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Corrie to mentor young players

Former Brisbane and Collingwood utility Anthony Corrie has signed with the Western Magpies.
Former Brisbane and Collingwood utility Anthony Corrie has signed with the Western Magpies.

AFTER being delisted by Collingwood at the end of the 2010 AFL season, many football observers might have thought Anthony Corrie would never put on the famous black and white stripes again.

But not Corrie, who didn't even think twice when an opportunity to join South East Queensland Division One club Western Magpies came knocking.

The 27-year-old, who started training with the senior men's squad late last year, arrived at Chelmer after a season in the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) with Redlands.

The Darwin-born goal sneak is living proof how fickle fame and fortune can be in the AFL.

After a promising start with the Brisbane Lions, Corrie never lived up to the high expectations with his seven-year, 56-game AFL career coming to an end after a wretched run of injuries and wavering form.

Fortunately, fame and fortune are things Corrie has no interest in at the Western Magpies and only agreed to this interview on the basis he could speak about his true mission: being a mentor for the players coming through.

"That's the main reason why I decided I wanted to play at this footy club," he said.

"I want to help nurture the kids.

"I don't want to be seen as a player who used to play AFL footy, who has come back to local footy just to tell everyone 'this is how you should be doing it' and 'follow what I do'.

"All I want to do is hopefully guide them."

Shying away from the spotlight is not easy when you are one of only two players on a team's list who boasts AFL experience.

But Western Magpies coach Peter McClennan said despite Corrie's quiet, laid back persona, he had no qualms giving him a license to be a strong leader for the young players.

"His experience will be invaluable," he said.

"He helps compliment the product we already have here.

"He'll help support and develop the culture and provide the players the positive approach of how we want to play our footy."

In 2012, the Magpies will continue to provide the Lions Reserves access to their under-21 players as part of an alliance they formalised in October 2010.

The agreement means the Magpies will provide their young players direct development opportunities and access to the Lions coaching staff.

They could also act as top-up players for NEAFL matches.

Having played alongside Lions coach Michael Voss, Corrie knows exactly what he would be looking for in an AFL player.

"Vossy only knew one way to play and that was hard," he said.

"So if I see any guys taking the easy option or not going hard enough, I can pull them up and have a word with them and hopefully it will help."

Mentoring young people isn't just something Corrie does naturally, it's a profession for him.

He works for Pass Australia, an organisation which mentors indigenous youth, offers career advice and links them with school-based traineeships.

"I love being around young kids, they help me stay young," Corrie, whose mother is Torres Strait and father is Aboriginal, said.

"I make sure the young ones don't let people put them down and don't let anything get in the way of them reaching their dreams."


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