The Lake Nash Young Guns footy team struggles for money to travel the 600km to their games, and if they do not get a kangaroo on the way to the game, they most likely play on empty stomachs.
Alpurrurulam is an Indigenous community near the Queensland–NT border with a red dirt oval where the Young Guns train every evening, often barefoot, or in socks.
"As children, they always had a ball in their hand and it has just never stopped," club president Renee Larkins said. "It is not just a game. It’s their life, it's love. When they are on the field or at training, they are not drinking, breaking-in or running amok, they are doing something that they love, there's not a lot of sniffing anymore, there's no breaking in anymore, the fellas are doing really, really well."
The team travels 300km on a rough dirt road for the games and since their bus broke down two years ago they have had to take their own cars.
"It is very hard on the cars, sometimes we have to take little cars in, like Commodores, and you have to drive slow because the roads are messed up," Ms Larkins said.
"Sometimes there is no room in the car and most of us get left behind," player Gregory Wilde said.
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Ms Larkins said if they were taking three or four cars, that's about $100 for each car to fill up.
"Then you're filling up more cars to come back again, so that is another $400, so about $800 a week, depending on how many cars we take in, that's half of their wage each” she said.
Lake Nash has only one store so sponsorship is hard and money for fuel, registration and jerseys comes out of the players pockets.
"We are also struggling for money so hopefully they get a kangaroo going in on Friday, then that's their dinner," Ms Larkins said. "Then on Saturdays, if they are not lucky enough, they don't get any money, they will just go to the game hungry."
She said players often come off the field feeling faint and shaking.
"It's not very nice to stand on the sidelines and see these boys love something so much and they struggle every week to get into town," she said.
"They go without things, they go without money, they go without food, just for the love of football."
English is a second language – the players mostly speak Alyawarre.
This gives them an on-field advantage as the other teams do not know what they are saying, but it also means they are very shy.
In a letter to the ABC they explained the challenges.
“There is not a lot of work out here so it is a big struggle but be sacrifice things because football is our life,” they wrote. (Story reproduced with permission from ABC North West Qld)