Young Auskicker plays key role at historic AFL Grand Final

Campbell WilliamsonNarrogin Observer
Uzoma Ezeorakwe presenting Melbourne’s Jake Bowey with his premiership medal after the game.
Camera IconUzoma Ezeorakwe presenting Melbourne’s Jake Bowey with his premiership medal after the game. Credit: AFL Photos

A passionate Auskicker from Narrogin has played a role in WA’s first AFL grand final, presenting a premiership medal in front of more than 61,118 fans.

Fans packed out Optus Stadium on Saturday, September 25, for an historic clash between the Melbourne Demons and Western Bulldogs.

While the game ended in a drought-busting win for the Demons, for Uzoma Ezeorakwe from St Matthew's School in Narrogin, the game held personal significance.

Giving a guard of honour to the Demons at half-time and presenting Melbourne’s Jake Bowey with his premiership medal after the game, he said the experience was exciting and nerve-racking.

“I felt happy and nervous to present the medal. There were a lot of people watching,” he said.

But despite his passion for the game, it wasn’t until recently that Uzoma made the switch from soccer to footy.

Living in Victoria, Uzoma discovered Australian Rules football after moving to WA, falling in love with the game.

Uzoma with his mother, Adaku Ezeorakwe.
Camera IconUzoma with his mother, Adaku Ezeorakwe.

“We moved from Victoria to WA last year. In Victoria, Uzoma was very good at soccer, he played it very, very well,” his mother Adaku Ezeorakwe said.

“He was playing footy with his friends at school and one day he came to me and said, ‘Mum, I think I love footy more’.

“I'm like, ‘Why? We don’t even watch footy at home. We watch soccer at home’.

“He said, ‘Mum, I don't want to do soccer, I think I love footy’.”

Now playing as a defender with a penchant for taking screamers, he barracks for West Coast and loves watching the high-flying exploits of Liam Ryan and Nic Naitanui. He said he was grateful to NAB for the opportunity and keen to chase a career in football.

“They are my favourite players, Nic Naitanui and Liam Ryan,” Uzoma said.

“(Nautanui) is tall and he can mark the ball. (Ryan) can ‘speccie’ people.

“I want to play like them.”

Uzoma Ezeorakwe with the other Auskickers at the 2021 AFL Grand Final.
Camera IconUzoma Ezeorakwe with the other Auskickers at the 2021 AFL Grand Final. Credit: AFL Photos

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