Starting the conversation

From left, Sponsor Andrew Cherry and Boisdale-Briagolong playing coach Zan Cherry, vice-captain Kiana Minchin, women’s football manager and player Megan Lee, captain Phoebe Escreet and player and sponsor Lashay Tricker. Photo: Contributed

NEXT weekend, Gippsland Women’s Football Competition action includes Boisdale-Briagolong facing off against Moe-Newborough in a special Black Dog Round.

The round will be held in honour of two young men who meant a lot to their clubs — Lachie Heywood and Riley Pearce.

In a cause close to the players’ hearts, the round will raise money for the Black Dog Institute, which researches the early detection, prevention and treatment of common mental health disorders.

Lachie was the Bombers’ runner in 2019, and player for rival club Stratford Football Club. He took his own life in August last year.

Riley ‘Choppy’ Pearce’s family has a long association with Moe Football Club, and Riley was a cousin to several of the Bombers’ players. The 17-year-old took his own life earlier this year.

By honouring Lachie and Riley, raising awareness and creating a conversation around mental health, the two football clubs are hoping to save the lives of others.

The Bombers will wear limited edition jumpers, with the numbers 23 and 16 to be auctioned at the conclusion of the match in memory of Lachie and Riley.

To help the cause, people can go along to the match, buy raffle tickets or simply check in with their mates to begin the conversation.

The game will kick off at 1pm at Ted Summerton Reserve, Moe, with plans to alternate the venue each year.

The Boisdale-Briagolong youth girls team is expected to open the day’s play from 11.30am against Traralgon.