By Ben Pollard
Jacob Jones and his brother Daniel recently received the footy opportunity of a lifetime.
The two St Peters juniors ran out on the MCG with the Melbourne Demons before their AFL match against Carlton two Sundays ago.
Jacob, 9, won a SMJFL competition to become the Melbourne mascot for a day and the Demons kindly allowed Daniel, 11, to share the moment with his brother.
The boys lapped up the atmosphere of a 28,000-strong crowd, heading down the players’ race alongside their favourite Demon, Mitch Clark.
Once on the MCG turf, the boys met some of the umpires and got the chance to kick a footy in the centre of Australian football’s iconic stadium.
But Jacob and Daniel are hoping this event wasn’t just once-in-a-lifetime.
Both boys love the Demons and both want to run out on the MCG as Melbourne players one day.
That day may be a while off, but there are already parallels between the Melbourne Football Club and the boys’ teams at St Peters.
Jacob gets to sing a particularly familiar song when his Under 10 team takes the points.
“We sing the Demons’ song when we win, except it’s the red and the green, not the red and the blue,” he says.
The song is an emblem of two teams he loves and, according to Jacob, he can sing it louder than anyone.
Perhaps similar to Melbourne’s Jack Watts, Jacob says he and his teammates get played in all positions, “just to give us a go at everything”.
His favourite role is rover, where he can pick up a few possessions.
Daniel also likes playing in the midfield, but his favourite part of playing footy is getting a rare chance in the forward line.
Daniel most enjoys “just entertaining the crowd; kicking some fancy goals”.
“Last season, I had my first time up forward – because I usually play back – and I kicked five goals, so I was pretty happy with that,” he says.
But like the 2012 Demons, Daniel’s Under 12 team has been struggling for success this year, also chalking up just the one win.
Daniel’s attitude is positive though: “We’ll get there,” he says.
Like any true Demons supporter, that’s also how he sees Melbourne’s season.