Malthouse’s ANZAC Day push

Updated: January 15, 2015
ANZAC Day countdown

ANZAC Day countdown

EVERY AFL player should have the chance to play on ANZAC Day at least once in their careers according to Carlton coach Mick Malthouse.

Malthouse, who was involved in the traditional clash between Collingwood and Essendon on 12 occasions as Magpies coach, will have the chance again this year when the Blues meet St Kilda in Wellington.

With 2015 marking 100 years since the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli, and ANZAC Day falling on a Saturday, five games will be played.

“The disappointing thing with football, and this will cause a little bit of controversy, is that Alan (St Kilda coach Richardson) has played in it, I’ve coached in it and played on Anzac Day – it was a fluke of nature, way back,” he said.

“But not every player will have that opportunity.

“It is the grandest day in Australian history.

“It is a great opportunity to experience that feeling when you play or coach or be part of it.

“It should never be regarded as just a right … it’s a real privilege.”

The clash between the Blues and Saints will also be used to honour two diggers who are believed to have been killed during the landing.

In a twist of fate, Claude Crowl (St Kilda) and Fen McDonald (Carlton) made their VFL debuts on the same day when the two clubs clash at Princes Park- July 29, 1911.

“It’s quite incredible and humbling to think that 100 years ago to the day when we play our game in NZ, those two young men and many others were killed at Gallipoli,” Richardson said.

“They were just 22 and 23 years of age which is the average age of an AFL player.”

Twitter: @tom_king79