June 08, 2018

Carlton player Cameron Polson with South students (from left) Izaak Davies-Wilson, Jyah Hebbard, Jack Van Lieshout and Evie Fox.

Carlton star Patrick Cripps with Deagan Purcell, Jordan Stafford and Jack Sander.

Hanah Alpen with visiting Carlton footballer Caleb Marchbank.

(From left) Kya Dick, Annabelle Hanns, Ashleigh Nicholls, Caleb Marchbank and Eliza Hay.

(From left) Ryder Perrin, Caleb Marchbank and Zack Joss.

Deniliquin schools went into Blues fever on Tuesday when the Carlton Football Club made a visit to the local area.

Carlton star Patrick Cripps led seven other players — Zac Fisher, Cameron O’Shea, Jesse Glass McCasker, Pat Kerr, Caleb Marchbank, Cameron Polson and Alex Silvagni — on the flying Deniliquin trip.

One of the stop-offs was Deniliquin South School where the Blues took part in a question and answer session before a quick football clinic.

The players agreed that Melbourne was the toughest team they’d played this year and that Richmond and Essendon were their most disliked teams, which didn’t please a lot of students.

In what has been a tough year for the Blues — winning just one game and sitting bottom of the ladder — defender Alex Silvagni said getting away from Melbourne to give back to small communities was rewarding.

‘‘It’s always good to see the kids enjoying themselves. Not a lot of them have an opportunity to come down to Melbourne all that often to watch a game.

‘‘I remember when I was younger it was always exciting to have a footy player come along to school.

‘‘I’d never been to Deniliquin before but I had heard of the Ute Muster and would like to get here for that one day, however it usually falls on grand final weekend,’’ Silvagni said.

South School Year 4 teacher Stephen Bulmer said the visit provided plenty of joy for the students.

‘‘We’ve had a few other teams in the past and it’s always good for the kids.

‘‘They really get on board and it gives them a chance to be up close with these superstars.’’

Mr Bulmer suggested other visiting AFL clubs could also bring a player from the AFL Women’s League.

‘‘We have plenty of young girls who love their football.

‘‘Carlton have a women’s team so it would have been great for them to bring up one of their female players. I think it’s something the AFL should start considering,’’ Mr Bulmer said.

The Carlton players also visited St Michael’s, North and Edward Primary Schools while in Deniliquin.

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