Billy may have only been playing club football for two years, but his involvement at school level goes back a great deal further. After years of excelling in school competitions, a local coach got in his ear and suggested that Billy try out with a local club.
Since then, Billy’s burgeoning career hasn’t looked back, as his selection to represent Queensland at these national Diversity Championships suggests.
How does Billy feel about being in Townsville as part of the Queensland Kickstart team? “It’s excellent. I love it!” he states enthusiastically. He is enjoying being around his team mates, pitting his skills against the best contemporaries from around the nation and proudly representing his people on a national stage.
When asked if he wants to go all the way to the top of the AFL ranks, Billy excitedly nods his agreement and points out that he would love to emulate his idol, Sydney’s Lance “Buddy” Franklin.
Riley has much to thank his father for. His dad, being a former South Australian, introduced Riley to the beauty of Australian Rules football just in time to lure him away from soccer at school. Riley and his brother then signed up for their local club in Scone, in the heart of the Hunter Valley.
It didn’t take Riley long to realise that he had talent and his pursuit of excellence has seen him graduate from local club football to being a new member of the Sydney Swans player academy. Now he makes the weekly trips to Newcastle and Sydney to train and develop his skills further.
His more immediate goal is to win his local competition best and fairest award, but when he dares to dream admits that if the opportunity to play at the highest level of the game came along he would grasp it.
Riley has great pride in wearing his state jumper and also playing for his own Yankunytjatjara people, as well as his local people in Scone and across New South Wales.