South Melbourne Districts JFC had training with a difference on Wednesday night with a couple of well-known faces mixing it with some star-struck junior footballers.
St Kilda young guns Jack Billings and Jack Sinclair attended the SMDJFC season opening night and hosted the Bloods’ training session at Albert Park, putting the Under 10s and Under 11s players through their paces.
The star duo visited the club as part of St Kilda’s recruitment drive for the Saints Squad – a free membership package exclusively for SMJFL members.
The Saints Squad membership includes access to three St Kilda home games in 2016, plus training sessions with Saints players and exclusive Saints merchandise.
The two Jacks ran various drills in conjunction with the Bloods coaches and the very enthusiastic youngsters learned a great deal from their AFL heroes.
They then headed upstairs into the pavilion for a Q&A and autograph session. And it was a full house, with more than 140 players, parents and supporters in attendance.
South Melbourne Districts JFC President David ‘Gus’ Gustin, who MC’d the Q&A session with the players, said it was great for the club to have the St Kilda pair attend their season opening night and praised them for their wonderful work and cooperation.
“Our players and members really appreciated having the boys there and they were simply exceptional in their representation of the Saints,” he said.
“The players, we couldn’t speak highly enough of them. They not only gave us their time on the ground, but they gave us their time in the rooms after when they could have just gone home.
“And at the end of the Q&A they just stuck around and spent another 10-15 minutes just signing autographs, signing footy boots and posing for photos.
“We all know how in demand they are, but the fact that they were able to give so much of their time was just terrific.”
Gustin said the South Melbourne Districts JFC club greatly benefited from the Saints players’ attendance and hoped that Saints would gain some traction for their new membership initiative.
“I’m hoping that the beneficiary of (their visit) is the Saints Squad program,” Gustin said.
“It’s a great initiative by the St Kilda footy club to offer that to our league players.
“As we said, whether you barrack for the Saints or not, why wouldn’t you participate? It doesn’t cost you anything and you get to see guys like Jack (Billings) and Jack (Sinclair) out there and playing for the Saints against the best.”
Scroll down to view pics from the evening!