Ainslie's Youth on Show in 2015
Article reproduced from the AFL Canberra Website
by Lucas O'Neill, AFL Canberra Journalist
2015 has seen a dramatic change in Ainslie’s AFL Canberra First Grade squad who are looking for redemption after falling just short in last year’s Grand Final.
The loss of several keys players from the 2014 squad combined with several players progressing to the clubs NEAFL list has meant that the tri colours have had to develop a number of talented juniors in 2015.
At the tender age of 17 years old Haydn Richardson is one of those players who have made the step up in 2015.
Richardson played football as a child with Ainslie before relocating to Queensland with his family in 2006 were he continued to play.
He returned to Canberra in 2010 re-joining the tri colours and has progressed through the grades rapidly to become a regular senior starter at 17.
The Dickson College student has progressed from last years Under 18's team to become a vital part of Ainslie’s senior midfield in 2015.
“I am enjoying playing senior footy a lot… it is much faster and very physical but I am loving the challenge.” Richardson said.
While Richardson is happy playing senior footy he is looking to have a greater impact on the game as he gets more confidence.
“My form is alright, I have only played three games and I think two of them were not that great but I am learning a lot very quickly.”
Richardson believes this weekend’s game against fellow NEAFL club Eastlake will be a good opportunity for his side to put some of the good form they have had in the past couple of weeks onto the score board and try and get four points.
“We are coming off two losses so I think it’s really important to come out this weekend and put in a good showing… it’s our first home game for the year so it would be really good to get a win at home.” Richardson said.
When asked about his aspirations in the future Richardson said he wanted to continue to play for Ainslie, with the hope of playing NEAFL in years to come.
“I don’t think I am a realistic chance to play NEAFL this year but it’s definitely a goal of mine in the future… Rob Tuohey and Cam Bernasconi have both been really helpful in my development so far and they are both NEAFL players so I would love to play with them one day.”
Haydn Richardson gathers the ball in the Ainslie First Grade game against Gungahlin
Photo: Lyndon Hirst