There's plenty for football and netball fans today with Goulburn Valley and Murray leagues hosting day and nights matches.DAMEN FRANCIS April 18, 2014 3:10am
The merits of Good Friday football remains a hot topic for the AFL, but it has become one of the biggest days on the country football and netball calendar.
Fourteen Goulburn Murray clubs — eight Murray Football League and six Goulburn Valley Football League — will participate in games today, in what many hope will be one of, if not the most profitable days of the year.
Debate continues to rage as to whether the AFL should or will schedule a game on a day that has to this point never hosted a match, but AFL Goulburn Murray general manager Martin Gleeson said regional clubs would be happy if it didn’t.
‘‘I think it probably will happen, there seems to be enough ground swell among the clubs and at the end of the day, the public will vote with their feet if it goes ahead,’’ Gleeson said.
‘‘Putting your country hat on, not having AFL on that day means more people go to the local football.
‘‘It’s a long weekend, people are in a festive mood and we like to see people going along to support local football.’’
Friday football is popular for many clubs, because it allows players and volunteers a free weekend — a rarity during the winter.
Friday night football is an option, but logistically it’s a challenge due to work commitments of players and club volunteers.
Profit does not always equate to atmosphere, but the bumper crowds some clubs have been able to attract in recent seasons has been notable.
Rumbalara is one club looking to get in on the Good Friday act, with playing coach Damian Cupido saying the club wants to make it an annual event.
Rumba played away against Mulwala on Easter Saturday last year, but this year host Numurkah in a stand-alone MFL Good Friday game at 5.10
Last year Euroa hosted a Good Friday night match at Memorial Oval, offering two barbecues — one traditional and one vegetarian — to cater for all spectators and attracted one of its best crowds of the season.
Whether you agree with playing sport on Good Friday or not, the appetite is clearly there among regional communities and who can blame clubs for making the most of a gap in the increasingly packed AFL calendar.
GOOD FRIDAY FOOTY-NETBALL FEAST
Main game 2pm: Benalla v Euroa at Benalla Showgrounds
7pm: Shepparton United v Shepparton at Deakin Reserve
7pm: Kyabram v Rochester at Kyabram Recreation Reserve
Main game 2.10pm: Barooga v Cobram at Barooga Recreation Reserve
2.10pm: Echuca United v Moama at Echuca South Recreation Reserve
2.10pm: Nathalia v Tongala at Nathalia Recreation Reserve
5.10pm: Rumbalara v Numurkah at Mercury Drive Sports Complex. 98.5 One FM broadcast game
Great time had at this year's Barmah Muster.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The second annual Bonnie and Clyde Rods, Rats and Rides Festival fired up at Tatura Park at the weekend (April 11-12), drawing thousands of petrol heads and rockabilly music lovers to Tatura.
Friday’s annual primary inter-school cross country meet will see a broader variety of students taking part, as well as the introduction of a new finish line.
Lockington Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Rally is on for the 18th time this weekend and there is something for everyone.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
A visit by Coliban Water to Heathcote last week provided residents with a chance to quiz staff about water and sewer services.
A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Deniliquin bowler Dennis O'Keefe lost 25-19 in his bid for a quarter-final spot in the Victorian Singles Championships this week.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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