WHILE the action will be fierce on the football field and netball court, Marong and Mitiamo will also come together as clubs on Saturday to honour Annette Grant.
The Panthers and Superoos will contest what has become their annual Annette Grant Memorial Round when they meet in round 12 of the Loddon Valley league season at Marong.
Annette died in June of 2018, three months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, with the Grant family having strong ties with both Marong and Mitiamo.
Annette is both a life member and netball premiership player at Marong, while her husband Bill and son Andy are both premiership coaches at Mitiamo.
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Saturday's Mitiamo senior side will include two of Annette's sons in Tom and Matt, who are also both premiership players with Mitiamo.
Her daughter Tamera Gribben and daughter-in-laws Kayla Grant and Nicole Grant will be representing Marong on the netball court and grand daughter Allie Grant is playing both under-13 netball and under-12 girls football for the Panthers.
The Annette Grant Memorial Round aims to raise money and awareness for Pankind, the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, which has the mission to "triple the pancreatic cancer survival rate by 2030 and dramatically improve the quality of life for those impacted by the disease".
As part of the day both clubs will wear purple socks, an Annette Grant Memorial Round Medal will be awarded to the best player in all football and netball grades, while the family day will include a jumping castle and face painting.
"This day means a lot to both clubs... the Grant family has been a big part of both Mitiamo and Marong," Mitiamo senior coach Marcus McKern said on Friday.
This day means a lot to both clubs... the Grant family has been a big part of both Mitiamo and Marong- Marcus McKern - Mitiamo coach
"It's going to be a good day to get both clubs together and raise money and awareness for pancreatic cancer.
"There's obviously games of football and netball to be played, but overall, it's a day about respecting Annette and the Grant family and I'm sure every player from both clubs will be putting their best foot forward."
Marong coach Linton Jacobs said that although still being relatively new to the Panthers in his second season at the helm, he was already well aware of just how important the day has become for both clubs.
"In the short time I've been here it's obvious to see the impact Annette had on the club in the way people talk about her," Jacobs said.
"It's really good that the two clubs can come together and produce a day like we're going to have on Saturday and celebrate an important person for both clubs and raise money for a really good cause."
On the field, the clash is the match of the round with the Panthers on top, while the Superoos are third.
The Panthers have put together a brutal six-game stretch of results in which they have won by margins of 81, 145, 131, 100, 131 and 157 points.
One of the stiffest challenges they've had to overcome this year was back in round three when the Panthers had to work hard over four quarters to fend off the Superoos by 15 points.
"We're really excited about the challenge this week," Jacobs said.
"We had a good win last week (against Bridgewater); we were challenged early and responded really well.
"Again, our kids were fantastic under pressure and are looking forward to a tough hit-out this week.
"Both teams will have different line-ups from the first time, but this is a game we've been looking to for a while and the games we want to play in over the next few weeks to get a measure of where we're at."
In a blow for the Panthers they have lost defender Brodie Hartland (broken arm), but have regained the duo of Trent Fisher and Ben Gregg.
The Superoos head into Saturday after their biggest win of the season last week when they beat Newbridge by 87 points.
"We'll be a little undermanned on Saturday, but we'll go out there, crack in and put our best foot forward and see where we land," McKern said.
"I don't think a lot of people would be expecting us to get the points, so it would be a huge result for the boys and the club if we could pull it off.
"It's going to be a great challenge that we're looking forward to."
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