Alinta Energy Gippsland League has announced an exciting new representative program to promote the talented players in the competition during May. The inaugural Virtue Homes All Star event will take place on May 20th and feature showcase matches in both senior and junior football and netball.
The football schedule will include a junior match comprising of players that participate in either the Thirds and Fourths. The Senior match that will feature an under 25s format with both sides also having access to a limited amount of ‘marquee’ overage players. These marquee players will include the two participating team coaches, current Senior team coaches and 2022 team of the year members Jed Lamb and Boyd Bailey. The 2022 League leading goalkicker Lamb will be the coach of the Red team which will feature players from Drouin, Warragul, Moe, Leongatha and Wonthaggi. Morwell coach Bailiey will lead the Navy team which will feature players from Morwell, Traralgon, Sale, Maffra and Bairnsdale. Both teams will have players 25 and under invited that made the 2022 team of the year and the 22 Under 22 Gippsland League team. The junior sides will have 2022 top 10 best and fairest finishers that meet the age criteria invited to participate and further invites will be sent out from the coaches.
The netball schedule will be led by an Open match which will see 16 of the League’s best players invited to participate. 2022 A Grade team of the year players that are still participating in 2023 will be invited to play along with a number of the other elite talents from across the Alinta Energy Gippsland League. In an exciting feature for the netball program, the coaches of the two sides will participate in an All Star draft similar to what has been seen in the NBA schedule. The Red team will be led by Drouin and VNL star Stacie Gardiner and the Navy team will be coached by 2022 A Grade team of the year and Morwell premiership coach Rachael Paterson.
The junior grades will follow the League’s junior and Association Championships format with a 17/Under, 15/Under and 13/Under match. These sides will again include the top 10 League vote count leaders from last season that meet the age criteria and players selected in Association Championship squads.
The junior teams will be coached by the League’s three Association Championships coaches Jo Ballinger, Kate Sperling and Sophie Membrey while also having some of the top A Grade players from around the League including Ramayer Gourley committing to lead teams.
“It is exciting to get this concept off the ground and into reality. With the absence of senior representative sport in the League over the last few years, we think it’s a great chance to create a fun showcase event that will not only promote our League, clubs and players but also create some stronger connections within the League” said General Manager Daniel Heathcote
“To have the buy in from senior football coaches, A Grade netball coaches & the top players actively putting their hands up to be involved is vital. The support for the concept has been amazing from the major partner Virtue Homes, our clubs and especially our players who are key to making the event a success ”