Fans flock for Blues’ great
MORE than 1000 fans flocked to see former Carlton spearhead Brendan Fevola run out for Coolangatta- Tweed at Len Peake Oval on Sunday.
Fevola’s return to donning the navy blue didn’t go entirely to plan on the field, with the big man reduced to spectator for much of the game, with the ball almost exclusively at the Blues’ defensive end.
Fevola, looking frustrated at times, did not kick his first goal until the third quarter, before adding two more in the fourth to finish with (3.3) for the day as the Blues went down 16.24 (120) to 8.9 (57).
Despite the limited impact from the man who kicked 623 goals across 204 AFL games for Carlton and the Brisbane Lions, Coolangatta president Howard Battye said Fevola’s impact on the club far exceeded what happened on the field.
“We got around 1200 people along and had about 120 people come along for the breakfast,” Battye said.
“The point was to raise our profile and he did what he could do.
“He’s a character when there’s not many characters left who was great with the kids and always made himself available for photos and autographs.
“There was a party atmosphere and it was just a lovely day.”
Battye said just having Fevola front up for the one-off match had an impact on the playing group which will hold the club in good stead on the field going forward.
He said a number of ex-players came back to the club and out of retirement to take the field with Fevola, and would now stay on and train.
The day was a real positive for the club, which - once a powerhouse of football in Queensland - has been in the wilderness for a number of years.
Battye said that after the success of Sunday, the club would look to make it an annual event to help the club continue its re-birth.
“We want to get back up to the first division and we’re committed and striving to do that,” Battye said.
“We want to do one of these appearances every year and raise our profile in the community.
“It’s possible we may bring Fevola back next year and I asked him if he would look at doing it again next year and he said ‘bloody oath’.
“We may also look at someone like Dane Swan in the future or someone along those lines.”
Battye said camaraderie grown on Sunday would continue, as the club hoped to begin their march back up the ladder and beyond.
“We’re on our way back and next year we’ll be really competitive,” he said.