A Sunday afternoon at the footy took on special meaning for a dozen CFA volunteers, who were hosted at the MCG by Melbourne Football Club as the team took on the Brisbane Lions on August 20.
Organised by 20-year-old Demons midfielder Clayton Oliver, the day was intended to celebrate the CFA volunteers who offer their time to the community.
Having spent a number of years helping out on the Harmers’ farm during harvest season, Mr Oliver recognised the work of the local CFA volunteers and set about organising the day.
Cosgrove Pine Lodge CFA captain Ross Harmer labelled it ‘‘a great initiative’’.
‘‘(Clayton) could see what the volunteer side and the mateship meant to us when he spent harvest time with us,’’ Mr Harmer said.
‘‘He would hear the pagers going off and saw that we were always on call and really got a chance to see what we stand for.
‘‘They (footballers) support each other just like we do.
‘‘Sometimes we see things we don’t really want to see and have to do things we don’t really want to do and when those things happen it’s good to know you’ve got the guy next to you.
‘‘So it’s so important to have these experiences as a group that can allow us to bond together.’’
CFA District 22 operations officer Travis Harris echoed Mr Harmer’s comments and said these events did not happen ‘‘nearly enough’’.
‘‘It really displays the sense of community, and in the brigade trusting each other is so important and for the group to organise it off their own bat is great to see,’’ Mr Harris said.
‘‘You can’t play footy by yourself and you certainly can’t run a brigade and do it all by yourself either.’’