Canberra Demons youngster Mitch Maguire trades country living for NEAFL shot
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Canberra Demons youngster Mitch Maguire trades country living for NEAFL shot

When Mitch Maguire takes to the football field, he has more Canberra Demons teammates than people in his hometown.

Maguire grew up on a 300-acre farm just a few hundred metres out of Mirrool in the Riverina, about 258 kilometres north-west of Canberra.

Canberra Demons midfielder Mitch Maguire earned a NEAFL Rising Star nomination.

Canberra Demons midfielder Mitch Maguire earned a NEAFL Rising Star nomination.Credit:David Layden

But leaving behind the quiet country life to chase a football dream has been worth it so far with Maguire earning a NEAFL Rising Star nomination in round two.

The Maguire's aren't farmers as such, rather they operate a school bus run and train harness racing horses.

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Maguire has traded in early morning starts training horses for a clash against competition powerhouses the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Alan Ray Oval on Saturday.

And while he is now settled in in the capital playing football and going to university, there's nothing quite like going home - especially on the second Saturday in October.

The day is etched into country footy folklore as players, celebrities, and farmers gather to punt a football over the 30-metre high Mirrool grain silos.

The post-season pilgrimage has became an annual tradition since Geelong legend Billy Brownless belted a ball over the top of the silos in 1992.

Maguire made the final three last year and is itching to get back home this year for another crack.

"The silo kick is always a good day," Maguire said.

"Everyone gathers there at the little silos around the little pub. A few beers are drunk and a fair few people go in the kick. It's a really good day actually.

"I'm trying to work on getting a few boys from here to come down and have a kick as well. I think they'll really enjoy it. It's a good day."

He played a handful of games as a top-up player for the Giants last season and just missed out on the AFL draft, but refuses to give up on his football dream.

Maguire has travelled far and wide to play the game he grew up on - often doing four-hour round trips for away games while playing for the Northern Jets, and going over an hour to Wagga for representative training.

NEAFL ROUND THREE

Saturday: Canberra Demons v GWS Giants at Alan Ray Oval (Ainslie), 12pm.

CANBERRA

B: Matt Vardanega 29. Ben Halse 15. Jack Baker
HB: 27. Lachlan Maples 60. Rohan McLachlan 6. Kade Klemke
C: 36. Lucas Meline 3. Andrew Swan 12. Luke McKay
HF: 4. Aaron Bruce 13. Tom Faul 16. Mitch Hardie
F: 9. Nick Pleming 2. Josh Bennett 23. Ben Fulford
Foll: 42. Cameron Milne 17. Jordan Harper 23. Sam Martyn
Inter: 5. Nick Collins 1. Isaac Taylor 35. Tom Highmore 8. Mitch Maguire 10. Reed Stevens
Emer: 22. Billy Muir 24. Alex Smout

GIANTS

B: 42. Jake Stein 27. Harry Himmelberg 45. Connor Owen-Auburn
HB: 36. Harry Perryman 39. Tim Mohr 55. Riley Budd
C: Zach Sproule 53. Bailey McParland 51. Nick Shipley
HF: 33. Lachlan Tiziani 30. Matt Flynn 46. Rhys Pollock
F: 48. Ben McGinness 49. Nathan Coxall 52. Christian Palombi
Foll: 26. Dawson Simpson 13. Isaac Cumming 24. Matt de Boer
Inter: 38. Daniel Lloyd 44. Max Beaumont 47. Kieren Briggs 54. Riley Corbett
Emer: 46. William Clark

Caden Helmers is a sports reporter for The Canberra Times

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