Josh Simpson has come a long way from playing football barefoot in the park.
Having represented the Fremantle Dockers on the big stage, the 21-year-old has made his way to Mullewa and is motivating children at the Mullewa Youth Centre.
“My goal here in Mullewa is to inspire the kids and give them a sense of direction,” Josh said.
“Most of all I want to give them hope.”
The Mullewa Youth Centre, which is owned and managed by the City of Greater Geraldton with funding support from the Department of Child Protection, is visited by up to 50 local children a week from the ages of eight to 18.
The Centre hosts a number of youth engagement activities and is open to Mullewa Youth throughout the week as a safe place to enjoy technology, games and different sports.
Jesse Steele was appointed as Co-ordinator on the Youth Centre in late 2014 and has been implementing some positive changes to the Centre and is hoping for some more big additions in the near future.
“I really want to put some energy into the Centre and we’ve started with some renovations to the building,” he said.
“Ultimately we are here to try and provide the kids with some structure and mentoring.
“Sport is such a big focus here in Mullewa so Josh is a great role model for the kids here at the Centre.”
Josh grew up in Yalgoo and didn’t play his first real game of Australian Rules football until he was 13. He went on to represent Western Australia and South Australia before being drafted to the Dockers and played two games with the side last season.
He has now moved to Mullewa with his wife and two children, and is the head coach of the Mullewa League side in the Great Northern Football League.
Josh will spend the next year in Mullewa and hopes to get picked up by another AFL Club in the future.