Countdown is on for Rockets AFL launch

By Brayden May

ECHUCA-MOAMA junior Rockets are set to follow in the footsteps of their AFL heroes when they travel to Melbourne this weekend.

As part of their annual Auskick program, the group will play at Marvel Stadium at half-time of the game between Essendon and North Melbourne on Saturday.

And Rockets coach Mark McGann is just as excited as the kids who will strut their stuff in front of a big crowd.

“It’s the biggest event on the calendar for this group,” he said.

“We host 10 Auskick sessions during the year in the lead-up but this is what they all look forward to – the big trip down to Melbourne.

“Everyone is excited as any young footballer to get onto one of the game’s biggest stages.”

Half of the Rockets and their buddies are set to pull on brand new blue jumpers which have been provided by Intersport Bennetts Echuca.

While the other half will wear orange guernseys which were brought last season.

“Actually the blue jumpers were a bit of a mistake – but they’ve turned out great for us,’’ McGann said.

“The new blue jumpers look sensational and match nicely with the orange ones which we received last year.

“We like the choice of blue and orange because they act as friendly colours for the kids and they’re able to relate to them.

“We’re really thankful to Intersport Bennetts for providing the jumpers.’’

The day may be all about the kids but McGann says his own smile is as big as theirs when the siren sounds on the Rockets’ game.

“For 14 minutes you are extremely busy, but once you walk off you are on the biggest high,’’ he said.

“The kids have a grin from ear to ear and it is a sensational thing to be a part of.”

McGann and the Rockets would also like to thank the Apex Club for covering the costs of transport for the trip to Melbourne.

‘‘Travel is the biggest factor between our junior and senior programs,’’ he said. ‘‘When local organisations jump on board it makes everything run much more smoothly. We’re appreciative for what everyone in the community has given us to make this possible.’’