Indigenous players are the heart and soul of bush footy. This isn't going to be politically correct and I don't care. They can commit to a footy club as twenty year olds because they aren't like most other fellas in the bush thinking they need to have a mortgage and set up a business for themselves or have all the pressures most young men have now. They generally reside in areas where they have tremendous familial support which allows for babysitting (I hate that American word) child minding- even that's not accurate, but community looking after kids so that players both men and women now can train and play.
The scourge of ice has decimated the community of footy that used to unite the indigenous places I knew when I grew up.
I'm not blowing my own trumpet but I know a bit about our first nations people, wouldn't dare pretend to speak for them but working with and for them has been my job for the past fourteen years in the territory and as far as you can go north in Queensland.
But I grew up in North West NSW and Katherine and was lucky enough to play with Owen Craigie and his little brother Ray Ray, and played up a year against Preston, and the Duke boys from Moree, played in rep teams with Dean Widders from about eleven until sixteen but three knee recos at the age of nineteen kind of halted my progression (still had pricks calling me when I'd decided to pack it in and focus on uni...not so humble brag).