Echuca's Matthew Farrelly played in Bendigo Gold's final VFL match on Friday.ERIN LYONS August 27, 2014 3:05am
Bendigo Gold had an emotional farewell on Friday evening when the club played its final VFL game against Collingwood.
It was announced in June that Gold, who were formerly associated with the Essendon Bombers, would fold at the end of the 2014 season.
Echuca footballer Matthew Farrelly, who has played with Bendigo for the past two years, said it was a ‘‘ very sad’’ farewell.
‘‘It was upsetting and a little disappointing,’’ he said.
‘‘We treated it like a normal game, but you know, once that final siren sounded it really kicked in.
‘‘In the final quarter, I just focused on soaking it up.’’
The lack of support from surrounding clubs ultimately led to the Gold’s demise.
However, the crowd attendance reached an unexpected sum on Friday evening as the locals journeyed to Queen Elizabeth Oval to witness Gold’s final hit-out.
‘‘The atmosphere was great and the crowd really got behind us,’’ Farrelly said.
‘‘If we had this sort of support since the start of the season we wouldn’t be in this position which is really disappointing.’’
While Gold came out strongly in the first half and led at the major change, Collingwood fought back with a 10-goal third term ruining Gold’s opportunity to end two consecutive winless seasons with a victory.
‘‘Everyone was really up-and-about and rapt with our first half,’’ Farrelly said.
‘‘But in the third term, they got on top of us. Which was an unfortunate end.’’
The end of Gold has left Farrelly and many other outstanding footballers in a pickle as to where they will play next season.
However, Farrelly, 21, said he ‘‘loved’’ his time with Gold and was determined to continue playing VFL football.
‘‘I will continue to pursue VFL,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ll talk to a few clubs and see where we are at.’’
Despite not having registered a win in his time at Gold, Farrelly said the experience he gained at Bendigo would be a vital asset to his career.
‘‘I’ve made some great mates that I’ll have for life,’’ he said.
‘‘Everyone provided me with the help and encouragement I needed.
‘‘Gold really did turn all of us into VFL players.’’
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