The round six clash between the Bendigo Pioneers and the Calder Cannons was held in Echuca/Moama on Saturday as an initiative to promote TAC Cup football in country regions as Maddie Wines reports.
Despite the Pioneers’ home ground being located at Epsom Huntley Reserve near Bendigo, the game was instead played out at Moama Recreation Reserve.
Calder Cannons coach Martin Allison said it was an “ideal” weekend to play a TAC Cup game in Moama.
“We [The Calder Cannons] enjoy travelling to the outer reaches of the region.”
“This is a very important part of the Bendigo region, good players come out of Echuca,” said Allison.
Allison said that it was the responsibility of the TAC, AFL Victorian Clubs and the TAC clubs to promote the AFL Talented player pathway in Victoria.
“The standard of footy out there is at a very high level and I think it was a great opportunity for Victorians to promote that talent player pathway and we are happy to help.”
Bendigo Pioneers coach David Newett also praised the standard of football played at Moama on Saturday.
“We certainly hope considering the quality of footy today that hopefully it highlights to some people today that its real quality footy and there are some really skilled and talented players,” said Newett.
Newett said that players who come from country towns are disadvantaged in the amount of exposure they receive.
“We have a guy from Merbein, which is 100 kilometres, the other side of Mildura so it’s a five-hour drive just to get here and play. To fit into the team and to contribute and play well is really good,” said Newett.
This week the Bendigo Pioneers will travel to Shepparton for their clash with the Murray Bushrangers while the Cannons will play the Geelong Falcons in Geelong.