By Oliver Lees
Woodend-Hesket Football Club showed its community spirit last weekend, loaning five players to the Kyneton Tigers to fill in for their reserve side in the Bendigo Football League.
Tigers president Hayden Evans said his club reached out for help after COVID-19 restrictions limited some of his players from playing.
“We had issues with some of our players based in metro Melbourne because they weren’t allowed to travel out and play,” Evans said.
“I know some of the guys [at the Hawks] personally and they came through and helped us out.
“We’re really grateful for that and, like them, we think it’s really important to build those relationships with those neighbourhood clubs.
“We absolutely would return the favour in a heartbeat.”
The BFL was able to return to matches on June 12 as all of its clubs are located in regional Victoria.
However the Riddell District Football Club, which includes the Hawks, had to delay resuming competition as some clubs in the league are located in metro Melbourne.
Hawks senior football coach Ben Tankard said he was proud that his club was able to lend a hand.
“We had a bunch of guys that were open to playing and we felt for them because they couldn’t travel to the game,” he said.
“Seeing as we play in different leagues we’re not really rivals.
“Actually, in the end we thought it was beneficial for some of our players to get some match fitness while our games are still restricted. So really there was a two-way benefit.”
The Tigers took on Gisborne and lost 25 to 70.
The loss takes their season tally to two wins and five losses after round 7. They’re sitting in seventh place on the ladder.
Evans said the team played well in difficult circumstances.
“Gisborne is a very strong club, so I’m proud of the effort,” he said.
“All of the guys [from the Hawks] fit in really well, and the guys had a really good crack.
The RDFL resumed matches on Saturday with crowd limits.