Tom Sheridan and some of the club’s other first year players visited the Banksia Hill Detention Centre in Canning Vale last Wednesday as part of the AFL Apprenticeship program.

The visit kicked off with a clinic run by the Freo players.

The detainees were keen to show off their skills and the clinic soon turned into a scratch match that was coached and umpired by the Freo players.

As well as teaching the detainees a few skills, the visit was a good opportunity for the younger players to pass on some advice about their choices in life and their journey to becoming AFL footballers.

Sheridan said that, growing up, everyone can make mistakes, but it is the ability to learn from them that defines you as a person.

“We’ve all made a few mistakes before, I know I’ve made a few in my life, but they haven’t been too serious,” he said.

“I’ve learnt from them and moved on.”

“Coming out here and running this clinic has been a great opportunity to provide the boys with a bit of an outlet and have some fun. Football has always helped me stay on track.”

After the clinic, the first year players were joined by Stephen Hilland Jonathon Griffin as they spoke to the young men about making choices in life to lead them down the right path.

Sheridan said AFL footballers had a responsibility to be positive role models in society.

“As a younger player, I do feel like a bit of a role model, but not as much as some of the senior guys, so it was great to have Stephen Hill come out,” he said.

“A lot of the kids look up to him. It was good for them to ask him a few questions about life and football.”

Sheridan said he hoped the visit provided a little bit of guidance to the Banksia Detention Centre detainees.

‘For us, outside of football, education is really important,” he said.

“If we can filter that message through to help them with their future once they leave the detention centre, then that’s a good outcome.”

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