USAFL Scholarship Player


Diary Entry 1 - Feb 1

Diary Entry 2 - Feb 5

Diary Entry 3 - Feb 8

Diary Entry 4 - Feb 9

Diary Entry 5 - Feb 10

Diary Entry 6 - Feb 11

Diary Entry 7 - Feb 12

Diary Entry 8 - Feb 13

Diary Entry 9 - Feb 14

Diary Entry 10 - Feb 15

Diary Entry 11 - Feb 16

Diary Entry 12 - Feb 17

Diary Entry 13 - Feb 18

Diary Entry 14 - Feb 19

Diary Entry 15 - Feb 20

Diary Entry 16 - Feb 21

Diary Entry 17 - Feb 22

Diary Entry 18 - Feb 23

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Diary Entry 21 - Feb 26

Diary Entry 22 - Feb 27

Diary Entry 23 - Feb 28

Diary Entry 24 - Mar 1 article article article article article


Terry Daniher, Dustin Jones

Gary Hill, coaches box, MCG

Mark Harvey, Kevin Sheedy, DJ, Robert Shaw

Kevin Sheedy, Dustin Jones

Kevin Sheedy, Dustin Jones, Gary Hill

Group shot, don't know all the guys, sorry

Mark Harvey, Kevin Sheedy, Dustin Jones, Robert Shaw

Dustin recovering during a training drill, Robert Shaw at far


Dustin Jones
Dustin Jones

The first ever USAFL Scholarship player landed in Melbourne on Wednesday,
January 31st, a day that will go down in the history books of USFooty.
Dustin Jones from the Lehigh Valley Crocodiles and a member of the 2000 US
Revolution team had been looking forward to this moment since the day
Revolution Coach Gary Hill, had called to inform him of his selection.

"I was picked up from the airport and went straight to training, running
hills with all the Essendon players, it was the best thing I could have
done". Pretty impressive words and actions for someone who had been
traveling for over 24 hours. Dustin is staying with Essendon player Mark
McVeigh, who stated "we're really happy to have him here, training is
intense at the moment, so he'll get a tough introduction into AFL preseason
training". The AFL, Essendon and Sydney have all agreed to have Dustin play
in the pre season game in Sydney on February 10th, another first for a US
based player.

This entire scholarship program is due in no small part to legendary
Essendon coach, Kevin Sheedy, a vocal advocate of exploring International
Leagues for future prospects. Matthew Drain, Simon Matthews and everyone
else at Essendon have also worked hard to organize the program and the
thanks each and every one of them.

Dustin has already been featured on TV, in Newspapers and USAFL President
Richard Mann, conducted a radio interview on ABC prior to Dustin landing in
Melbourne. Obviously the Australian media is taking a keen interest in
Dustin and will be following his progress and success closely.

AFL Clubs and CEO's always ask members of the USAFL "when will we see a
player drafted direct from the US into the AFL?"
One would be a fool to put a definitive date on the answer, but this
is the first step, and a huge step at that, toward achieving that goal.

Dustin will be sending regular updates to us here in the US to let everyone
know how he's getting along, his impressions of Essendon, AFL style footy
and the Australian way of life in general.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 1

G-day everyone,

So far this has been an experience that I won't forget! I arrived on
31st of January. I was taken to the training ground and met some of the
blokes. They were headed to their hardest pre season training session yet,
called hills.
You can guess what that is, killer runs! Being new in the country and keen
to make an impression, I decided to jump
right in. WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING!! I just traveled for over 24 hours.
After it was over, I realized it was worth it. I earnt some respect from
the guys and some encouragement to push myself.

I headed to the place where I was staying and met David Hill and Mark
McVeigh, both awesome guys. They showed me around Melbourne and took me to
the beach that weekend. There I met up with some of my friends and had a
great time. That's it for now, I will write on Monday.

Dustin Jones

Dustin's Diary - Entry 2

G,day everyone,

Today I woke up and went to do weights for about 2 hours. I was taught
how to lift with speed and still acheive a good work out. I then had a break
of 3-4 hours, followed
by a second training, where I learnt skills. We
went through hand ball drills and then learnt to kick with pin point

sat and had a chat with Micheal Long about footy and America. He was really
interested in how serious the Americans are in footy. Some of the other
players on the team are afraid that if the Americans take the sport
seriously that the Americans will be better than the Australians in a few
years. I think
this provides us with the encouragement to do just that and prove a point.

Around 4:00 p.m. I commenced my third, and by far the hardest, training
session of the day.
We did about 4 sets of 4 long sprints. I was moved to the fast group by
coach Kevin Sheedy, so I knew I had to prove
that I deserved to be there. I ran well, but was very tired afterwards. That
was it with training for another day. I later went to the beach with the
guys and relaxed.

Talk to later!!
Dustin Jones

Dustin's Diary

Dustin's Diary - Entry 3

Thursday February 8, 2001.

9:00 a.m.
Woken by a phone call from family back home. Good to talk to
and tell about what I've been up to.

9:30 a.m.
Breakfast - had Sultana Bran for breakfast which is the same as
Raisin Bran back home. Hung out at home with Dave Hill and Mark McVeigh
the rest of the morning.

1:00 p.m.
Met Viv Richards, West Indian cricketing great, and listened to
him give the whole team a
motivational speech focused on how to win and how to work as a team. His
central message was that if you want to win and you are going to win then
you have to work as a team and you have to be able to count on your
He talked a lot about his experiences in cricket and his cricket career.
the end he gave me a signed cricket ball. He was really awesome and a real
nice bloke.

Dustin Jones
Dustin Jones and Viv Richards

3:00 p.m.
Went to Melbourne Uni track for a workout and we met Cathy
(Olympic Gold 400m Medallist), Nova Peris-Kneebone (Olympic Gold Hockey
Medallist) and Tamsyn Lewis (Australian 800m Champion and Olympic
Representative). Man, are these chicks hot! All the Essendon guys were
over them and the funniest part was that Tamsyn recognised me from the
article in the age today. The other guys were really pissed about that! I
felt like a real celebrity. I had my picture taken with all of them so I
hope they work out. We asked them questions about how to work out and how
to stay in shape, then we did a light work out with Cathy. We did 30
minutes of drills, then 15 mins of 100m sprints (a bit longer then 100
yards) then 15 mins of cool down. I told Cathy that everyone in the US
really likes her and we follow her career.

Dustin Jones
Dustin Jones and Nova Peris-Kneebone
Dustin Jones
Dustin Jones and Cathy Freeman

5:00 p.m.
Went home and tried to relax after such an exciting day. Watched
some TV and hung out with the guys.

7:00 p.m.
Went back to Windy Hill for a weights session. There was a DJ in
the weights room and it was like being at a club. It was heaps of fun to
out to. We did weights for about an hour then went home again.

9:00 p.m.
Had tuna fish for dinner and then will eat whatever else the guys
cook me. Dave hill is an awesome cook.

That's the end of my most exciting day yet. I go to Sydney in two days and
I am really looking forward to that. In my next diary update I'll tell you
about Aussie toilets and showers!

Dustin's Diary - Entry 4

Friday February 9, 2001.

After the excitement of yesterday, today was pretty quiet. I woke up about
10:00 a.m. and had Rice Bubbles for breakfast (Rice Crispies). I just
bummed around and watch TV all day. The TV over here is pretty bad just
like at home, but less channels! I went to training at 4:00 p.m. and it
a light session because we are playing in Sydney tomorrow. I am going to
eat dinner now (whatever the guys cook for me again) and then it's early to
bed ready for the big day tomorrow. I had some disappointing news today
about the game in Sydney - I won't be able to play because of the rules
here. I am still able to go to Sydney though, and I am looking forward to

I said last time that I would tell about Aussie showers and toilets. I
the showers here. The shower heads are really big and the water comes out
in big streams like rain. Not like at home where it comes out really hard.
I am always having really long showers and the guys are always hassling me to
get out. The toilets are weird though. They have a big bowl like at home,
but only a little bit of water in the bottom. When you flush, water comes
out from the top of the bowl and swirls around and then goes out the bottom
- and they don't always flush clean! One of my friends has a really old
toilet where you have to pull a chain to make it flush - I am always really
scared that the water going to splosh up and get me, so stand as far back
I can.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 5

Saturday February 10, 2001.

woke up and travelled to Melbourne Airport to catch a plane to

arrived at Melbourne Airport with the whole team and everyone
stopping us to talk to us and ask for autographs. It was really cool. I
even got asked for some autographs even though I don't think anyone knew
I was. I always sign my name and then put USA under it.


got on the plane.


got off the plane in Sydney and the same thing happened again
with people wanting autographs from the whole team. When we finished
we got on a bus to travel to our Hotel.


arrived at our Hotel in central Sydney. We stayed in Regent
which is an awesome 5 star hotel. It was really beautiful. There were
pianos playing in a huge lobby and there were three levels above that all
looked over the lobby. There were some bomber fans there too who yelled
stuff out to the team. I was staying with Marcus Kenny who is a young guy
on the reserves list who is trying to break into the top team. We had this
great room that looked over Sydney Harbour and I could see the Opera House
and the Harbour Bridge from my window. It was awesome. I was really
excited about it and all the Aussie guys were like, yeah, whatever!

We had a really nice lunch at the hotel and a team meeting
where Sheedy talked about the game. After lunch we travelled to the game
the team bus. When we arrived at the Oval there were heaps of people who
wanted autographs again, then we went down to the locker rooms. The locker
rooms were pretty small and all the other guys were bustin' my chops about
not being able to play. I heard that the AFL never reckons we'll be good
enough anyway, so now I'm really fired up to go home and get an awesome USA
team to come over here and kick these guys butts!


played against Sydney. Sheedy offered for me to come up to the
coaches box with him (no players are allowed up there) but I decided to sit
on the bench with the other guys. We took a really young team to Sydney
Sydney played most of their best players. Sheedy was using it to give the
Bomber reserves a chance to prove that they are up to senior standard. We
lost the game, but everyone played really well and Sheedy was really
pleased. David Hille played the first half in the ruck and played well and
Marcus Kenny played the second half and had an awesome game. The worst
was it rained the whole game and I just had to sit in the rain and watch!

had an awesome three course meal at the hotel. The food was
amazing and don't know what half of it was. We had chicken and wine and
heaps of fruit and they had the old style Coca Cola bottles.

we had a post match press conference and meet the players type
thing. We all had to dress up and answer questions and sign autographs
I got asked heaps of questions about the US and footy and stuff. It was
good fun.

went out to a bar in Sydney. I stayed at the bar for a while
and then went out to see the Opera House and some other sights in Sydney
then went back to the hotel.
The other guys all stayed at the bar and kept drinking. We got a phone call
in the morning asking where we were because the bus was about
the leave. Marcus took ages getting ready, so we missed the bus and had to
catch a taxi to the airport. When we got there, everyone wanted to know
what happened, and then they paid out on Marcus heaps. I sat with the
Johnsons (Mark and Jason) on the plane and they wouldn't let me sleep.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 6

Sunday February 11, 2001.

Arrived in Melbourne and I went straight out to see two of my
friends from Lehigh Valley who are out here. They are staying in Hampton
which is a beach side suburb about 30 minutes out of the city and they have
a pool in their back yard. I had a swim and then they showed me around the
Hampton shops.

caught the train into St Kilda to go to the St. Kilda Festival.
St Kilda is also a beach side suburb right outside the city. Every year
they close the streets and have a huge street party that's like Music Fest
in Pennsylvania. There were heaps of people and stages with bands and DJs.
We basically just walked around and looked at all the people. Most of the
girls look really fit and
awesome. (a note to Dustin's girlfriend - this was said by Jon and Josh -
not Dustin!)

left St. Kilda Festival and missed the last train home by a
minute! It was so funny, we were rolling around laughing about it. We
ended up catching a taxi home and I finally collapsed into bed at about
1:30. We have a weights session tomorrow morning at 7:00, which I will
miss, and then a skills session tomorrow afternoon.

Signing off for now - Dustin.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 7

Monday February 12, 2001.

woke up after a long and full weekend. I missed the weights
session, but my very kind Aussie room mate, Dave Hille, picked me up in
Hampton and drove me back to Essendon. I really miss having my car and
being able to go wherever I want, whenever I want... but it's a small price
to pay to spend a few weeks in Australia. Dave cooked Spaghetti for lunch.

went to skills practice. I kicked around with the reserves and
had an awesome practice. Kevin Sheedy said that he would put me up to
practice with the Seniors next time which was pretty cool. After practice,
the coaches went through the Sydney game with us and the younger players
were encouraged for doing well and the older players were chastised for
their average performance - I can't repeat the phrases that were used, but
let's just say that Sheeds wasn't too happy with some of them...

practice ended and we went home. Dave cooked Beef stew for
dinner and then I went back out to Hampton to stay the night with Jon and
Josh (my mates from LeHigh, PA).

All in all it was a pretty quiet day, but I needed it!

Dustin's Diary - Entry 8

Tuesday February 13, 2001

woke up. I thought professional footballers were supposed to have
early morning training sessions -ed Went out for breakfast in Hampton and I had a toasted
sandwich with Salami, Cheese and tomato (In Australia they say Tomarto). I
also put the film with the photos of me with Cathy and Co in for
I hope they come out.

kicked for a couple of hours with Jon and Josh and we worked
really hard on our technique and tried to make sure that we were kicking
properly every time.

picked up my photos and there are some really good ones. I am
going to try to get access to a scanner and email some over to be posted on
the website. I had an Aussie meat pie with hot sauce for lunch. I had one
of these at the Nationals back home and really liked it, and they taste
the same here.

went to Robbie Giabardo's (Lehigh Valley Crocs Coach) Mum's
place for dinner. Robbie's Aunt and two nephews Dian and Danny were there.
They are all huge Essendon fans and they have lots of neat Essendon stuff.
Jon and Josh came to dinner too and we had Lasagne, Garlic Bread, Salad and
a Chicken dish. The food was real nice. After tea Dion and Danny drove us
up to this lookout in the mountains where you can see the whole of the city
of Melbourne. The view was awesome and we hung out there just talking with
the guys.

left the lookout and went home.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 9

Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - Valentines Day

woke up because Dave came over to pick me up. We drove back to
Essendon where we had cereal for breakfast. I spent the rest of the day
sleeping, watching TV and generally bumming around.

went to practice. Today everyone trained together and it was
general skills training.

called my girlfriend for Valentine's Day. She was happy to
from me and it was nice to talk to her. She got my letter right on time
which was good.

Went out to dinner with Paul O'Keeffe's nieces Katie and
Nellie's boyfriend, Brent came too and so did Jon, Josh and Dave Hille.
They took us out to Chapel St which is one of Melbourne's most popular
shopping and eating districts. We had pizza and pasta for Dinner. We took
Jon and Josh to this other place for dinner where they had Souvlaki's -
marinated meat in pita bread with salad and sauce. Then we walked up and
down Chapel St looking at the shops and stuff. On the way back to the
station we stopped for ice cream at Baskin & Robbins. They were just
closing up as we got there, but we were talked them into letting us have
some. Nellie and Brent live in a place called Geelong which is about a 1
hour drive South West of Melbourne near the beach. Josh and I really want
to try surfing, so they are going to take us out one Weekend. They also go
rock climbing and can take us out to try that as well which will be
After ice cream we got back on the train and went home.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 10

Thursday, February 15, 2001


woke up. I was really lazy today and just hung around the house
until training. I have been having late nights, which is making me really
tired in the mornings.

went to training. Today we worked on speed, starting, stopping
and moving from side to side. It was a fun session. After training we
home and Dave cooked tacos for dinner.

went back to Chapel St to go to a movie. We went to see
Hannibal. It kind of weird and a bit gory but I liked it. I thought that
it was better than the first one. The movie didn't start until 10:40 p.m.
so it was late when it finished and then we just went home.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 11

Friday, February 16, 2001

woke up. I know exactly what time I woke up because I got a call
from my coach back home and I thought - God, what I am doing awake so
He called to tell me that I will be getting a call from a reporter who
to write an article for the paper at home.

Not long after being woken up by my coach, I received a phone call from a
Journalist at my local paper in Lehigh Valley. He interviewed me for about
half an hour and wanted to know all about Australia, footy in Australia,
I got here, what it's like etc. He was a real nice guy and I enjoyed
talking with him.

Friday morning we had a weights training session and then afterwards I took
Dave Hille and Mark McVeigh out and tried to teach them baseball. We
pitched to each other and hit around for about an hour. After that we had
regular sandwiches for lunch.

Friday afternoon we a track session. We did 4 x 100m sprints then some
drills. We did quick steps drills, starting drills where we had to start
with our feet together, sideways stepping drills, direction change drills
and ball handling while running on the track.

That night I caught the train back out to Jon and Josh's place in Hampton
and stayed the night there.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 12

Saturday February 17, 2001

The Bombers are playing in Adelaide tonight against the Port Adelaide
I'm not going because I can't play and it would just make me mad to sit and
watch, so I have the weekend off. I had a pretty cruisy day and went to
beach all day. We played beach footy and starting working on some
moves. We started with Jon standing on my shoulders but as he is bigger
than me, we decided that it might be more effective with the other way
around! We start in deep water and then walk towards the shore until we
can't walk any more. We are aiming to get all the way to the sand.

Saturday night we went out to a bar called Wild Bills which is at a big
Shopping Mall called Southland. We watched the bombers game on the TV in
the bar and they played absolutely terribly and were beaten by 79 points.
I couldn't believe it and it was so painful to watch. I think we're going to
be in for a heavy week a training next week! We had a wild night a Wild
Bills and got home at about 4:00 a.m. after the bar shut.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 13

Sunday February 18, 2001

After last night's nocturnal activities we slept in until around 12. It
really hot by the time we woke up so we decided to go the beach again. We
perfected our acrobatic moves and spent most of the day just lying around.
Dave picked Jon and I up in the afternoon and we went back to Essendon.
Jon stayed the night with us as he was going to join us at training the
next day.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 14

Monday February 19, 2001

In the morning I met the guy from Burley. We talked about footy for ages,
he gave me some American Revolution national team gear and we had photos
taken together. He was an awesome guy and a huge footy fan.

After meeting with him, I took Jon down to the Essendon Football club and
showed him around the grounds and the club. We had skills practice while
Jon was there and he got to watch. We did a six point drill, kicking
drills and hitting drills with the bag. Dave Hille who is 6'6" and looks
like Andre the giant was paired up with me for one of the hitting drills.
He had to run at me and I had to hit as hard as I could with the back. I
got him in the legs and took him out. It was awesome. The coaches were
yelling at Dave and telling him to get up and saying I can't believe you
that little guy knock you down and stuff like that. It was very funny, but
it made me Dave's target for the rest of the session!

We did a quick
handball drill where there are four people and two players have to keep it
away from the other two
and then we ended with sprints. We did a ladder session of 120m, 90m, 60m,
60m, 90m 120m with 30 seconds rest; three times. This was a killer at the
end of the
session and I was glad when it was over. After training Kevin talked about
the game on Saturday. He wasn't really mad and didn't yell or anything,
he said that the guys need to step us and start acting like professional
footballers. He kept saying he can't believe that we were beaten by 79
points and he said that some of the guys are on ego trips at the moment and
seem to have choked on their premiership medals over summer! It was a
opportunity to be able to hear him talk like this and I hope that we win in
our next match on Friday night.

Monday night we had dinner with Kevin Sheedy and his wife at an Italian
restaurant in Melbourne. Kevin is an absolute legend in Australia and he
is like a god - but he is really just a regular joe like everyone else. He
very funny and talked a lot about the differences between the US and
Australia. Jon and Josh came too and Sheeds wants to get the three of us
on TV talking about USfooty and US Culture. He doesn't know if it will
happen but he wants to which is neat. We ate heaps of food and didn't
finish until after midnight. Just as well we have a day off tomorrow.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 15

Tuesday February 20, 2001

We don't have to train today so I slept in and went to the beach again. I
also went to see my coaches mum again which was nice. When I finish up
Bombers next week, I will be staying at their house and she showed me my
It is huge - it's so big I could kick around in it. I can't wait to stay

Tuesday night I went out with Nellie and Katie again (Ed: the bloody
O'Keeffe clan is everywhere). This time their Mum,
Michele, came as well and we went to the movies and saw Crouching Tiger,
Hidden Dragon. It's a crazy Kung Fu movie with lots of running in the air
and on water tied in with Chinese mythology. Jon and Josh didn't like it
very much because it was so unbelievable, but I thought it was pretty cool.

We are going to spend the weekend with Nellie and her boyfriend and they
are going to take us surfing and rock climbing which will be awesome. I am
really looking forward to that.

I only have one more week left with the Bombers and it all seems to be
too fast. I am having a great time (as you can no doubt tell) and will
write more soon...

Dustin's Diary - Entry 16

Wednesday February 21, 2001

I woke up at Jon and Josh's place in Hampton at about 9:00 am and then
caught the train back home to Moonee Ponds. I must be feeling home sick
because when I got home I cleaned up my room! My family called me and
talked to them for about an hour. They told me that there was a big
of me on the front page of the local newspaper and that I am big news back
home which is neat. I miss my family and my girlfriend so it was good to
get to talk to them.

We had practice in the afternoon and I totally sucked today! I overran
everything, my kicking was off, my handballs were off. The coach said that
I was doing okay, but I was like "Man, I suck today!" Even though I didn't
practice well, it's so great to train ball work with other people who
can kick the ball and drill it right to you and it's good to play and
practice with people who are serious. I talked to
Kevin Sheedy more about coming to the US to meet other players and I gave
him a crocs T-shirt.

We had beef stew for dinner which was yum and then after dinner I took
Mark's dog Occy for a walk to get bread. I have an early start tomorrow so
I won't go out tonight.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 17

Thursday February 22, 2001

Woke up and had Sultana Bran for breakfast then headed off to Colonial
Stadium for practice around 10:00 a.m. We are playing here tomorrow night
and there were tons of TVs and Cameras at training which was amazing. I
put in the running group for practice and I was running my butt off. We
suicides and full lap sprints then we did some handball and short kicking
drills. I had a go at kicking long and I kicked a goal from 60m out -
awesome. After practice Kevin talked to us about Friday nights game and
through some game plans. I found out that I am going to be playing in the
Reserve's match on Saturday which I am stoked about and I am getting an all
areas access pass to Friday's game.

That was our only practice for today so I had the rest of the day to
myself. Jon and Josh came over and spent the night. We got 'A Night at the
on video and we played some tennis.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 18

Friday February 23, 2001

Woke up this morning and decided that I couldn't take my hair being this
long anymore so I went and got a haircut. I feel much better now!

I took Jon and Josh to Windy Hill and showed them around the grounds and
the training facilities. We went into the gym and I showed them where I
worked out and we mucked around on the equipment for a little while. Then
we went and had Sandwiches for lunch and played some more tennis.

I went to Colonial Stadium that night and watched the game from the
sidelines. I went to the changing rooms every time the guys went and
Jon & Josh down to the rooms after the game. This is a really big deal in
Australia and they were real happy. I was on live TV for 40 seconds with
Dipper. Dipper is an Australian football legend. He asked me questions
about USfooty, but he was a bit hard to understand. After the game I
signed a whole bunch of autographs. I had an awesome night, despite the
fact that the Bombers were creamed by Geelong.

After the game we went up the tallest skyscraper in Melbourne where you can
see the whole city (a bit like The Empire State Building - just not that
tall) and hung out with the guys.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 19

Saturday February 24, 2001

Today was my big day. I played in the reserves game at the Western Oval.
played in the forward pocket and played the whole second half. I think
I proved that the USA could play. We got beaten pretty bad and in
the post match discussion our coach, Terry Daniher, said I showed up a lot
of the other guys and he was happy with my performance.

Ed's Commentary from the game...

It's the start of the third quarter and the young American Dustin Jones is
playing in the right forward pocket for the Bombers. It will be
to see how his skills match up with those of the Australian's... the ball
loose on the wing... three players are running for it... and it's Dustin
Jones who get there first... he scoops the ball up and swings around...
there are three Geelong players to his one... he dodges the first...
baulks... dodges the second... what speed... puts on a burst and outsprints
the third... pops the ball onto his right foot and lobs it into the forward
line... fantastic speed and skills from the yank. The senior Essendon
players sitting in the crowd next to me express their approval and some of
them even sound surprised at how well he is handling himself.)

Went to the beach after the game for the rest of the day and then caught
train back home. On the train I got asked to sign autographs by people who
recognised me. It was so awesome - I felt really cool - I felt like a
When I got back to Essendon we kicked back and watched movies for the rest
of the night.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 20

Sunday February 25, 2001

Woke up and went to Hampton to see Jon and Josh. We hooked up with Gina,
one of Robbie's family members, and went into the country for the day where
we got to feed lots of beautiful birds and had parrots come and sit right
us. We had ice cream and had a counter meal at the local pub. I had pizza
and decided that I really don't like the pizza in Australia, there's not
enough cheese and it's not greasy enough. I like the pizza in America much

Dustin's Diary - Entry 21

Monday February 26, 2001

Today was my second last practice with the Bombers and it was a really
session. The senior team lost and the reserves lost on the weekend so
Sheedy was upset and made us train really hard. Had a lot of sprints and
was an extra long practice. He was really trying to knock the egos out of
everybody and worked us real hard. He didn't talk at all about the weekend
games because he was so annoyed about the way we played and the guys should
be playing better and should know what he's thinking and feeling.

Came back to Hampton to see Jon and Josh again because I had Tuesday off
and hung out with them for the rest of the night.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 22

Tuesday February 27, 2001

Jon and Josh have found jobs working on construction sites so I had the
whole day by myself. I spent the day running, riding and kicking to
Kicking alone is lots of fun, you should try it sometime - kick the ball,
run pick up the ball, kick it back again, run, kick, run, kick - yay! Jon
and Josh came home about five and then we went out to eat. Went to a bar
South Yarra called the Arcadia which was okay. Hung out with Jon's
which was cool and really fun.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 23

Wednesday February 28, 2001

Went to weights training in the morning and hung around for a while because
I wanted to work on my kicking with one of the coaches. Dave and Mark took
me back home and then we went back to skills practice at 3:00 p.m.. Kicked
around for about an hour and then watched the rest of the session so that I
could pick up as much as possible - the guys got reamed out again because
they weren't doing too well. Got all the footballs signed to bring home
Matthew Drain said that I did really well and that I was one of the only
players who has come to the club and presented themselves well and got
with everyone. They want to keep in touch with me and they will see me
they come to the US. I have to go back to the club to see Sheedy because
wants me to come back again. Matthew said that I can come back and kick
with them whenever I want.

My last practice was a bit sad, but I took it like a trooper!

Hung out with Dave and Mark for the rest of the day and the night and I
Dave a Knick's jersey for letting me stay with them - he liked it. They
took me out to dinner and we said our goodbyes. We are still going to hang
out and go bunge jumping and surfing together.

Dustin's Diary - Entry 24

Thursday March 1, 2001

I packed my stuff and moved in with Robbie's mum. That's the end of my
daily diaries for football, but I will keep sending updates when I have
something that is particularly interesting and let you all know how I am

Finally, there are a few things that I want to say now that the formal part
of my trip is over, so here goes...

Dear USAFL readers,

My time is Australia was a dream come true. I lived the Australia dream.
met tons of famous people and was on TV, radio and in the newspapers all
the time.

The list of famous people that I have met:

Tamsyn Lewis - 800m runner

Cathy Freeman - 400m Sprinter, Olympic Games Gold Medallist

Nova Perris-Kneebone - 100m and 200m sprinter, Australian Hockey Olympic
Games Gold Medallist

Viv Richards - West Indian cricket legend

Tony Locket (the real Plugger) - football player and world record holder in

Kevin Sheedy - football legend and coach of the Essendon Football Club

Dipper - football legend and ex-Hawthorn player

James Hird - Captain of the Essendon Football Team and two times
Premiership player

Dustin Fletcher - Two times Premiership Player with Essendon

Matthew Lloyd - Top AFL Goal scorer last year and Essendon player

Michael Long - Aboriginal Football player and two Times Premiership Player.

I got to work out with the best footy players in the world, joked and
laughed with
legends of the game, and went out to eat with Australian God Kevin Sheedy.
To the next winner of the this scholarship you will have the time of your
life (I did) so work hard everyone and win this great opportunity that was
given to me. Thanks a lot. Finally I'd like to say special thanks to:

Jon Loring (friend) - Thanks for getting me started in footy.

Robbie Giarbardo - Lehigh Valley club coach. Thanks for teaching me
everything I know about footy and keep doing a good job with the Lehigh

Richard Mann - USfooty president. Stick with it, you're doing an
excellent job, a lot of people are looking up to you and thanks for
everything that you have done for me.

Gary Hill - USfooty Coach. Thanks for picking me and for coming over to
see me.

Paul O'Keeffe - Inaugural USAFL President and founder of the USAFL. Also
thanks for everything that you have done for me and for the USAFL.

Dave Hille and Mark McVeigh - Essendon players and the people I have lived
with - keep working hard and thanks for everything.

Matthew Drain - Manager of Essendon football club - thanks for organising
everything and for bringing me over

Kevin Sheedy - Coach. Thanks for taking us out to eat and I really
appreciate everything that you did for me.


Dustin Jones

P.S. Thanks to Kate O'Keeffe for writing these diary entries for me - I
really do
appreciate it. (You're Welcome - Ed.)

- Rich Mann - President USAFL

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