Playing against traditional rivals the Australian Combined Emergency Services, in front of an estimated 7000 people, the Australian Defence Force Aussie Rules All-Stars men’s team won the Anzac Challenge trophy for the third consecutive year.
Throughout the game it was point for point, goal for goal, until the third quarter where the All-Stars managed to open up and maintain a narrow lead, hanging on for a final score of 65 to 58.
Played as a curtain raiser to the AFL block buster between Port Adelaide and Geelong at Adelaide Oval, the All-Stars were determined to keep the trophy having won by less than six points in the previous two encounters.
Able Seaman Electronic Technician Daniel Hines who has played Australian Defence Force representative football for three years said it was an amazing experience to have played in all three recent wins against such a formidable opponent.
Playing-Coach, Navy Lieutenant Matthew Cavedon awarded best on field for the Anzac Challenge, said he was inspired by the way the team played and lived up to the team’s self-determined ethos of discipline, pride, respect and professionalism.
“I couldn’t have been prouder of how the guys played and how they dug deep in the last quarter, even though they were tired they lifted in front of the huge crowd to bring home a win for the Australian Defence Force,” said Lieutenant Cavedon.
Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Daniel Fry’s efforts were reflective of the team’s ethos, providing one of the best individual four quarters of football the coaching staff have seen from a Defence footballer, and awarded the team’s most valuable player. Private Craig Marshall was awarded the game ball by his team mates for his consistency and tough, hard, at-the-ball game.
The annual Anzac Challenge is the highest level of representation for Defence Australian Rules Football players and the Australian Defence Force Men’s team once again benefited from a week preparing for the game with the Port Adelaide AFL Club.
Australian Defence Force Australian Rules Chairman, Brigadier Matt Hall, said that the event presented members from all three services with a unique opportunity to compete at the highest level on an AFL venue before a large crowd, importantly as part of the Anzac Day commemorations.
“We thank all our sponsors, Australian Military Bank, Aspen Medical, KPMG, Bruck Textiles, ISC sportswear, Deloitte and Qube, whose support greatly assisted with making the ADF Anzac Challenge possible,” said Brigadier Hall.