ONE of the biggest names in the Geelong Football League says bush football officials across Victoria should embrace Anzac Day football.
St Josephs coach Russell Robertson, who will lead his side against South Barwon today, said grassroots matches on Anzac Day could help highlight the importance of the day.
Robertson said football help remind Victorians of the Anzacs’ sacrifice and help bring together country communities for a good cause.
“I think it’s a great way to get people to the football,” Robertson said.
“We need to make a point of such a wonderful thing as Anzac Day, it’s an Anzac Day game, we’re honouring the guys that have fallen.
“I think it’s a good thing, other clubs should be doing it.
“Do it wholeheartedly and do it with respect.”
The Joeys and Swans will take to Belmont’s McDonald Reserve for the annual clash hoping to improve on their unbeaten starts to the Geelong Football League season.
The league powerhouses have met on Anzac Day each year since 2009 but will enter unfamiliar territory today, having had just four days to recover from their round-two matches.
Robertson said eating to maintain energy levels had been the cornerstone of St Josephs’ preparation.
He said his days at AFL club Melbourne – when he had five-day breaks after Queen’s Birthday clashes against Collingwood – had taught him the importance of good food in recovery.
“It was always about good food. You’re at the club anyway so they can monitor what you’re doing physically, and you’re under the iron fist so you’ve got to do it,” he said.
“But at home you can do what you want. It was a constant focus for us, making sure food is provided, watching dietary requirements.
“Food is as important as massage and that physio stuff.”
Robertson said he was pleased with the Joeys’ 2-0 start, but denied they would take the mantle of flag favourites even if they beat the Swans.
“The most impressive thing for me so far, and it’s only early days, is we’re playing our way, our brand of football,” he said.
“We’ve identified a few areas we were struggling at and we’ve got better in those areas.”