MELBOURNE’S Academy Diversity Squad played its first ever match earlier this month, taking on St Kilda at Moorabbin to show off the skills the kids have developed with the club.
Despite recording a loss in the clash with the Saints, the Melbourne squad thoroughly enjoyed the contest.
Kyle Docherty, manager of the Melbourne Academy, says the performances of the kids in the Academy is exciting, but it isn’t the only focus of the group.
“This squad of ours is basically just for people or kids from multi-cultural and Indigenous backgrounds,” Docherty told Melbourne Media.
The Academy has been developed to help bring these kids together from different backgrounds and provide them with an opportunity to play football.
“A key part of the Melbourne Academy is providing these sorts of opportunities for kids from multi-cultural and Indigenous backgrounds,” Docherty said.
“And that’s what this squad’s all about.”
This team allows people from all over the world to unite at the Melbourne Football Club, and Docherty hopes to see them grow as players.
“There’s 13-year-old’s and 14-year-old’s whose parents were born overseas in some cases,” he said.
“Some of the players were even born overseas and have come to Victoria to start a new life and we’re really happy that we can provide these sorts of opportunities for these players.
“Then hopefully they can feed into some talent pathways moving forward – that’s the idea of it.”
While the platform exists for these kids to enjoy being a part of the team, there could be chances for players to develop a football career and play in the TAC Cup in the future.
“It’s a fantastic initiative that links in closely with AFL Victoria and their diversity streams as well,” Docherty said.