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Essendon stars drop in for visit at Kyabram P-12

Five Essendon stars visited Kyabram P-12 yesterday to discuss all things football with the college's Year 11 physical education students.

GEORGINA CAHILL July 15, 2014 3:05am

Essendon players Courtenay Dempsey, Shaun Edwards, Paddy Ryder, Johnny Rayner and Leroy Jetta visited Kyabram P-12 to talk with students.


Coming off a huge win against Collingwood on Sunday, it was perfect timing for five Essendon AFL players to provide Kyabram P-12 students with an insight into elite football.

Paddy Ryder, Leroy Jetta, Johnny Rayner, Shaun Edwards and Courtenay Dempsey answered hard-hitting questions from Year 11 physical education students at the college yesterday.

Ryder and Dempsey played in Sunday’s 64-point win against Collingwood, while Jetta, Rayner and Edwards lined up for the VFL side that lost in a nail-biter to Port Melbourne.

Ryder said it was much easier to visit schools and speak with students after a win.

‘‘We can get stuck into all the little Collingwood supporters out there coming off a win,’’ Ryder said with a laugh.

‘‘If we win it’s a lot better, I suppose if we lose guys don’t really enjoy it too much because they’re worried about other stuff, they’re worried about how the week’s going to be because of bad performances,

‘‘I think most of the guys will be cruising around today pretty happy. Everyone gets more out of it when the boys are winning.’’

Students asked questions about training routines, opponents, game plans, game rituals and diets.

‘‘On the way home from the game last night I had KFC,’’ Dempsey said.

Ryder named Peter ‘‘Spider’’ Everett and more recently Dean Cox as the toughest players he’d lined up against.

When asked if he preferred Mark ‘‘Bomber’’ Thompson or James Hird as coach Ryder replied: ‘‘Bomber’s coaching at the moment so I’ll say Bomber.’’

Edwards said popping his finger out was the most painful injury he’d sustained.

‘‘I went so pale and nearly passed out,’’ he said with a laugh.

The players spoke to students for about 45 minutes and Ryder said it was important to get to the heart of grassroots football.

‘‘It’s a long way from the city, so they don’t get to meet high profile players,’’ Ryder said.

‘‘It’s just something for the kids to look forward to, just to get out of school for a couple of hours and have a bit of fun and meet their favourite footy players.’’

With captain Jobe Watson sidelined for the remainder of the season with a hip tendon injury, Ryder said acting captain Brendan Goddard provided the perfect replacement.

‘‘As soon as he came over from St Kilda it was like having another Jobe (Watson) running around,’’ Ryder said.

‘‘His talk to his teammates and the way he sees the game and sets up the game, a lot of guys learn a lot from him.’’

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