Injury has interfered with his promising career with the Sydney Swans but, to numerous New England kids, Gunnedah high achiever Sam Naismith is a role model – a classic example of a country kid reaching his lofty goals.
That is why it is appropriate that the AFL has named its new North West NSW secondary schools competition The Sam Naismith Cup.
It features teams from Glen Innes, Tamworth, Manilla, Inverell, Moree and Gunnedah. The divisions are open boys (all ages), under-15 boys and open youth girls.
Round one is in Gunnedah on Wednesday, with round two in Inverell on Friday.
The final between the top two teams from each division is in Inverell on May 26.
Naismith said it was a privilege to have the competition named after him.
“It’s great to see AFL really kicking off in North West New South Wales, and to see the sport growing – especially at a grass roots level throughout schools,” he said.