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Young draft hopeful makes his mark

Schools

As one of this year’s most favoured AFL draft prospects, Cameron Taheny’s star is certainly on the rise.

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But when the 17 year old from Cleve is not taking spectacular marks in the forward lines for his State U18, Norwood and Rostrevor College sides, he has his feet firmly planted on the ground.

As head boarder of Rostrevor College, Cameron is a voice for dozens of boarders from remote and regional South Australia and deftly juggles his football and academic commitments with advocacy for his fellow students.

With the National U18 AFL Championships in full swing, Cameron played a key role in SA’s 11-point win over WA at Perth’s Optus Stadium on June 15 with two goals.

His selection in the U18 State Team, which is a key stepping-stone for draft hopefuls, follows an impressive league debut with 11 goals in his first three league appearances for Norwood in May and June.

“It’s been a pretty amazing year so far and I couldn’t have done it without the support from back home and from Norwood and Rostrevor College as well,” Cameron said.

He credits his parents, Andrew and Deb Taheny, for being great role models and encouraging him to be active in all aspects of the community and inspiring him to support others.

“In a community like ours, helping out is just the norm and everyone is there for each other,” Cameron said.

Mrs Taheny, who is the chaplain of the Cleve Area School and chairs its Governing Council, also pours great time and passion into the Cleve community and sporting bodies.

Mr Taheny is the SANFL Eyre Peninsula Regional Coordinator and has strongly supported Cameron and many other young Eyre Peninsula footballers. Cameron played his junior football with Eastern Eyre Ranges before moving to Adelaide in 2016 to board at Rostrevor College.

The Tahenys said they were proud of their son’s sporting achievements, but also of the young man he has become.

“Cameron comes from a faith background, so he certainly knows the serving heart and, being from a small country community, he understands the importance of getting involved and helping others,” Mrs Taheny said.

“He definitely has leadership skills and he is also very caring and aware of other people and how they are feeling so I think that will hold him in good stead in whatever path he chooses.”

Rostrevor principal Brian Schumacher describes Cameron as a humble and respectful young man despite his many achievements.

“He is very much a quiet achiever and is widely liked and respected and is always willing to support his fellow boarders,” Mr Schumacher said.
Cameron said despite the attention from AFL scouts, he wasn’t thinking about his draft prospects just yet.

“The main focus for this tournament is to play my role in every game and hopefully we have team success throughout the whole carnival,” he said.

The round five match to determine which sides go through to the finals will be held at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium on July 3.

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