The 2022 season of the Reclink Football League came to a thrilling crescendo last week as the Peanut Farm Reserve in St. Kilda played host to the Grand Final Series across three inspiring days.
After an interrupted last two seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teams descended from all over Victoria to enjoy their respective match ups, with all games played in the typical spirit of Reclink.
Tuesday featured the Casey Cobras taking on the Salvo Hawks, before the Collingwood Magpies clashed with the Wynbay Bulldogs in front of former AFL legends such as Doug Hawkins, David Rhys-Jones, Simon Madden and Terry Daniher.
Wednesday marked the busiest day of the week, with CoHealth Kangas, Odyssey Blues, Bendigo Gold, Cardinia Tigers, Southern Peninsula Swans and Ballarat Bushies all taking on each other in their respective games under sunny skies.
Richmond CEO Brendon Gale and current Collingwood star Isaac Quaynor were among those who took time out their busy schedules to take in the games on show and present medals to participants.
The Southern Peninsula Swans were even lucky enough to be the temporary recipients of the 2022 AFL Premiership Cup, as CEO of the VFL Jenny Loughnan visited and brought along with her the surprise addition to the Swans’ post-match celebrations (pictured, above).
Thursday’s wet and wild weather provided a challenge to the GenU Cats, Frankston Dolphins, Maryborough Ravens and Morwell/Sunbury in their season deciders, but the spirit, enjoyment and enthusiasm in each contest failed to dampen.
Reclink Australia Senior Coordinator (Program Innovations) Rhan Harris welcomed the week’s success after two interrupted years.
“The Reclink Footy League continued to grow throughout the season as players and agencies found their way back to community sport post-COVID,” he said.
“As the concluding event the Grand Finals represented the best of Reclink by bringing together distant and remote teams comprised of people from all walks of life.
“Beyond the hundreds of medals awarded and the thousands of sausages served the hallmark of Reclink Grand Finals is the abundance of good will and contribution across the Reclink network.
“So good to have footy back!”
Reclink Australia would like to thank the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation for their incredible ongoing support and generosity of the Reclink Football League season in 2022.
As well as also acknowledging all staff, participants, stakeholders and celebrities for their support throughout the week, Reclink Australia would also like to pay homage to the efforts of Gerard Dowling and his students from Xavier College, who attended each day to volunteer across essential match roles such as goal umpiring, boundary umpiring and scoreboard attending.
Attendees were also able to enjoy a BBQ lunch, coffee and music; as well as a Sports Share stall manned by Mackillop College Werribee which featured equipment and books kindly donated as part of the Reclink Australia Sports Share program managed by Founder Peter Cullen.
We look forward to another big season in 2023!
To view our full photo gallery from the three days, or to re-watch the live streams conducted of each game, please visit our Facebook page/s.
Photo credit: Bruce Davis.
Article: Sam Wharton.