This story and associated images and/or video was produced before physical distancing regulations were introduced in Victoria.
[Vision: Wangaratta main street showing flags, shops and pedestrians - people entering showground to watch the AFL players]
Collingwood and Richmond recently travelled to Wangaratta for a pre-season game.
The showdown was a chance for the Pies and Tigers to show their support for the community after the summer fires.
Trent Cotchin - Captain, Richmond Football Club
That country footy feeling is one that we all enjoyed growing up and I think it’s footy at its absolute rawest and it’s good fun to be a part of.
[Vision: AFL players teaching young players]
As a kid myself I loved the game, AFL, and to see some of your favourite players come out and teach you a thing or two at training sessions is something that I never took for granted, and I hope that it’s the same with kids that we were out here today with.
[Vision: Young players shaking hands with AFL players after training session]
Matthew Boyd - Assistant Coach, Collingwood Football Club
[Vision: People walking along footpath and entering showground]
It’s really important to get behind these local communities and support them and get them back up and running again and try and generate some excitement.
Local male resident
It’s really good.
It really helps support the region areas and it’s good for the community.
Local female resident 1
I think it’s awesome for the locals of Wangaratta and surrounding areas to be able to see them.
[Vision: Inside Café the PreVue]
Allison Lloyd - Owner, Café the PreVue
It was fantastic to have the AFL players come to town.
It really does create a buzz for the locals.
[Vision: People in Café the PreVue - staff serving coffee and people eating]
Having something like this really boosts the town morale and takes us out of our reality a little bit just to focus on the good.
Local female resident 2
It’s just great to give everyone who lives up here an opportunity to come and see the, you know, the big teams playing, and the great players, and you know, there’s a lot of fans who live up here so to come and see them where we live is a great opportunity.
[Vision: Matthew Boyd speaking - main street of Wangaratta, pedestrians - local river and father taking his children to school over bridge - people entering the showground]
Everyone’s been affected in some way by the tragedy that’s occurred in Australia with the bushfires.
And if we can bring a little bit of joy to some people who might have been affected then it’s really good to be able to get out and try and, I suppose, bring a smile to some people’s faces who have been through some really tough times.
[Vision: Trent Cotchin speaking]
I can’t imagine how challenging it’s been for them, not just this summer but previous summers gone by as well.
[Vision: Children training with AFL players]
I just hope that people are safe and can find a way back to their feet pretty quickly.
[Vision: Children sitting down and listening to AFL players]
It’s our job, not as AFL players just as human beings, to continue to come out and support them.
[Vision: Trent Cotchin speaking]
It won’t just fix itself it’ll take a long time, but we’re all here to help.
[The Victorian Connection - people, communities & the economy. For more news and stories go to connection.vic.gov.au]
[Victoria State Government. Authorised by the Victorian Government, Melbourne]
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