Interleague domination for Gippsland’s leagues
THE Gippsland football community is celebrating a wildly successful weekend of representative football at the Worksafe AFL Victoria Community Championships.
The region’s three participating leagues recorded a clean sweep of seven wins from as many games.
The TRFM Gippsland League’s senior team recorded its first win since 2015 with a comprehensive 62 point win over the Murray Football Netball League at Moe’s Ted Summerton Reserve.
The home team started strongly, with a pair of contested marks in the goalsquare to vice captain and ruckman Bob McCallum and Morwell tall Ryan Hearn setting the tone for the 15.19 (109) to 7.5 (47) victory.
McCallum and skipper Cade Maskell (three goals) were among the standout performers on the day.
Gippsland’s under 18 team was given a sterner test but stuck to its task and eventually emerged on top, 10.12 (72) to 10.6 (66).
Cam Olden was named best on ground, with Jordan Hill and Bailey Quaife also prominent.
The Alex Scott and Staff West Gippsland Football Netball Competition’s senior side secured its maiden championships win, defeating Maryborough Castlemaine District
Dynamic midfielder Zak Vernon received the AFL Victoria Medal, with Rylan Smith and Shem Hawking others to catch the eye in the 11.18 (84) to 5.10 (40) win.
Earlier, a best on ground performance from Brayden Weller led the West Gippsland under 18 side to a comfortable 16.11 (107) to 4.5 (29) victory.
AFL Gippsland region general manager Travis Switzer was pleased to see Gippsland teams performing strongly on the big stage.
“The Gippsland region has a proud and decorated history when it comes to representative football and seven wins from seven games is an outstanding achievement,” Mr Switzer said.
“There’s no doubt our results have been a little disappointing in recent years but hopefully these are the first steps to moving our teams back up the rankings.
“Interleague football provides leagues with a great opportunity to showcase the talent their clubs possess and gives players a chance to test themselves at a higher level.
“Success breeds interest and these wins will hopefully ensure the representative football program is well supported in each of our leagues moving forward.”
Mr Switzer also thanked the dozens of coaches and support staff and volunteers at host clubs Moe and Garfield for their invaluable contribution.
While interleague games rarely attract large crowds, social media engagement in the week leading up to, and on, game day showed interest in the concept remains high.
Facebook posts from the TRFM Gippsland League Facebook page reached more than 94,000 people and attracted more than 29,000 engagements, while posts from the Alex Scott and Staff West Gippsland Football Netball Competition and EDFL pages reached 47,000 and 35,000 people respectively.
The live stream of the TRFM Gippsland League senior game also received more than 400 views on YouTube.
“While we would love to see more people turn out to cheer on our representatives teams it’s great that we are able to provide alternative ways for supporters to follow along and show their support,” Mr Switzer said.
“It’s also pleasing for our sponsors to receive added exposure through those mediums.”
The success continued on the netball courts, with TRFM Gippsland League’s open side winning 65 to 31, while WGFNC’s open side won 51 to 35 and 17 and under team won 77 to 20.
The TRFM Gippsland League now sits 12th on the revised AFL Victoria rankings, with WGFNC 24th and EDFL 26th.
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