Posted in Featured News , Front Page News

This year we had a very special event to kick off the 2016 season.

Cheltenham Panthers JFC played host to East Sandringham Zebbies JFC in the SMJFL Season Opener. While everyone was keen to get the long awaited season underway, the event was planned all for a great cause – raising funds for Will Murray and his family.

Cheltenham transformed Jack Barker Oval into a fantastic Friday night community event to welcome over one thousand excited footy fans. The game was played between two teams entered in the Under 14 Division 1 competition. The significance being the visitors, would’ve been Will’s team for the season ahead.

Many fundraising activities were planned by the Panthers, eager lend their support to a player and family that easily could’ve been anyone in the SMJFL community. Attendees to the game were asked to donate a gold coin on entry, and had the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets and t-shirts during the event. Food and drink vendors did a roaring trade where profits and additional donations were all put towards the Will Murray cause. This included the club canteen and bar, volunteer driven BBQ, and collections at the Mr Whippy van and Coffee cart.

Every bit counts, and a total of $8,739.75 was raised from this event.

The footy community truly united on this occasion, and the first game of the season was played in tremendously good spirits. With the 2015 premiership under their belts, and a few practice matches down, East Sandringham came away with the win at the final siren. Cheltenham must be thanked for understanding the significance of the game, and what it meant for Will’s teammates. There is no doubt both teams wholeheartedly put all their efforts into the game. Best of luck to both Cheltenham and East Sandringham for the remainder of the season.

The full game is available to watch on the SMJFL YouTube Channel and can be downloaded from Paul Newport Video Productions – all profits to go to the Will Murray cause. The game footage is a great memento of playing under lights, being part of a great community event and at $7 per download it is unbeatable value. You can check out highlights from other Round 1 games here.

To show your individual support for the cause please visit

Photo credit: Nigel Smith 

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