Israel Folau had some inspiring words for students from Westfields Sports High School's Aussie Rules team last week.
Picture: TRACEE LEA
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Posted 6th July 2011
By: LAUREN McMAH
AFL convert Israel Folau better watch his back - these students are ready to make their mark on his game.
Last week the Greater Western Sydney Giants star visited his old school, Westfields Sports to meet year 12 AFL students
Folau, 22, also made a special presentation to the Westfields girls under-15 and the boys under-14 AFL teams, who will compete in the next stage of this season's Giants Cup.
"It feels a bit weird coming back to your old school and seeing all the kids coming up and asking for autographs," he said," "Hopefully a few might take up AFL now."
At a school without AFL posts on the sports field, in the middle of rugby league heartland, AFL wasn't an option for Folau, who attended Westfields in years 7-8. And neither, he feared, was the NRL.
"I remember at the time (at Westfields) I struggled to make a team," he said. "When I moved to Brisbane, I really sat down and reflected on that and tried not to get down on myself.
"I picked it up a notch and worked to where I wanted to be."
After becoming the NRL's youngest player to represent Australia and Queensland, Folau made the switch from rugby league to AFL last year.
Now 9kg lighter, Folau will begin his first season in the AFL when the Giants make their debut in 2012.
He also had some wise words for Westfields' Aussie Rules players.
"set goals for yourself, and if you think that you can't make it the first time, just keep trying," he said.