Melton to host VFL match

Coburg coach Andrew Sturgess, Coburg player Aaron Clarke, Williamstown’s Daly Andrews and assistant coach Saade Ghazi.

By Tara Murray

Melton will host a Victorian Football League match for premiership points for the first time later this year.

Coburg will call MacPherson Park home for its round 13 clash against Williamstown on June 27 with the Lions normal home ground of Piranha Park unavailable this year due to renovations.

Lions general manager Sebastian Spagnuolo said they were excited to take VFL to the Melton.

“Originally we set out to take as many games as possible to Preston, to be as close as possible to home,” he said.

“We spoke to the VFL and councils and there was an appetite to spread the game.

“We targeted a few locations and Melton was one of them, and the [Melton] council is pleased to take the game to Melton.

“We’re proud to make these agreements with the local councils and take the game to places like Melton and have VFL return to Ballarat.”

Spagnuolo said they were hoping to attract a big crowd out to MacPherson Park for the day and get people from Melton and the western suburbs to see history made.

He said MacPherson Park was the ideal location. The new rooms and facilities are currently being built at the ground.

Spagnuolo said it made sense for the club to host Williamstown in the match. Melton is part of the Western Jets area, with the Jets aligned with Williamstown.

Both Coburg and even more so Williamstown, have had Melton-based players on their lists in recent years.

Williamstown’s general manager of football, Stephen Soulsby said they were excited to head out to Melton.

“Unfortunately for Coburg with their ground being unavailable this year, they have to take games out into regions and we’re fortunate enough it’s close to us,” he said.

“We have our alignment with the Western Jets and it’s a Western Jets region as well. It works out well.”

Soulsby said they had built a good relationship with the home club Melton Football Netball Club, with players like Bloods players Jake Greiser and Liam Carter either currently or in the past been on Wiliamstown’s  list.

“To come out here for the first time, the ground is looking in good shape and we’re looking forward to it and getting out here in round 13.

“We’ve always had strong support in the west from us and it has been expanded now with players playing local footy and not playing in the reserves competition.”

Melton has a bye that weekend, allowing the players and members to attend the VFL match.

Bloods president Greg Davis said it was quite exciting for the club to have a VFL match held at their home ground.

“It gives us the opportunity to show off the club, the new club rooms, Macpherson Park and Melton,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of players at Willy and Coburg.

“We’ll try and get as many people there as possible and hopefully provide some good hospitality for both Coburg and Williamstown.”