Brown waves the flag for regional potential
STARTING his Aussie rules football career in the bush, former Coffs Swans player Jake Brown has long flown the flag for bush potential.
Moving north from Marra to Grafton, and then Coffs Harbour, 19-year-old Brown shone on the oval and worked his way into the Sydney Swans rookie squad.
Proud father, Chris, said his son was noticed by the Swans academy when he played for the Maclean Eagles.
He said moving to Coffs Harbour allowed Brown to take part in the Swans training clinics.
This dedication paid dividends when selectors asked if Brown could move to Sydney and train with the academy.
After travelling to Sydney each fortnight, the Brown family once again uprooted and moved to the state's capital.
In Sydney Brown made it into the Swans reserves, where the midfielder/halfback worked on his game for three years.
Last week, Brown was drafted into the Swans squad as a rookie.
But Chris said Brown had not turned his back on where he started.
He said Brown often comes back to Coffs during time off and runs water at local games.
"He actually promoted our country boys to have a go,” Chris said.
"(Brown's drafting) actually opens the door to a lot of the country kids in the academy now.”
More of a soccer fan, Chris will now eagerly follow the Swans which he said was an easier conversion than Brown's mother, Christine.
"Christine is sort of converted, she is a mad Carlton fan,” he said.
The Swans drafted Joel Amartey (Sandringham Dragons), James Bell (Sydney academy), Jake Brown (Sydney academy), Alex Johnson (Sydney) and Angus Styles (Sandringham Dragons) this year.
Swans recruiting manager Kinnear Beatson said the club prioritised strengthening its midfield.
"One of our priorities right from the start was to try and add to our midfield depth and we've done that through the recruitment of Angus Styles, James Bell and Jake Brown,” Beatson said.