Long, Betts, Johncock, Davey and Varcoe. 

They are some of the most iconic names in the history of Australian Rules football and each have had an influence on growing the game within First Nations communities. 

Now Kuwarna is helping to continue the legacy of these iconic names through its Next Generation Academy.

Shaquan Davey (nephew of Aaron and Alwyn), Justin and Jermaine Miller (nephews of Graham Johncock and Eddie Betts), Anthony Long (nephew of Michael Long) and Malachi Varcoe (nephew of Travis) - all form part of the the Club’s NGA academy crop.

The Club also has five other First Nation players in the boys NGA program - Isaiah Nettle (Central District), Damien Dunn (South Adelaide), Jules Piro, Will Eckberg and Ivan WIlkinson. 

All 10 have become immersed within the Club’s elite football pathways which gives them an  opportunity to use the facilities and receive education on what it takes to become an AFL footballer.

Kuwarna Indigenous Player Development Manager Shane Edwards said he had enjoyed watching the players grow within the Club’s NGA program.

“They are a really good group of kids, what’s really stood out to me initially and has been the case all the way through, is how much they are willing to learn,” Edwards said. 

“Everything we do here at the Club, be it training sessions or education sessions, they are completely up for it and so full of energy. 

“They are all at different stages in their development, ranging from top age under 18s to bottom age under-16s, and we are really happy with the crop we’ve got here at the moment.”

Edwards said the NGA provided the youngsters with an “insight” into elite level sport that could help them with both football and general life.

“(The NGA program) is an insight into the AFL pathway they might not have gotten without coming into our program,” Edwards said. 

“We teach them life skills, mainly around football professionalism and offer mentorship for the boys as they embark on their football journeys. 

“What they have at their state league Club’s is already good enough to get them to the AFL level, what we do is provide that extra education on top to help them thrive whether it be in football or general life.”