THE EXTRAORDINARY road travelled by draft hopeful Luamon Lual from Warrnambool to the cusp of the AFL is explored in a new documentary The Smokey, released by the AFL's new community football brand AFL Play.
Lual, who has shone for the Greater Western Victoria Rebels and Vic Country this season, joins his family to tell the story of his path through the AFL's junior pathways.
>> WATCH THE FIRST EPISODE OF THE SMOKEY BELOW
His parents, Thomas and Regina, migrated to Australia in the early 2000s to escape from war-ravaged South Sudan. They built a life in Victoria and eventually settled in Warrnambool, on the coast in western Victoria, raising Luamon and his siblings - older sister Juina, younger sister Cigi and younger brother Mali.
But tragedy struck in early 2020, when Regina suffered a sudden stroke while at an event with her eldest daughter Juina. She died four days later in hospital.
"My mum, she was just a loving and caring person. Always loved to chat, had the biggest smile on her face. Just a lovely human being," Luamon recalls in the documentary.
"I just want to make her proud and I know she's up there watching me from up above."
Lual, a 181cm defender with serious pace, is tied to the Western Bulldogs' Next Generation Academy but the Dogs are unlikely to claim him as an Academy player, given he is a good chance to be selected inside the top 40 picks.
The Smokey, a four-part documentary, explores Lual's world as he works towards his AFL dream, from his local football club South Warrnambool to the GWV Rebels and the bright lights of Melbourne.
Community football is at the heart of Lual's story, bringing family, friends and footy together and turning strangers into neighbours.
Subscribe to the official AFL Play YouTube channel to watch all live episodes of The Smokey now.