By Rob Lee
It’s a long way from Spain to a wet tropical night in Darwin, but 25-year-old Rockhampton born soccer star George Freeman has taken it all in his stride.
George, who has been playing overseas with the Spanish club CD San Roque, was part of the Indigenous Roos team that took out a silver medal at the 2019 Arafura Games on Friday night.
The Roos have been competing in their debut tournament alongside the National Indigenous women’s team, the Koalas.
George is from the Kuku Yalanji clan of Far North Queensland.
He remembers always kicking a ball around as a child, and says he enjoys the “companionship” of soccer.
“My grandmother pushed me into it, and I’ve just been playing ever since.
“You go onto the field with ten other boys and when you’re on fire, you’re really gelling.
It’s not just about the eleven on the field either, it’s the whole squad,” he said.
“As for his favourite team, George enjoys watching Spanish giants FC Barcelona for their ‘tiki-taka’ or short passing and movement and retaining possession style of play.
With the Indigenous Roos starring at this year’s Arafura Games, George believes the future is bright for Indigenous soccer.
“This is the start of a pathway that has been created for the next generation, and there will hopefully be players coming through who will do even better.
We’ve planted the seed because you have to take care of that,” he said.
Following the Arafura Games, George will go back to Spain for another season, starting in August, before returning to Australia.