Navy on show for AFL Armed Forces Day

Published on LEUT Mick Wheeler (author), LSIS Bradley Darvill (author)

Location(s): Subiaco, Perth

Leading Seaman Marine Technician Al Kristenson kicks a goal at the AFL curtain-raiser match between Navy and Indigenous football team Moorditj Koort at the Australian AFL Commission's Armed Forces Day at Subiaco Oval. * (photo: LSIS Bradley Darvill)
Leading Seaman Marine Technician Al Kristenson kicks a goal at the AFL curtain-raiser match between Navy and Indigenous football team Moorditj Koort at the Australian AFL Commission's Armed Forces Day at Subiaco Oval. *

A Royal Australian Navy AFL team has been narrowly beaten in a commemorative game against the Western Australian Indigenous Moordijt Koort side at Subiaco Oval on 1 May.
 
The match was played as a curtain-raiser to the West Coast Eagles versus Collingwood match and was part  of the Australian AFL Commission Armed Forces Day which commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.  
 
The Royal Australian Navy Band entertained the crowd before the game at the Gate 10 Fan zone and personnel collected $12,000 for Legacy from appreciative West Coast and Collingwood fans.
 
In what was a fast-paced match, Moorditj Koort took out the game 9-4-58 to Navy 6-12-48.

Best on ground for Navy were Able Seaman Electronics Technician Blake Rookledge, Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Luke Preston and Able Seaman Marine Technician Max Renwick.

Leading Seaman Physical Training Instructor Matt Vaisey, Navy AFL Team Manager, said the game was played with great skill and spirit for the special occasion
 
“Moorditj Koort got off to a flyer in the first quarter with a six goals to one first quarter but from there inaccurate kicking for goal hurt Navy to eventually see us lose by 10 points,” Leading Seaman Vaisey said.
 
“It was amazing to play out in front of a crowd on what is one of the biggest games in Western Australia when Collingwood and the Eagles come up against each other.
 
“For our players to play in front of this type of crowd at a sporting stadium like Subiaco Oval is one of those rare, special days.
 
“Moorditj Koort really made us work hard for the ball but the game was still played in a great spirit.
 
“We hope to keep the match an annual event as it is a great way to pay our respects for the Battle of Long Tan and all fallen Indigenous Defence members.”