THERE is more than one way to get your kicks from footy.
In 2010, Nick O'Brien and Hayden Walters were captain and vice-captain respectively when St Patrick's College won the first of its three consecutive Herald Sun Shields.
O'Brien has since been drafted by Essendon, making his debut in spectacular fashion this year against Richmond with a goal from his first kick in AFL footy.
Walters' football journey, meanwhile, took him to Ontario, and a (losing) grand final in, of all places, Canada.
The 20-year-old has since returned to Ballarat and, he hopes, another a chance at a premiership.
Tomorrow, Walters and his East Point teammates will take to Eastern Oval in a preliminary final against Redan for the chance to face Sunbury in the Red Onion Ballarat Football League grand final.
Walters played most of his junior footy at Golden Point but it was really at St Patrick's College that football became front and centre as he learned his craft from master coach Howard Clark.
"I think if I was to be honest footy was the main reason I was at St Pat's.
"I think Howard Clark would even vouch for that," Walters says.
"A lot of my mates started by having a kick at lunch.
"Eventually we all put our names down and were put into designated teams.
"When we were in years seven and eight we were put into house groups, playing against the other schools.
"Then after that we were all put together to represent the school."
Walters did not play school footy in year 10 but made a return in year 11.
That was the year St Pat's made the Shield grand final but was beaten. It was also the year Walters and his school mates effectively made a pact to win the top prize for school football in Victoria.
"We had a drive then to go one further," he says.
"The leadership group that we had in year 11 started that.
"We might not have been the best team but we were beating guys who had players from Vic Metro and Vic Country in them, while we were just a bunch of local boys.
"In 2010, when we won, we beat most teams by 10 goals.
"The only team in the state that came close was actually (Ballarat Clarendon) College.
"They ran us within three goals."
That 2010 team included players now on AFL club lists, including O'Brien, Tom McDonald and Brad Crouch, along with Nick Rippon who is a chance to get drafted this year.
Walters is not jealous of those players, though.
"I was there to win the Shield, but I didn't have the drive to play AFL. I think I was out with my mates on the weekend a bit too much," he says.
"I don't envy them. They've worked very hard to get we they have, and good on them."
Instead, Walters and a couple of his teammates went half-way around the world to play footy and to spread the gospel of "Our Great Game".
"Howard Clark asked a couple of the boys if we wanted to have a gap year in Canada, playing in the Ontario Australian Football League," he says.
"Three of us Jordan Alexander, Xavier Quigley and myself went over there and worked for a company called the Aussie X.
"We went to schools to teach Aussie Rules, cricket and netball.
"It is really beginnng to take off over there, Aussie Rules especially.
"We also played each week for the High Park Demons and they had been near the bottom for a few years.
"We got runners-up the year I was there.
"We were beaten in the grand final by Etobicoke Kangaroos by four or five goals.
"It was surreal.
"We didn't have change rooms and it was a bit more relaxed.
"In one game we were even having beers run out to us while we were playing."
Returning to Australia, Walters has rejoined East Point this year and now has another goal in his sights: to play in East Point's first senior premiership team.
"We won the under-18.5 premiership in 2009 but the club hasn't won a senior premiership yet," Walters says.
"I think it would mean so much to be part of a first premiership for a club.
"It would mean so much to so many people.
"I think we've got as much chance as any other team.
"When you are in finals, anything can happen."