By Trent Slatter – Toowoomba Chronicle
DALBY Swans under-12 player Tom Matthews reckons he doesn’t kick a lot of goals.
But that might be a bit of an understatement given that he is the leading amateur goal-scorer in the country.
In 10 games for Dalby this season, Tom has kicked an incredible 82 goals which puts him at number one in the Skins Leading Goalkicker competition.
The competition includes all age groups, meaning Tom has managed to outscore players in the senior ranks.
Tom has had some amazing hauls this season, including a personal best 20 majors against Lockyer Valley.
But the goal-kicking prodigy said he was surprised to learn of his national ranking.
“I was surprised actually,” he said.
“I don’t play in the forward line. I’m usually a midfielder, centre or ruck-rover. I prefer playing there.”
Tom broke the AFL Darling Downs under-12 record with 123 goals last year and has a great chance to repeat that feat in 2012.
He will miss the next two games for Dalby as captain of the Darling Downs schoolboys team but Tom said that wouldn’t slow him down.
“Last year I kicked 18 goals in five games at the carnival,” he said.
AFL Queensland development officer Jeff Neumann said Tom’s goal-scoring feats showed the strength of sport on the Darling Downs.
“It’s absolutely fantastic for a 12-year-old to be leading an Australia-wide competition,” he said.
“It’s not only great for himself but also great for the sport in the region.”
While Tom is all but certain to crack 100 goals again this season, he said he was more focused on leading Dalby to a flag.
“We’re coming second. We’ve only lost one game,” he said.
“I think winning the premiership is more important.”