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  1. #1
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    How footy helped Buku Khamis adapt to Australian lifestyle

    How footy helped Buku Khamis adapt to Australian lifestyle


    WHILE most draftees grew up with a football in their hands, in a city where AFL is a religion, Buku Khamis couldn’t have walked a more different path.

    The under-18 All-Australian spent the first six years of his life living in war torn South Sudan before fleeing as a refugee with his parents and four brothers.

    He didn’t touch a football for another six years after landing in Australia. But six years since experiencing Aussie Rules for the first time after visiting Etihad Stadium on a school excursion, the Western Jets defender is about to land on an AFL list.

    It is an amazing journey that is about to get even better for the Western Bulldogs next generation academy member.

    “I was six years old when I moved to Australia. At the start I found it very difficult to adapt to a new environment and the ways things are done here,” Khamis told foxfooty.com.au at the AFL draft combine.

    “But once I learned how to speak English it made things easier and helped make friends. Footy has been really helpful; it has made me a better person and shaped who I am. It also keeps me occupied.

    “It wasn’t until 2012 (that I started playing football), so it wasn’t straight away. We actually came to Etihad Stadium with my primary school for a footy game, and then after that I wanted to give it a go.”

    On a Sunday afternoon midway through this winter, one of the most memorable match-ups of 2018 occurred at Etihad (now Marvel) Stadium.

    It didn’t involve a superstar of the competition, it involved two Sudanese players — North Melbourne’s Majak Daw and Sydney’s Aliir Aliir.

    Daw booted four goals under the roof, while Aliir collected 23 disposals, 10 marks and kicked the winning goal.

    Khamis’ face lights up when he recalls the special moment, taking confidence from those who have walked the path before him.

    “I was watching that game at home and it was actually a really cool moment having two Sudanese players going at, playing on each other and they both had really good games,” he said.

    “It gave me the confidence that that could be me one day. It was really good to see.

    “I’ve met Majak through the academy camps and had a bit to do with him. He has been really helpful and someone who is a great role model for me and to the south Sudanese community.”

    After spending a month training at Whitten Oval last summer as a member of the Bulldogs’ next generation academy, Khamis has had a chance to take a peek behind the curtain.

    And what he has saw he loved.

    Now, he is desperate to get an opportunity, regardless of whether that is at Luke Beveridge’s team or elsewhere.

    “I did a month of the pre-season at the Bulldogs and that was pretty surreal being around the players and seeing how they get things done over there,” he said.

    “It just gave me an eye-opening experience that it could become a reality by the end of the year. I now know what I’m working for and what the end goal actually looks like. I did a fair bit of the training.”
    Tough times don't last, tough people do
    "He'll accumulate and be involved, but we're looking a qualitative sheen on his game that we need, and it is part of our scope to score"

  2. #2
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    Re: How footy helped Buku Khamis adapt to Australian lifestyle

    What a great story, coming to Australia and not even playing till 6 years ago. Will be a great pickup, and well done to the academy.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  3. #3
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    Re: How footy helped Buku Khamis adapt to Australian lifestyle

    I hope we can grab him (if the bid isn't stupid high), for so many reasons on-field and off-field.
    I drank the slab that Bon Scott drunk
    I injected some of Hendrixs junk
    I booked a seat on Lynyrd Skynyrds plane
    Mama Cass's sandwich? Ate the same

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  5. #4
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    Re: How footy helped Buku Khamis adapt to Australian lifestyle

    Where does North fit into the draft. Are they there about to trump us with a Majak Daw connection.
    There are plenty of talented people in the world. As you already know, talent is not enough. Some of the athletes with the most potential never pan out. What separates the good from the great is determination and work ethic.

  6. #5
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    Re: How footy helped Buku Khamis adapt to Australian lifestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by Hotdog60 View Post
    Where does North fit into the draft. Are they there about to trump us with a Majak Daw connection.
    I wouldn't think so. They have 2 Father son and NGA selections to get done themselves. They have 5 x 3rd round picks to get those deals done and nothing before that. I don't think they will be a problem for us
    Tough times don't last, tough people do
    "He'll accumulate and be involved, but we're looking a qualitative sheen on his game that we need, and it is part of our scope to score"

  7. Thanks Hotdog60, boydogs thanked for this post
  8. #6
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    Re: How footy helped Buku Khamis adapt to Australian lifestyle

    Will be an interesting addition to the squad, has some tricks but still plenty to learn. Fingers crossed he ends up at the club
    "Loves a scrap....oh yeah & he's a pretty handy footballer as well"

  9. #7
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    Re: How footy helped Buku Khamis adapt to Australian lifestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by SlimPickens View Post
    Will be an interesting addition to the squad, has some tricks but still plenty to learn. Fingers crossed he ends up at the club
    He's got some work to do on his aerobic capacity as well. He's going to be a bit of a project player and fortunately we won't need to rush him
    Tough times don't last, tough people do
    "He'll accumulate and be involved, but we're looking a qualitative sheen on his game that we need, and it is part of our scope to score"

  10. #8
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    Re: How footy helped Buku Khamis adapt to Australian lifestyle

    What a great story. New sporting role models for Sudanese kids is so important. The fact the kid can play, even better!
    www.bulldogtragician.com A blog about being a lifelong fan of the Dogs and our quixotic attempt to replicate 1954. AND WE DID
    Author of "The Mighty West: the Bulldogs journey from daydream believers to premiership heroes"
    Twitter @bulldogstragic

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  12. #9
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    Re: How footy helped Buku Khamis adapt to Australian lifestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    He's got some work to do on his aerobic capacity as well. He's going to be a bit of a project player and fortunately we won't need to rush him
    Absolutely, work ethic will be crucial. Look forward to watching him develop
    "Loves a scrap....oh yeah & he's a pretty handy footballer as well"

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