Recruit has the right DNA
Australian Rules: As the AFL season gears up for kick off next weekend, the Gympie Cats men's side has one starter confirmed.
Coming back to the game after six years in the wilderness, Troy Cunningham, 19, kicked his first two goals in the Cats colours against Wynnum last weekend and has a hunger for more.
"It was such an incredible feeling and I am still over the moon,” he said.
"The first one came off a free kick and the second I made the mark. I hit both off the boot cleanly and they went right through the middle.”
With uncles John Quarrell and Stan Davidson having once played for Footscray FC, now the Western Bulldogs, AFL is in Cunningham's blood.
The Cats travelled down to Wynnum last weekend, and enjoyed a 46 to 36 win.
It was Cunningham's second game for the Cats and he said the feeling after kicking the goals would stay with him.
"I was concentrating on the goal post when I kicked the second and I was hoping I didn't miss,” he said.
"When kicking it I knew it was good. It came off the foot really nice,” he said.
"It has made me hungry. In the game I got worked up and I fired up and I hope I can bag some more this season.”
Relocating from Brisbane to Gympie, Cunningham said the Cats had a great group of players.
"We are like a family rather than teammates,” he said. "When you miss a goal, they are quick to pick you up and you can focus on kicking the next one.” Coach Courtney Findlay said Cunningham was a bit of a surprise pack.
"It was a great sign for a young bloke to do that and he will be playing in the forward pocket,” Findlay said.
"Playing in this role will be ideal for him and hopefully he can carry this performance each week; applying forward pressure and kicking a few goals will be great.”
This was the Cats' second trial game. With Cunningham confirmed for a forward pocket position, Findlay will be left with a difficult task of figuring out the side for the first game against Maryborough.
"This difficulty should create depth in the side. It's what moves a team forward,” he said.