On Saturday, in the North Adelaide Roosters surprise victory over South, the Boy from (Crystal) the Brook, Brayden Kirk entered the ranks of SANFL league football.
In North’s handsome 44-point win over the Panthers at Prospect Oval, Kirk had a respectable 12 disposals (nine kicks ad three handballs) on debut.
Already an A grade footballer at Crystal Brook in his mid-teens, Kirk became the third Northern Areas Football Association player to enter league football this season, following Jamestown Peterborough lad and team mate at the Roosters, Sam McInerney, along with Broughton-Mundoora’s Will Hewett, with Central District.
“I rocked up to training on Wednesday night (June 28) and saw the team up next to the meeting room coach,” Kirk told The Flinders News.
“(Coach) Josh Carr then had a chat to me when I got out onto the training track. It was incredibly satisfying to see my name on the team sheet.”
“I had a grin from ear-to-ear.
“As soon as training finishes I rang Dad (Shane) straight away.”
Brayden Kirk is a 184 cm, 72.5 kilogram wingman/Half back whose season had been going into his first league game has been really stable.
“I think consistent is the way I would explain my season so far,” Kirk continued
“Dad and Mum (Susan), and my brother Kyal were all down to watch.
“I had an uncle and aunty from Western Australia who happened to be over in SA, which was good timing, along with the number of family and friends.
“So I had a few extra supporters at Prospect Oval for my first play game of league footy.
“My first touch was a short handball in traffic.
“I started on the interchange bench and waited for six minutes before I got my first opportunity to run onto the field, straight to a wing.
“I reckon my first opponent was Xavier Gotch.
“I started North Adelaide in 2014 at SANFL Under 16 level and played the abridged season at that level (six games) before school footy at Blackfriars.
“I played both Under 14 and Under 17 at Crystal Brook, going through the grades.
“My first A grade game was against Orroroo at home in 2014, with Shane Arbon as coach.
“In 2015 my football was generally between Under 18 and school football as I was also doing year 12 as well.
“Last year (2016) I was the Under 18 Captain playing in that team for the whole season including the frustrating one point Grand Final loss.
“I was actually runner up to Jake Wohling, another Crystal Brook lad, in the under 18s best and fairest count.
Kirk is now in full time employment with the Adelaide Football Club.
“I had a traineeship in 2016 now I am a part of the community and development team in a full time role,” he confirmed.
“If you ask me about my strength as a player, my ability kick on both sides of my body and I’m a two –way runner - both into the back 50 and through the forward 50.”
Darryl Wintle, North Adelaide Football Manager said Kirk had strong leadership
“We spoke to Brayden about focus areas to work on and he has been diligent in those areas,” Wintle said.
“Along with his tremendous leadership qualities, he’s extremely skillful with both left and right foot. “We were quite happy with his first up effort at this elite level.”
Kirk had played nine reserves games between receiving his first opportunity at league level.