It’s an All Stars game for a good cause.
The AFL today announced that it will host a Victoria versus All Stars fixture at Marvel Stadium on February 28, with money raised to boost a Community Relief Fund set-up by the league to help rebuild football facilities ripped apart by the national crisis.
Due to scheduling, West Coast’s first Marsh Community Series clash with Essendon – which was set to be played at Mineral Resources Park on February 28 – will now take place on Thursday, February 27.
The club will release more details on the revised fixture in due course.
Eagles chief executive Trevor Nisbett said the club was more than happy to move its Marsh Community Series fixture to accommodate the charitable match.
“The West Coast Eagles’ board, players, coaches and staff have been devastated by the effects of the ongoing bushfire disaster,” Nisbett said.
“The club is willing to do everything in its power to aid the relief cause, including rescheduling our first pre-season fixture to highlight the charitable All Stars match.
“I look forward to it being a successful fundraising event.
“We are also looking at what else we can do to assist locally and will be following up some initiatives we have been discussing.”
In addition to hosting the charitable All Stars clash, the AFL ($1.35m) – in association with clubs ($900,000) and AFL Players Association ($250,000) – have committed a $2.5 million donation.
A total of $1m will provide immediate emergency assistance through the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund.
An additional $1.5m will kick-start the Community Relief Fund for grassroots facilities.
Richmond premiership coach Damien Hardwick will lead the Victorians and Sydney counterpart John Longmire will coach the All Stars side.
There will be a maximum of three players per AFL club eligible to take part in the match to ensure minimal disruption to clubs’ pre-season plans just 20 days before round one.
The match will be broadcast on Channel Seven, Fox Footy, the AFL Live Official App, Kayo and various radio partners.