teammates when he goes up against MCUE’s Jock Cornell, Stu Carey and Jake Whitley at Narrandera on Sunday.
Kennedy admitted he was copping a bit from his mates this week.
“There’s plenty of sledging don’t worry,” Kennedy said.
“They pick on me a fair bit.”
For Kennedy, Carey and Cornell, this is a big week on and off the football field.
They are in their last days at school, before holidays and their final HSC exams.
Carey admitted it is difficult to juggle both sport and studies, particularly this week, but claims to have his priorities right.
“Footy is the most important thing, especially this week, but being the last week of school there has been assemblies and meetings and it’s just trying to switch on, trying to take in as much information as possible,” Carey said.
“It’s pretty hard to juggle both because all I’m thinking about is footy really.”
It will be Cornell’s fourth game back with MCUE in the grand final after a busy year of commitments with NSW-ACT Rams and Greater Western Sydney’s reserves.
He loves lining up for the Goannas, under his uncle Chris Daniher.
“It’s real good, I train with the boys twice a week so it’s good to always get back and play with them,” Cornell said.
“I get sick of travelling every weekend so it is good to stay home and play with the boys.”
Kennedy is another who is only recently back on the park for his team.
He missed about three months with a knee injury and made his return in the Demons’ first semi-final win last weekend.
After playing in a premiership alongside his three brothers at Collingullie last year, Kennedy is enjoying the chance to do it again, before an AFL career beckons.
“The knee’s fine, it’s just the rest of the body that’s getting used to being bashed and belted again,” he said.
“It’s good to be back playing footy first and foremost, but good to also get back and play a few more games with the brothers, I guess, and all my mates, it’s good.”
Carey and Whitley, while only young, have been integral members of the Goannas’ team.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.