By Jackson Russell
TWO Northern Football League clubs are hoping to make their first Anzac Day clash an annual tradition.
Laurimar and Mernda will go head-to-head on Thursday at Laurimar Reserve with a full book of games from Under 19s through to seniors.
Laurimar Football Netball Club president Alistair Walker said the matchday would raise money for the Doreen RSL.
“What we’re doing is raising funds for our local sub-branch and we’ll be doing raffles and tin rattling. We’ll also be selling commemorative stubby holders. They’ve been specially produced for Anzac Day and all those proceeds will go to the sub-branch,” he said.
“We’re doing a lot of work to make sure the day goes off without a hitch and make sure we represent our community, the RSL and the day itself and we do it justice.”
Much like the traditional Anzac Day match between Collingwood and Essendon at the MCG, Laurimar and Mernda will also be paying their respects.
Doreen RSL president Wes Wridgway will be officiating proceedings, which include the national anthem and The Last Post, and speaking to players before the game about what the day means to past and active servicemen and women and for Australia.
At half-time of the seniors, the Under 9s from each club will take the field to showcase each club’s youngest talent.
Mr Walker said both clubs were keen to make it an annual event, alternating home games each year.
“Once we get into the day and understand what it entails, we’ll have to get into that after but the vision is to make it an annual event and get Laurimar and Mernda to participate,” he said.
“It’s really important for us to do justice to what Anzac Day means to many people hence the reason we’ve been diligent in making sure we cover all bases.”
Mernda Football Netball Club president Danny Whittaker said the club was approached by Laurimar about making it an annual fixture.
“The rivalry is pretty big between the two clubs so we thought it would be a good fit,” he said.
“I’m very proud. I’m very excited and grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a historic day. I just hope everyone enjoys it and embraces it for the day it is.”
By Jackson Russell