The Yarra Junior Football League (YJFL) recently had a remarkable opportunity: showcasing their emerging talents against a star-studded lineup from the Eddie Betts Foundation. This game took place on the iconic turf of Victoria Park, a significant milestone in these young players' football journeys.
It all started a few months ago with the Eddie Betts Foundation reaching out to the YJFL a to play a match while their squad was in Melbourne for the week. General Operations – Commercial & Operations, Brad Jamison commented on the partnership. “We were really thrilled with the opportunity to be asked to take part and hope that it will become a regular fixture on our representative footy calendar.
I’d like to thank Eddie, Anna and the team from the Eddie Betts Foundation who have been outstanding to work with in the planning of the match, and our coaches and support staff for their assistance. I know that the boys from both team had a great experience.”
Aaron Johnson accepted the opportunity to head coach the YJFL side. Majority of the players represented the YJFL in the U14 Yarra Magpies Interleague team this year. He reflected post-match on the experience.
“A dream came true as their game was broadcasted live on Kayo and Fox Footy, marking the first-time players aged between 13-16 took center stage on live TV.
I'm incredibly proud of the 24 YJFL players who joined forces after months, including 6 new talents seamlessly integrated into the team. Each player courageously embraced unfamiliar positions during the game, contributing to their personal growth for future seasons in the Coates league.
A heartfelt thank you goes to the Eddie Betts Foundation for selecting the YJFL as their opponents for this historic match. It was an unforgettable experience for all involved—players and families alike—thanks to this collaborative game.”
Football Manager – Boys Football & Wellbeing, Lynden Dunn coached the YJFL midfield group against the Eddie Betts Foundation. Below is his summary of the match.
"Conditions weren't looking favorable for either side early but thankfully the rain held off for the most part at Victoria Park. The match was played in fantastic spirits by both the YJFL Interleague side and Eddie Betts' Foundation team.
The first quarter was an arm wrestle. Both sides showing brilliance in patches, including some electrifying tackles and defensive pressure acts.
It would be the YJFL Interleague side going into the main break with a slight margin in their favour.
The match opened up in the second half, with both sides hitting the scoreboard multiple times for majors.
Players from both sides were also highlighting their aerial capabilities with some high-flying grabs, launching themselves at every possible chance.
Eddies boys were strong to the line, kicking three late goals in the last term but it would be the YJFL Interleague side coming away with win, in a very tight and well fought out contest.
Micah McGown, Zain Nayef, Sacha Demetriou and Ollie Flanigan were some of the players who were solid contributors for the YJFL, but it was Ollie Bond who was awarded BOG for the YJFL Interleague team. Well done to everyone involved on what was a truly great spectacle."
The YJFL is looking forward to supporting the Eddie Betts Foundation in future years and making this an annual fixture for our league's participants.
For more photos from the match, head to Eddie Betts Foundation Instagram Page.