The Yamatji Sharks (Mid-West, Gascoyne and Murchison) and Noongar Country (Metro & Regional) 16s teams will play for the Stephen Michael Cup in a curtain-raiser to this Sunday’s West Coast v St Kilda AFL game at Patersons Stadium.
The Stephen Michael Cup, named in honour of the South Fremantle legend (pictured), will be played as part of AFL Indigenous Round this weekend, which celebrates the contribution of Indigenous players to the game of Australian Rules football.
The game is being funded by the Department of Sport and Recreation’s Indigenous Sports Program, and organised in partnership with the WA Football Commission and the Indigenous community.
The Department of Sport and Recreation’s Indigenous Sports Program is all about creating opportunities in the sport of AFL for Indigenous players in Metro and Regional areas, and is a chance for these players to have their talents recognised.
For a lot of them, it will be the first time they attend Patersons Stadium, let alone set foot on the hallowed turf. It will also be a chance for them to play some representative footy and get a taste of what it’s like at the next level.
Stephen Michael will be there to cast an eye over the game and present the Cup named in his honour, which will be an inspiration to all of the players.
In his 243 games played over 11 seasons with South Fremantle, Michael racked up just about every achievement the game had to offer, including Sandover Medals in 1980 and 1981, a Tassie Medal and five club fairest and best awards. He was selected as captain for the 1983 All Australian team, and was part of South Fremantle’s 1980 premiership team.
Michael was later inducted into the 1999 Australian Hall of Fame and named in the 2005 Indigenous Team of the Century.
The curtain raiser kicks off at 12.15pm on Sunday, May 23. There will be a Welcome to Country before the main game, and the young Indigenous players will form a guard of honour for West Coast and St Kilda players.