Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Kyabram resident meets idols

Kyabram resident Brayden Hall, 10, has received a personal thank you from his Essendon Bomber heroes for a kind gesture.

January 29, 2014 4:11am

Brayden Hall with the signed Essendon Bombers shirt and ball he has received since writing a letter of support to James Hird.


Kyabram student Brayden Hall had a day out he will always remember when he met his idols from Essendon Football Club last week.

In September last year, the ardent Essendon fan wrote a letter to then Bombers coach James Hird with a $10 note attached.

In his letter Brayden, 10, said ‘‘I would like to give you $10 of my pocket money to help you pay the $2million dollar fine. It’s just not fair. I hope this helps’’.

His support and gesture touched the heart of Mr Hird’s secretary Sue Anderson, who circulated the letter to the players and replied to Brayden with the promise of an invitation to attend a training session to meet the players.

Last Wednesday that promise was fulfilled when Brayden, his mother Sam, father Leigh, sister Madeline and nan Norma, who is also a keen Essendon fan, visited the club’s new training facility at Tullamarine.

They watched a training session, met the players and staff and were given a full tour of the club.

Brayden had already received a signed football from the club, which will not be getting kicked, and on Wednesday he was given a signed shirt.

‘‘They all signed Leroy Jetta’s number seven shirt as his was the smallest,’’ Brayden said.

He met his favourite player, Bombers captain and Brownlow medallist Jobe Watson, and was amazed how tall other players such as veteran Dustin Fletcher were.

Essendon coach Mark Thompson told Brayden the team was hoping to do better this year.

Everything in the clubrooms is red and black and the kit manager explained how the players wore eight different jumpers during the season including special ones for the Anzac game and the Indigenous round.

Sam said everyone at the club was generous with their time and the players remembered reading Brayden’s letter, with David Zaharakis in particular commenting on what a nice gesture it was.

Leigh, who coaches the under-12 SGR Giants team, also took the opportunity to pick up some coaching ideas from his Essendon counterparts.

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