Footy legend to play

SECURING Jason Akermanis to play a one-off game for Morwell was not too hard, according to club president Wayde Presley.

“We sent him an email via his website, and the whole thing was pretty much sorted in about 12 hours,” Presley said.

Next Monday, Akermanis will take to the field for the Tigers when they take on arch-rivals Traralgon in round eight of Gippsland League football.

Presley said the idea came about at a committee meeting, when the club decided to “do something different” for its Queens Birthday clash.

“We thought we’d try and do something to get an extra crowd, being the Queens Birthday match against Traralgon,” he said.

“There were a few ideas tossed around, and I’d seen other clubs in northern Victoria do this kind of thing with Fev (Brendan Fevola) and Nathan Thompson too.

“We thought it was the best idea we came up with so we shot Akermanis an email and we were in luck.”

The aim of the day is to “get a few more heads through the gate” and “have a bit of fun”.

“We’re just hoping to draw the attention of people who don’t normally come to the footy,” Presley said.

“It’s an opportunity to promote the club and the Gippsland League, and since we seem to have turned a corner in recent weeks, so hopefully it’ll be a good showcase.”

According to Presley, it “wasn’t too much effort” to get Akermanis to play, and believed other clubs could take similar initiatives to raise their profiles.

“It’s something that’s open to any club,” Presley said.

“Hopefully everything will go well on the day, but the hype it’s already created and the number of phone calls I’ve had about it is amazing.”

Presley said another key factor was the coach agreeing to have a player come in for one game.

“Fortunately, because this is a Monday game we have an extra player on the bench so no one is missing out for Akermanis to come in which helped,” Presley said.

On the day a ‘lunch with Aker’ will be held at the Morwell Football Netball Club social rooms.

For more information phone the club on 0438 344 902.