The West

Another Matera in wings

The teenage son of 1992 Norm Smith medallist Peter Matera is shaping as a possible future father-son draft pick for West Coast after the Eagles conducted their second annual father-son academy at Patersons Stadium this week.

Jordan Matera, 16, a left-footed midfielder who earned All- Australian honours when he represented Victoria Metro at last year's State schoolboys championships in Adelaide, leads a list of prospects who spent three days under the eye of Eagles coaches.

Chris Waterman's son Alec and Peter Sumich's son Zane are others to have caught the eye.

Coach John Worsfold, 1994 Norm Smith medallist Dean Kemp and champion defender Guy McKenna also had sons at the academy.

Co-ordinator Brad Smith said 21 players attended. West Coast intended to make it an annual event provided they could find a major sponsor for the program.

The fathers of nine of the 21 played the 100 games for the Eagles needed to make them eligible for father-son selection.

"It is the second year we have done it and for a few reasons," Smith said.

"The first is to re-engage with our past players and their kids. We want to make sure we appreciate and don't forget the contributions that their fathers made to the footy club.

"If we do get one, two or three players out of that, it is a bonus, but we want to make sure that we are a family club and appreciate contributions no matter how big or small.

"Jordan last year played State 15s for Victoria in Adelaide and did really well.

"He was the only Year 9 in the private schools competition in Melbourne that participated in that competition.

"He is a really good kid. He is a left-footer, really coachable. But we will just let him develop in his own time.

"As with all of the kids, we don't want to put pressure on them. They are their own person.

"Some of their fathers were champions but we just want to make sure they develop at their own rate and that we support them whether or not they want to pursue a career in footy.

"Alec is heading into his 17th year and played State 16s last year. He has a hip injury at the moment, but we are going to try to get that right and support him as well.

"He is a bit of a utility. He has clean hands, a left-footer who kicks like his dad, Chris. He is a really good reader of the play.

"Jordy's an inside player, Peter was a wingman and all of Jordy's junior coaches think Jordy is a wingman too, but he is an inside mid.

"He likes chasing the footy and getting his head in and under."

Jordan Matera is a regular at West Coast's Melbourne games and visitor to the rooms.

Smith said all children of former Eagles players received junior memberships.

"I want to stress that we will support these kids whether they become AFL footballers or not," he said. "If they want to pursue an AFL career we'll make sure we help them with the right resources, but we have also got to understand they have their school footy, their club footy and then their rep footy.

"We don't want to put an extra burden on them except for support."

The West Australian

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