It was an epic weekend for 14 Gunnedah Bulldogs Pups and their families last Saturday who traveled to Sydney for the AFL fixture between the Sydney Swans and West Coast Eagles.

Taking centre stage at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the Gunnedah junior players took part in a half time Auskick match.

The game offered budding junior AFL stars of the future from around the state the chance to play on the hallowed SCG turf.

The match between the Sydney Swans and West Coast Eagles was one for the history books, as the Swans defeated the westerners by 171 points at 205 to 34. 

The real highlight, however, (at least for the Gunnedah mums and dads watching from the grandstand) was watching the children battling it out at half time as the mini Swans and Eagles match took place.

As the juniors were blended between the two mixed sides, it was a thrill for the junior Pups to rub shoulders with Swans stars such as Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin, Isaac Heeney and captain Luke Parker in the flesh, heightening the atmosphere for the Auskickers on the night.

The Sydney Swans is also home for injured ruckman, Sam Naismith from Gunnedah, who was first drafted in November 2012.

With a crowd of more than 31,000 people for last weekend’s twilight fixture, the Bulldogs Pups represented Gunnedah in outstanding fashion and are rumoured to have had many standouts throughout their 14-member squad that were selected to make the trip. 

Gunnedah players were able to participate in the match as the club is a registered Auskick centre.

The experience was a thrill for the future stars and seen as a positive initiative by AFL NSW in promoting the experience and enhance the excitement of watching their heroes live in action.

Gunnedah’s engrossing junior participation for AFL has been a highlight of the season with about 40-45 players participating in Auskick sessions on every Thursday evenings.

This Sunday, the Pups will head to Narrabri for the latest installment of their fortnightly gala day season, glowing with exuberance following their once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a live professional AFL match and participate in the evening proceedings.

To order photos from this page click here