RICHMOND fans will have the chance to meet their football idols when the Tigers hit Warrnambool for their AFL community camp today.
Frontline stars Trent Cotchin, Brett Deledio, Dustin Martin and Chris Newman are among the players who will spend two days in the coastal city.
Their trip starts with a welcome and smoking ceremony in Warrnambool at midday today, performed by elder Uncle Rob Lowe.
The Tigers will then spread to schools across the Warrnambool district where they will run clinics and talk about life as an AFL footballer.
The highlight of the camp is a super clinic at Reid Oval from 4pm to 5.30pm today, which will involve more than 300 youngsters from across the district.
Regional clubs, as well as the Western Rebels youth girls’ football program, will welcome the footballers to their training sessions tonight.
And in a first, AFL officials will run a Warrnambool trial for selection in the Victorian Kickstart and Victorian All-Nations under 15 squads today.
The trial, at Emmanuel College from 5.45pm, is ahead of the Australian Indigenous and Multicultural Football Carnival at Coffs Harbour from April 11 to 17.
The Kickstart squad includes indigenous teens from across Victoria while the All-Nations squad is for teens born overseas now living in the state.
The Tuesday activities wrap up with a civic reception at the Warrnambool City Council building and a Richmond supporters’ function at Reid Oval.
The Tigers’ Wednesday itinerary includes an open training session in the morning before visits to hospitals and retirement villages.
Deledio, Martin, Aaron Edwards and Liam McBean will be at an autograph session at the Australia Post store at midday.
The players will take part in an indigenous community engagement session at the Framlingham mission in the afternoon before heading back to Melbourne.
Richmond communications co-ordinator Jaimee Damon said the camp gave the club a chance to meet its fan base in south-west Victoria.
“We have a lot of fans everywhere, all over Australia including Warrnambool,” she said.
“It’s a chance for us to touch base with them and they get the chance to see their team.
‘‘It can be hard to get to Melbourne to see them on the football field.”