The Bendigo Advertiser sets a Blues fan loose among the Carlton Football Club. Anna Walsh describes her first meeting with the boys in navy blue...
It’s a daunting experience watching a group of footballers saunter off a bus and congregate in front of you.
The excitement levels peak when this particular group happens to be the team you’ve worshipped for as long as you can remember.
That being the case, to say I was overwhelmed by being confronted with the Carlton Football Club and their arrival in Bendigo yesterday would be an understatement.
Football is a sacred tradition in my family. You’re born into the team you follow. All the women support Carlton, whilst our male counterparts barrack for Essendon. Then there’s my father who refuses to conform and is a diehard rugby fan.
Whatever the code or the team we, like many Australians, always have and always will love football.
As a fan it is easy to be dismayed by the current headlines in the media. But no headline could dampen my excitement at getting a photo with Marc Murphy and Bryce Gibbs or watching Andrew Carrazo and Andrew Walker address the media.
They’re athletes, they’re role models and, what’s more, they were genuinely nice guys who were happy to chat to fans and smile for an endless amount of photos.
There were so many things I wanted to say and so many players I wanted to talk to as I scanned the group of familiar strangers, some of them even reminded me of my younger brother.
Photos were taken and I had the pleasure of meeting a number of them. But at the end of the day it was humbling to see this football club for what it is, a group of young guys doing their best to promote the game they love.