Alec thrilled after MCG experience

Alec with Brownlow Medallist and premiership star Dustin Martin. photographs supplied

Alec with Brownlow Medallist and premiership star Dustin Martin. photographs supplied

For Richmond Tigers fanatic Alec Kenneally the MCG is the holy grail.

The Churchill 14-year-old, who has Down syndrome, lived out a lifelong dream recently when he was welcomed onto the hallowed turf as part of the Fiona McBurney AFL Match Day Experience.

The Match Day Experience honours the late Fiona McBurney, sister of 401-game AFL umpire Steve McBurney, and aims to connect sport and disability by providing a unique and exclusive opportunity for people with Down syndrome.

Mum Leanne lodged an expression of interest form for Alec after seeing a post on Facebook but didn't expect such a swift response.

"Within about two minutes I got a phone call to say Alec had been accepted and I was just so excited for him," she said.

Alec rubbed shoulders with some of his footballing idols last weekend as part of the Fiona McBurney AFL Match Day Experience.

Alec rubbed shoulders with some of his footballing idols last weekend as part of the Fiona McBurney AFL Match Day Experience.

"I mean, who would have thought that back in 2010 when he was a preppy that eight years later something like this would happen for him."

Alec was given a tour of the umpires' rooms at the Tigers' home game against Fremantle on May 6 before rubbing shoulders with some of his footballing idols.

"Once we left the umpires' rooms I don't think he would have even realised if we were gone. He was just absolutely in his element," Leanne said.

"He got to go into the rooms and see all the players. He is a massive Jack Riewoldt fan and he also loves Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin, so he got photos with all of them."

Alec and family journey to Melbourne for every Richmond home game and Leanne said football was "a really big part of his life".

"For the past three years we've also been part of the Mirboo North Football Club, so he is a Tiger through and through," she said.

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