Lucien Sennitt and his mate Oliver Baget-Juleff count themselves lucky to be on the same team, both at their home club, Kiama Power, and in the Under 13 Swans Academy.
“Oliver has a massive kick,’’ says Lucien. “And don’t get in a tackle with him. You won’t win.’’
Oliver is equally impressed with Lucien’s footy prowess. “He attacks the ball and he protects the backline. We had barely any points kicked against us last year,’’ says Oliver.
There must be something in the water at the Kiama Power footy club, because five boys in the team which won the Under 12 premiership last year are members of the QBE Sydney Swans Academy.
Lucien and Oliver’s Kiama team-mates Daniel Turner, Lachy Martin and Eli Oldfield are all talented young football players who recently made the two-hour trip to Sydney to play in their very first Academy Cup game at Tramway Oval opposite the SCG. That will become a regular journey for them over the next few years.
Academy general manager, Chris Smith, says the Kiama boys are a great asset to the program. “They’re all very committed and they come from a great club where they’ve had a strong grounding in footy basics,’’ Smith said.
“It’s a big ask for them to travel up and down to Sydney regularly but they are all skilled players with the right attitude.’’
The boys are coached at Kiama by Daniel Turner’s father, Craig.
Lucien used to play for the East Sydney Bulldogs but moved south to Kiama and loves being part of the club. “It’s a big rugby league area but we have an amazing AFL team,’’ he says.
Lucien started playing football when he was five, after watching a game on tv. “My dad had played rugby league, but I watched the Swans on tv and said that game looks fun. It suits my body type because I’m tall and like to run,’’ says Lucien, who plays as a key defender for Kiama Power.
Oliver is a tough midfielder who says he’s learnt a lot from being part of the Academy.
“My older brother was playing AFL so I copied him. I used to play soccer but then I was done with that,’’ Oliver says. “The Academy has really improved my skills, especially hitting a target.’’
With Lucien, Oliver, Daniel, Lachy and Eli combining again this year in the Under 13 Kiama Power team, they’ll be hot favourites for back-to-back flags.