A Glenbrook boy is set to live the dream of every Australian footballer in the land by gracing the MCG on grand final day — at the ripe old age of seven.
James Kenny was selected as the NAB Auskicker of the Year nominee for round 14, meaning he will be flown to Melbourne at the end of September to march in the grand final parade, play at half-time of the big match and present a premiership medal to a player from the winning team.
The Glenbrook Public School student said it was “really exciting” to find out he had been chosen as one of the 22 Auskickers to receive the honour, but conceded he might be a bit nervous playing in front of 100,000 people.
His trip will also include a dinner and presentation where the Auskicker of the Year will be announced. The major prize includes the opportunity to have Geelong captain and three-time premiership player Joel Selwood as a personal football mentor in 2013.
James’ mother Amanda said the whole family — all dedicated AFL and Swans enthusiasts — was looking forward to the occasion.
“[It’s a] once in a lifetime experience. It’s not the sort of thing that comes along very often,” said Amanda.
James’ father Wayne will accompany his son to Melbourne while the rest of the family is exploring options to join them.
Watching James present a premiership medal would be a highlight, said Amanda.
“We watch the grand final every year and think how awesome it would be to do that. It’s like, ‘This is our son, he gets to do that’,” she said.
James has already had a taste of the spotlight after Channel 7 aired a package announcing his nomination at half time of a recent match. The Emu Plains/Glenmore Park Lion boldy declared to commentator Hamish McLachlan that his club would beat the Swans in this year’s grand final.
Amanda said it was James’ enthusiasm for the game that motivated her to nominate him for the honour. She hoped the opportunity he had been presented would encourage him to continue enjoying Auskick.
“He’s the kind of kid that would take to any sport so we’ll just see how he rolls with it but given this opportunity I think it will just be a massive springboard for him to continue,” she said.