Katanning's Stewart's dream takes step forward

KENDALL O'CONNOR
Katanning’s Kade Stewart just got back from playing the NAB U16 Championships.

Katanning footballer Kade Stewart is one step closer to his dream of playing AFL after a starring performance for WA in the recent NAB Under-16 Championships.

Played in Blacktown, New South Wales, Kade was named WA’s most valuable player for the July carnival, even though WA had only one win.

In WA’s three matches, against Victoria Metro, Victoria Country and South Australia, Kade was named among the best players.

Kade added to his growing football resume by making his league debut for Katanning Wanderers on Sunday.

He said he was grateful for the chance to play for his State in the championships, with only four players of the 25-player squad coming from regional WA.

“It was a great opportunity to participate at this level and to play at different venues against different teams,” he said.

In order to make the squad, Kade and his family made the six-hour round trip to training in Perth twice a week.

Under-16 coach John Hancock said Kade’s commitment to the game was commendable.

“Kade played all three of the games which is quite impressive over a one-week period and he was a leading performer across the games,” he said.

“These national championships are also the first stage for players to get the opportunity for exposure at an elite level.”

Although he is also involved with Katanning’s basketball and cricket teams, like many young athletes Kade has had to choose sports and has set his sights on a professional football career.