A win for the 'locals'
Collingwood Footy Club held on to win a thriller at Morwell Recreation Reserve in the final match of the JLT Series.
Josh Thomas' late goal was enough for the Magpies to see off a brave Carlton side and secure a four-point win for the 'home' team in front of more than 6000 fans.
But the game was about more than the on-field action, with local grassroots football clubs offered some great opportunities to benefit from the high-profile event.
Morwell Junior Football Club helping AFL Gippsland run footy activities and also provided a guard of honour to welcome the Magpies players onto the ground.
Other clubs had the opportunity to offer food and beverages throughout the event, with Combined Saints Junior Football Club and the Yallourn Yallourn North and Morwell football netball clubs getting involved and earning some funds for their clubs, as well as promoting their clubs to the thousands of footy fans that attended the day.
Clubs were also invited to participate in a promotional competition, with Yallourn Yallourn North Football Netball Club winning 50 tickets to a Collingwood home game at the MCG during the AFL home and away season, simply by sharing the JLT Series event poster on their Facebook page in the lead up to the Morwell game.
Volunteers and sponsors from local football leagues and umpires associations also attended a pre-match business networking function, which featured talks from, Collingwood Football Club CEO Mark Anderson, AFL Gippsland Region General Manager Ben Joske and Phillip Island Football Netball Club senior coach Beau Vernon, as well as a special appearance from Magpies president and media personality Eddie McGuire.
AFL Gippsland Region General Manager Ben Joske said it was important grassroots football was a prominent theme throughout the day and acknowledged those clubs that embraced the occasion.
"These events provide us with an excellent opportunity to engage with footy fans in our community and help make sure local footy is front of mind for as many Gippsland people as possible," Joske said.
"Within a captive audience like the one we saw at Morwell Recreation Reserve that day there are countless potential players, volunteers and sponsors that can contribute to our great game right here in Gippsland.
"We are fortunate to have the support of organisations such as Latrobe City Council, Latrobe Valley Authority and the Collingwood Football Club that include us and allow us to consider and advocate for the needs of football in our region and it was great to see several of our local clubs getting involved in various ways."
The match concluded a busy month of activities across Gippsland involving the Collingwood Football Club, following a two-day AFL Community Camp visit to Sale, an AFL Player Appearance at Phillip Island and Bass and an AFLW Round 4 clash with GWS Giants at Morwell Recreation Reserve.