KOROIT footballer Ben Walsh will have a close view of 2013 AFL grand finalist Fremantle next season.
Walsh, 26, has landed a dream job working for Sports Education Development Australia (SEDA) and will oversee the Dockers’ sports development program.
The Emmanuel College teacher will be based at South Fremantle Football Club, which shares Fremantle Oval with the Dockers.
“I love AFL. I am bit of a footy fanatic myself,” Walsh said.
“Education and teaching is a passion, and sport, to combine them, is something I am looking forward to.”
Walsh said SEDA catered for year 11 and 12 students interested in a career in sports and recreation.
SEDA and the Dockers formed a joint initiative last year and provide the program for Western Australian teenagers.
“The number one aim is to re-engage them in their education and it’s based on hands-on learning,” he said.
“It is a pretty popular program.”
Walsh said he would have a class of 25 students who would work closely with the Dockers.
The program focuses on event management, coaching, fitness, facility management and industry placement in its first year, while club management, sports law, exercise science, advanced coaching and outdoor recreation form the nucleus of the final year.
Walsh said Fremantle, which suffered a 15-point loss to Hawthorn in its first grand final last month, would play a key role.
Fremantle’s Community Goals staff take the students through a division one coaching course with the Dockers’ first-year draftees and rookie pick-ups and students are regularly involved in club initiatives.
“They (the students) have been involved in match day activities and use the facilities a bit,” Walsh said.
Walsh will relocate to Western Australia after Christmas before starting his new job at the end of January.
The Geelong fan, who played in Koroit’s 2012 grand final loss to Warrnambool, said he might have to reconsider his football allegiances now he was linked to the Dockers.
“I might be split 50-50,” he joked.