Port’s Dee-light at AFL legend boost

April 27, 2022 BY

Nathan Jones, Eddie Betts and Dale Thomas are among the names that could be headed to Portarlington for a one-off game this year. Photo: DAMIAN TRAYNOR/GETTY IMAGES

A RECENTLY retired AFL superstar will pull on the boots for Portarlington this season, in an initiative the club says will provide a huge boost on and off the field.

Port was among eight community football clubs in Victoria selected as part of Carlton United Breweries’ The Carlton Draft campaign, which will send a footy legend to each of the grassroots clubs to help them bounce back from the challenging COVID-19 period.

Port will discover which player will wear the red and blue at a televised draft event tonight, April 27.

The draft pool includes:

  • Former Geelong forward Cameron Mooney
  • Four-time goal of the year winner Eddie Betts
  • Four-time premiership Hawk Jarryd Roughead
  • 400-game superstar Shaun Burgoyne
  • Collingwood flag winner Dale Thomas
  • Five-time All-Australian Alex Rance
  • Former Melbourne captain Nathan Jones, and
  • Two-time All-Australian Brendon Goddard.

The octette boast combined AFL career totals of 2355 games, 2282 goals, 13 premierships and 15 All-Australian blazers.

Portarlington FC president Steve Cogger said the Portarlington street and footy club was buzzing with excitement about the soon-to-be confirmed date.

“It’s created a fair bit of excitement around Portarlington, and not only within the club but within the community as well.

“I frequently get stopped around town about who are we getting, when is it.

“The footy club hasn’t been that successful in the last few years, but this has created some genuine excitement in the town and for our juniors and members.

“This adds to our profile and it’s an opportunity to promote ourselves, not just to the Bellarine.

“We’re keen to get as much out of this as we possibly can.”

The club and player will then negotiate a home fixture during the season for their one-off appearance, with Port’s first available matchday on May 14.

The selected player is scheduled at Portarlington from 12pm and 8pm on the chosen day – allowing plenty of time for pre-match interactions with juniors and a post-game function in the clubrooms.