By Sally Heathcote
The Broken Hill football season continues with seven of our players set to travel to Adelaide to represent South Australia and Queensland in the AFL Masters Carnival later this month.
The Masters AFL football began in Victoria in 1980 and is now played by over 260 teams in home and away competitions across Australia and is supported by the AFL.
Teams are divided into age groups, the youngest being over 35s to a very competitive over 65s group.
The season culminates in the annual Carnival played by State representatives and culminating in the nomination of an All Australian team for each age division.
Jimmy Hinton from Broken Hill has been playing Masters since 1998, a feat in itself, and once played with his son.
This year he will be playing in the over 65s South Australian team.
Looking back, he says the highlight of his carnival playing career was in 2014 when he had a Jamie Elliot moment and took the last kick to score a goal against the extremely competitive Victorian Metro team.
Vic Metro had not lost in 15 years but they did that day, down five by points.
The moment was all the sweeter for playing on Ray Shaw the sometime captain coach of Collingwood.
Brett “Horrie” Morris has played in eight carnivals and been picked as an All Australian player at 6. An incredible achievement. He says the attraction of the Carnival for him is having fun and enjoying football while meeting fellow players from all over Australia in a more relaxed atmosphere.
For Nathan McIntyre and Michael Vlatko it will be their first carnival and they are looking forward to the social atmosphere.
Nathan has played for the Shinglebacks in the local Masters game and Michael was part of the victorious Souths team in this year’s Grand Final.
Also, on their way to Adelaide to represent South Australia in their age divisions are Brock Roberts and Jason Harwood.
Jason Mills, the outlier in the group will be returning to play for Queensland, his native State where he was also named an All Australian player at the last carnival in Townsville.
To make it interesting the first game in the series will be South Australia v Queensland so we can expect to see some friendly rivalries play out on the paddock.
The last complete carnival was played in Townville in 2019, with Covid lockdowns interrupting travel ever since. No doubt everyone will be very keen to participate and give it their all.
Victoria are so competitive they run two streams; Country and Metro but with the contingent from Broken Hill on their way with a couple of All Australians, someone who can take a mark over the captain of Collingwood, and another who trained by winning a grand final, Broken Hill may well show the masters what football is all about.
PHOTO: Players from left to right- Jason Mills, Michael Vlatko, Brett Morris, Jimmy Hinton, Nathan McIntyre