SAD END FOR GOLD

SO CLOSE: Bendigo Gold captain Steven Stroobants and his team-mates at the final siren last Sunday.

SO CLOSE: Bendigo Gold captain Steven Stroobants and his team-mates at the final siren last Sunday.

KA: Well it was a sad day for Bendigo sport on Wednesday when the Bendigo Gold decided to not renew its licence beyond this year. 

The Gold hasn't had the results on the field in the past 18 months, but the community was right behind them, so the news came as a bit of a shock for me. 

I feel for Aussie Jones, Tim Dickson and the players who have worked so hard to build a strong culture. 

But unfortunately, it is now all coming to an end. 

LW: Can't speak highly enough of the work put in by Aussie and Dicko, in particular, over the past two years in what's the toughest football environment in the VFL.

Both have given their absolute all to the cause, but in the end it has become plainly obvious for those within the club that the Gold simply can not keep up with the continued growth of the VFL and the financial demands to be competitive.

As for the players, they cop their knocks on the field and off it, but you can't have anything but admiration and respect for those young lads who have fronted up week after week to challenge themselves at the level, rather than taking the easier option of being content to earn a decent dollar playing local footy.

After 17 seasons, the end of an era is nearing for Bendigo in the VFL.

Hopefully, all the players, staff and volunteers can get some reward in these last eight games with at least one win.

Who knows - maybe the Gold will go out with a bang on August 22 and beat your mob, Collingwood, at the QEO in their final game.

How sweet a note that would be to finish on.

KA: I am not sure they will beat my Pies, but I hope they can snag a win in the remaining games. 

They came oh so close against the Northern Blues on Sunday losing with the last kick of the game. 

We were cheering them on, wanting and hoping they would win, but it wasn't to be. 

It would be great to see the players celebrate a win at some stage this season. Hopefully, they can go out with a bang.

LW: Last Sunday was as disappointing a result as I can remember for a footy club in my time covering Bendigo footy.

With all the Gold has gone through over the past 18 months, to get beaten on the last kick of the game was pure heartbreak.

It took me back to my first year here in Bendigo in 2002 when I went up to the QEO on a Sunday afternoon to watch the Bendigo Diggers take on the Murray Kangaroos.

The Diggers had lost 35 games in a row and drew with the Kangaroos that day.

The photos we have of Diggers' coach Damian Drum up in the box in the late stages of that game are priceless.

But do you know what makes the Gold's loss to the Northern Blues even more disappointing last Sunday?

Had the Gold won, it would have meant that at the same time Carlton was beaten by the GWS Giants up in Sydney, their VFL-aligned Northern Blues would have lost to the Gold.

What a double that would have been.

KA: It would have been the greatest weekend for non-Carlton fans. 

To lose to the Giants and then for their seconds to almost lose to Bendigo would have been dreadful for the Blues. 

I do love to hate Carlton and that will continue this weekend when the Pies take on the Blues at the G. 

Yes, I already know what you are going to say, the Pies have lost their past two and Essendon did get closer to beating the Hawks than Collingwood did, but I will encourage you to watch the replay of Anzac Day and then reply. 

The Pies will bounce back. 

On another note, the Press Gang won the netball grand final on Wednesday night at Flora Hill. It was a great win. 

LW: Who is the Press Gang?

The only Press Gang I know was a TV show back when I was a kid where a group of school students from England ran a newspaper called The Junior Gazette.

KA: Who is the Press Gang? Really?

The Press Gang is a top-class netball team, made up of a talented group of people, who just won the championship. 

You were not part of the winning team so you wouldn't understand. 

LW: Top-class and professional... what were you doing in the team then.

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