VFL – Bendigo Gold

Tomorrow night I will pull on the blue and gold jumper for the first time.

I am grateful for the opportunity that the Bendigo Football Club has given me, as being a part of a VFL club is something that I have always wanted to do.

Not only is the Gold program a great pathway to elite football for Bendigo talent, it has given players like myself and others around the country the opportunity to test ourselves against quality opposition.

Tomorrow night will be no exception with the Footscray line-up boasting a majority of players that are currently on the Western Bulldogs AFL list.

It is an honour to play on such an important and historic day that is ANZAC Day and to play at home on a great deck in the QEO adds to the occasion.

My journey has been a little different to others as I come from Darwin in the Northern Territory.

It is my first time living out of home and a part from a few challenges, it has been an awesome experience thus far.

I arrived in late March to an unseasonably cold day and made the rookie mistake of wearing shorts and not packing a jumper.

In fairness to myself, I was told it would be perfect weather upon arrival in Bendigo.

Perhaps this would be true if I was a polar bear, but unfortunately I am a skinny bloke that has lived my whole life in the NT.

After catching the red-eye flight, the first day was an exhausting struggle and I ended up falling asleep on a table at the Bendigo library while attempting to study.

A big thankyou must go out to Tyrone Downie and his partner for offering me a place to stay for the first week.

Having a bloke like myself, with very little domestic skills, stay with them for a week was probably the last thing they needed but I am thankful for their generosity.

After that first week I moved into my own place in Golden Square but still struggled with transport and had to travel everywhere by taxi, which included a $155 fare to Maryborough.

I also badly bruised three of my knuckles when the human wrecking ball Billy McInnes fell on my hand after a tackle.

The hand injury has been frustrating but I’m not the first and certainly not the last bloke the big fella will cause injury to this season!

Although I spent the summer months playing football with Northern Territory Football League club St Marys, I missed a gruelling pre-season at the club, which put me a bit behind the eight-ball.

I have played the first three weeks of the season with Bendigo Football League club Maryborough and they have been really accommodating to me.

I cannot wait to get stuck into it tomorrow night against the Bulldogs and hopefully a solid crowd can come out to support the Gold.

About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.


  1. Great to get a perspective from a player. Good luck tonight Jackson and hopefully the Gold can notch up their first win for a long time. Go Gold!

  2. Peter Fuller says

    I expect that you’ll only read this after the event (if at all), but I do wish you good luck in this wonderful adventure. I’ve enjoyed your insightful posts on NT football and other matters, and you bring a unique note to the Almanac’s musings.
    I hope we’ll hear of your progress as the season unfolds.

  3. Jackson Clark says

    Thanks for the well wishes guys. The night probably couldn’t have gone worse as we were belted by a very strong and determined Footscray outfit by about 25 goals. I had no impact on the match either, which was disappointing. I guess if I could take a positive out of the game, it gave me an indication of what is required to play at the level and hopefully I can make a better showing of my next opportunity.

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