Weekly Times |AFL great Jonathan Brown has said he is keen to coach the Hampden league again in 2018 and wants to see grassroots interleague grow.
Originally from Warrnambool, Brown helmed his old competition to a win against South East in the 2017 AFL Victoria Community Championships on Saturday.
“I am keen to stay involved and I think my (assistant) coaches are keen to stay involved as well,” he said
“It was a great experience and we don’t want it to just be a one-year campaign, we want to try to help the Hampden league work its way up the rankings.”
Hampden trained at Collingwood’s Holden Centre on Friday night, where Saturday’s game was originally scheduled before it was moved to Casey Fields last month.
Brown said there was a “little bit of passion” in his three-quarter time speech, but “the boys responded magnificently”, coming from nine points behind to win 13.19 (97) to 12.7 (79).
“I had my dad on the bench ... I heard him get excited quite a few times,” he said.
“So maybe I was channelling my old man, who coached the Hampden league back in the ’80s.”
Midfielder Jackson Bell was named best on for the Hampden Bottle Greens. Captain Rory Taggert also played a “huge second half under duress”, Tim McIntyre was “magnificent in the last quarter”, and Sandy Robinson, “who we managed to drag off the tractor for the day” was another standout.
“It’s a great weekend, it’s a great way to grow grassroots football,” Brown said, adding it was great to have a country interleague game was played at the MCG this year.
“I’d love to see it go to another level and hopefully, with more support from the AFL, we can grow this weekend into a great celebration of community grassroots football and one all players aspire to play.”