GLORY DADS RELISH CHANCE TO GIVE BACK

Glory's players and coaching staff have established a proud tradition of engaging closely with the local South African community since the club's first pre-season trip to the Republic in 2011 and that tradition has been very much upheld during the current tour.

Glory's players and coaching staff have established a proud tradition of engaging closely with the local South African community since the club's first pre-season trip to the Republic in 2011 and that tradition has been very much upheld during the current tour.

Earlier this week, Alistair Edwards, Gareth Naven and Scott Miller conducted a well-attended clinic for local coaches close to the club's training base in Nelspruit and the entire travelling party was involved in running a training session for youngsters in the nearby township of Kabokwene. And as fathers to young children themselves, Jacob Burns and Steven McGarry found the Kabokwene visit an especially profound experience.

"It was a fantastic and really humbling day for a lot of the players," said Burns. "I've been on similar trips here before in previous years, but it still hits home every time and really pulls at the heartstrings. "It makes me realise how lucky I am to come from Australia. "A lot of the kids are doing the drills without shoes on, let alone boots and it really drives home how fortunate we are in Australia. "As a father myself, it's something I'm very mindful of in raising my kids. "I want them to appreciate everything they have and not to expect things just to be given to them. "It's something my parents instilled in me and I'm trying to do the same to my own kids now. "It really hits home seeing these young, innocent little faces and knowing that they are in really tough situations. "I think a lot of the boys felt really good to be able to give something back and also to have the opportunity to see how things work in another country and another culture and try to help out in any way they could. "We've got similar sessions planned for when we move on to Johannesburg and they are definitely a very important part of the trip."

Those sentiments were echoed by McGarry who managed to provide some practical help for at least one talented local youngster.

"Even just driving up to the townships," he said, "you see the shanty houses that these people are living in and it really makes you very appreciative of what you've got. "I took a pair of boots along and towards the end there was a freestyle skills competition and I gave the boots as a prize to one of the lads involved. "He'd never had a pair of boots before as he couldn't afford any, so it was brilliant to be able to do that. "You could see from their reaction that the kids there loved it and it's great to be able to have an impact on kids like that and spread the message of football and the name of Perth Glory as well."

Perth Glory's 2013 South Africa tour proudly sponsored by Kaboko Mining, Live2Learn and Europcar

Gareth Morgan