Anzac trophy will be up for grabs at Murray Bridge United’s season opener
The Di Santo family's contributions to the soccer club, and the Australian Defence Force, will be celebrated at the clash between rivals.
This post was contributed by Joe Di Santo.
Murray Bridge United will take on arch-rivals Salisbury Villa at home in both senior grades in round two of the South Australian Amateur Soccer League’s Saturday division two this Saturday.
This technically will be United’s A grade’s first game of the season, as they were forced to postpose their opening game due to COVID-19.
The Bs, on the other hand, managed to secure a respectable two-all draw with Fizi FC.
The A grade will be playing for the annual Anzac Mateship Perpetual Trophy; and the best player on the day will be awarded the Di Santo Medallion, which acknowledges the Di Santo family’s contribution to football and military service in the region.
The rivalry between the two clubs has been ongoing since they both gained back-to-back promotions over the past few seasons.
A couple of years ago the two clubs met in the cup final, where United were defeated at the hands of Villa.
This year, both clubs are playing in division two, having been relegated from division one.
Both are looking to get themselves back on track, and both will want to become the first sole recipients of the trophy as last year’s inaugural game was a draw.
United treasurer Grantley Klenke said the club was proud to have an Anzac rivalry clash in the competition, and to have the Di Santo family on board.
“The Di Santo name is part of the local football landscape; with over 40 years of history in our region, I certainly don’t know of any other local families to have a strong bond to the Australian Defence Force and to a local sporting code,” he said.
“Our club sees this as something quite unique and something to be proud of, and to play against a rival club in the Anzac clash is truly special.”
Family spokesperson, Army Reservist and former United player Joseph Di Santo said it was an honour and privilege to have the club acknowledge the family’s contribution to the game and to military service.
“We are excited that Salisbury Villa are on board again for the first home game of the season on such a significant occasion,” he said.
“We hope that the two clubs will be traditional Anzac rivals for a long time to come.”
The club is calling out to all past players, supporters and the wider community to get down to Jaensch Oval to help kickstart the season on Saturday.
The result of the game will help guide the club’s season as it aims to return to division one.
The B grade will get proceedings underway at 1pm, followed by a brief ceremony, then the A grade kick-off at 3pm.
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