When it comes to the Bendigo Victory FC it's not the results on the field that matter, it's the friendships.
The team was created in 2007 with the goal of giving people from all walks of life the chance to play football.
Now 13 years later the team is going stronger than ever with support from not-for-profit organisation Reclink Australia and Paddy McCarthy as head coach.
McCarthy might be the coach, but he and the team prefer to see themselves as one big family.
"We're not after massive results, that's not what we're about," he said.
"As long as people turn up to training sessions and games to have a good time.That's the Reclink spirit."
Reclink's aim is to enhance the lives of people experiencing disadvantage or barriers by providing an outlet through sport, recreation or assisting with pathways to employment or other opportunities.
"On the team we have people from all pages and backgrounds. It's a big mixture but we give everyone a shot," McCarthy said.
"As a team we generally work well together but at times it can be challenging but that's expected with any team sport. Especially with different personalities and outside issues that can arise whether it be unemployment, mental health, addiction and many other things."
The team, which also recently started a cricket squad, isn't playing or training at the moment due to stage three restrictions, but under normal circumstances they compete every second Wednesday and train every other week.
Most games are played in Melbourne, but at times they compete against other Reclink supported teams from regional areas.
McCarthy started his role in 2019, which at first may have been a bit daunting, but it wasn't long before the team made him one of their own.
Among the squad is Tiff Armstrong who joined ranks in 2008, and hasn't looked back since. "Since I started I've been the only female on the team. At first I was quite anxious about it all as I didn't know how the other players would respond to me being a chick," Armstrong said.
"But I was welcomed with open arms and everyone here made me feel so good about myself."
With a passion for playing football, Armstrong has found herself the perfect outlet, all the while forging friendships along the way.
"What's kept me here for so long is all of the people I have met and have now been friends with since I started," Armstrong said.
"When you're part of our team it's great because the best thing is you're not just helping yourself, but you are also helping your team-mates too with whatever life challenges they might have."
One of those team-mates is Timmy "The Rooster" Juegan, who is known as the club legend.
Juegan has been part of the team for more than a decade and when it comes to football, he simply loves it.
"It's great to play with lots of nice people around me," Juegan said.
There's nothing he enjoys more than embracing the team spirit, especially after putting points on the board.
"I love celebrating as a team after a goal or a win," he said.
The team is based at California Gully Recreation reserve, visit https://www.facebook.com/bendigovictoryfc/ for more information.
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