WHILE the AFL continues to debate whether to play Good Friday football or not, local football is thriving after the huge success over the Easter weekend.
On Good Friday and Easter Saturday the local Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League community celebrated the launch of the 2016 season.
And what a celebration it was.
It kicked off with the much anticipated Brendan Fevola show at Frankston Park, the home of the MPNFL finals.
While the contest may have been a disappointment between the Frankston Bombers and Pearcedale, the ‘event’ was one to remember.
Fevola, carrying a leg injury, booted six goals playing at full forward for the Bombers in a match that attracted a crowd arguably bigger than the 2015 Peninsula Grand Final between Frankston YCW and Mornington.
The match was a testament to the local football community working together. In this instance, only Frankston Bombers and Pearcedale Football Clubs working together could pull off such an event – they did so with the support of Frankston Dolphins.
The Bombers heavily catered for the game and prepared brilliantly, however, even they ran out of mainstream beverages before three quarter time. The Bombers bank-rolled their season on the back of this match and I suspect they came out of it much better than predicted.
Down on the southern peninsula, Rosebud was playing host to Rye. Now, Olympic Park hosts finals matches and has ample parking. However, on Friday, they were parked out in the side streets such was the enormous crowd.
Again, the game was a disappointment, however, it truly was a celebration of local football.
Thankfully, for the footy purists, the game between Dromana and Sorrento on Easter Saturday was superb. Again, a monster crowd where all food was sold out before half time of the senior match.
Somerville and Tyabb also attracted a bumper crowd given the expectations on the Eagles and the much improved Yabbies.
Peninsula League also got on the Easter gravy train with local derbies between Edithvale and Bonbeach (Good Friday) and Seaford v Pines (Easter Saturday).
The games didn’t attract the same huge crowds as those in Nepean Division but they were big enough to encourage a continuation of the Easter showdowns.
While I’m probably safe in saying that I believe most footy fans would support AFL football on Good Friday, I say we stick together as a footy community and discourage it.
Local footy is the real winner and that’s what we should be supporting.
Well done to all clubs for their forethought and hard work during a holiday period and celebrating local football together.