Despite not playing an AFL game the Dom Barry story is a beauty and when he pulls on the Australian Indigenous International Rules guernsey later this month, it will take another delightful twist.
In short, he grew up in Alice Springs, moved to Melbourne on a tennis scholarship when he was 14 years old but succumbed to homesickness after just one term.
Barry relocated to St Pat’s in Ballarat to join his older brother and started playing football because ‘that’s the way’ at this country football factory (85 St Pat’s Alum have played in the AFL).
Back then the cheeky young man flirted with his obvious talents. He re-buffed invitations to join the North Ballarat Rebels program and was forced to play in the St. Pat’s second XVIII in Year 11, until his behaviour improved.
However a year later a different Dom Barry fronted up for the first day of Year 12, one willing to work and one desperate to make the most of his opportunities.
He played the year with North Ballarat in the TAC Cup, represented the North Territory in the Under 18 Championships and along with Port Adelaide dynamo Jake Neade, lead St. Pat’s to the Herald Sun Shield.
At the end of last year he tested well at the combine and he became a GWS player, albeit for five seconds, before being packaged with Jesse Hogan and Pick 20 and sent to Melbourne (again) for Pick 3 and 13.
This year, his first on an AFL list, he played 14 senior games with the Casey Scorpions but was one of only three Melbourne players who failed to play a senior game in 2013.
The International Rules series will be the first time the public get a good glimpse at Barry, but with his light feet and bounce across the turf, if you haven’t heard of him – you soon will.
Dom Barry spoke to exclusively to aflplayers.com.au after the first and final Australian Indigenous International Rules training session before travelling to Ireland.