The excitement is growing ahead of the Essendon District Football League Bushfire Appeal games this Sunday.
Teams from across the league have come together for the day which will include two football games – a women’s and men’s game at Highgate Reserve, Craigieburn.
Roxburgh Park coach and event organiser Michael Farrelly said it was all pretty exciting.
He said speaking to those involved from his club, they couldn’t wait to be part of it. “Still being relatively new to the competition, there’s a lot of people I don’t know,” he said.
“Players are putting their hands up and we appreciate the clubs letting their players play. “Everyone has bought into it and the calibre of players we have got, should put on a good show.”
Across the two matches, players from 28 clubs will be involved, with coaches, trainers runners and team managers also putting their hands up.
Both matches will have a team ‘Fire’ and team ‘Smoke’. The first match will be the women’s game which begins at 12.30pm. Roxburgh Park’s Troy Geary and Airport West’s Anthony Montrose will coach the Fire team.
Burnside Heights skipper Kayla Ravanello, her teammate Sina Mason, Greenvale star Bianca Torrijos and Roxburgh Park’s Rainbow Ebert are among the stars in that side.
Keilor’s Ron Sikora and Keilor Park’s Marcus Barclay will coach the Smoke team.
Former EDFL best and fairest winner Bailee Said, Moonee Valley star Georgia Marsland and former AFLW player Alyssa Misfud among the players to watch out for.
All but one club will be represented in the men’s game which will kick off at 2pm.
Farrelly, Aberfeldie’s Adam Potter, Glenroy’s Ross Terranova and Tullamarine’s David Connell will coach the Fire team.
Former AFL players Matt Watson and Kyle Remiers will headline the side which has stars from all three divisions.
The Smoke team will be coached by new Coburg Districts coach Tom Gleeson, Westmeadows’ Mo Kakkour and Craigieburn premiership coach Lance Whitnall.
Division 1 best and fairest winner Robbie Castello, Keilor’s Zac Wunhym, division 2 grand final best on Brenton Sutherland are among some of the stars in the Smoke team.
While the matches are the focus of the day, Farrelly said the day was much bigger than that.
“It kind of feels like we’re celebrating a festival, rather than a couple of football games,” he said.
“There will be jumping castles, food trucks, a DJ and the CFA is coming down. There will be a few special guests floating around.
“There’s still quite a bit happening with a silent auction and sponsors who want to get involved.”
Everyone who is participating in the day will be donating something to raise funds for those affected by the fires.
There is a $10 entry fee. The money raised will be shared around between the CFA, a wildlife fund and the Bendigo Bank Bushfire Appeal.
For more details, http://ow.ly/ntBs50yhHsz.