Feature story on Alex Dunnachie

TA = The Age

TA Note: “FOR Alex Dunnachie it’s not so much like a dream come true as living an unimaginable fantasy. Last June, the 18-year-old was happily plugging away at his VCE at Marcellin College, playing school footy on Friday afternoons and having a kick with Banyule on weekends. His immediate plans were to pass school, defer uni for a year, get some money behind him and see what happened next.”

About how he was encouraged to attend the try outs for ProKick Australia, a new punting school set up by Nathan Chapman (former Brisband and Hawthorn defender), Dunnachie said:
“It was a bit wet the morning of the try-outs and I just wanted to stay in bed.” (TA)

Still having trouble believing that his UH scholarship is real, Dunnachie said:
“Everyone’s still just trying to wrap their heads around it, like it doesn’t exist. You don’t even think about something like this, so how can it be happening?” (TA)

About the three football scholarships (Jordan Berry to Eastern Kentucky and Tom Duyndam to Portland State) from Melbourne teenagers who attended his camp, Chapman said:
“This is huge. Even in America, it’s not often that you’ll get a punter walk straight into a full scholarship. For us to get three guys across the line, it’s unheard of.” (TA)

“These three are the exact target we’re trying to hit — kids just out of high school, who missed the AFL draft. We’re giving them another option.” (TA)

Happy Berry and Duyndam got scholarships also, Dunnachie said they have:
“all been in this together, being led blindly without really knowing what was going on”. (TA)

About how he knew nothing about American football a year ago, Dunnachie said:
“I’m still learning the rules now, trying to anyway.” (TA)

About a conversation he had with UH coaches when he went to Hawaii on a recruiting visit (his first time out of Australia), Dunnachie said:
“They asked what the biggest crowd was I’d played in front of. I said, ‘Maybe 150.’ They’re like, ‘That’s 150,000?’ I said, ‘No, that’s 150 people.”‘ (TA)

Asked about how he could be playing in front of 60,000 people now, Dunnachie said:
“It’s a bit daunting when you look at it like that.” (TA)

TA Note: “BANYULE will have to get by without him, as the college wants him in residence by the end of May to start training, begin a sports medicine degree and work towards a masters in physiotherapy.”

Dunnachie said that his scholarship is worth around $15,000, and:
“all my needs are paid for.” (TA)

About how his Australian rules football teammates used to tease him for kicking the ball so far, Dunnachie said:
“they reckoned I wouldn’t pass, just tried to kick it as far as I could.” (TA)



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