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Murray Bridge United will honour Anzac spirit at their first home game for 2023
The soccer club will aim to get back into division two of the SAASL this season under new coach Jeremy Byrnes.
This post was contributed by Joe Di Santo.
This Saturday, round three of the SA Amateur Soccer League’s Saturday division three will pit Murray Bridge United against Northern Wolves in both the A and B grades for United’s first home game of the season at Beatty Terrace.
The A grade will play for the annual Anzac Mateship Perpetual Trophy; and the Di Santo Medallion, which acknowledges the Di Santo family’s contribution to football and military service in the region, will be awarded to the best and fairest player on the day.
After a four-year absence, United has returned to the third division this year after being relegated from division two last season.
The Wolves, on the other hand, have been in settled in division three for some time and will be looking to kickstart their season.
The two clubs have never encountered each other before and no doubt both will be eager to secure the three points and the trophy.
Since the inception of the trophy in 2021, this year will be the first year not to feature arch rivals Salisbury Villa as they are currently playing in division two.
Potentially we may see a new rivalry form if both clubs happen to remain in the same division.
United club registrar Grantley Klenke said the intent had been to host the trophy on the Saturday before Anzac Day but, due to programming and scheduling, it wasn’t possible.
“We opted for the opening home game,” he said.
“Keeping with the Anzac spirit, it was simply a matter of overcoming and adapting to the circumstances.
“To have the Di Santo family on board is something our club is proud to be a part of; for over 40 years they have been part of the local football and military landscape.
“We are also excited to have some of our past players that have served be part of this game as well; we certainly will acknowledge their service and contribution to our club and look forward to this game for many years to come.”
United seeks promotion as veteran players pass the torch
United had a bye in the first round and played Fizi FC away last week.
First-season senior coach Jeremy Byrnes will look to guide his young squad back into division two this season.
From all reports morale is high and with the experience of club veterans Graham Alympic, Harley McFee, incoming captain Dale Binny and outgoing captain Dylan August, coach Byrnes is on track.
This Saturday will be Byrnes’ real test and the perfect opportunity to collect his first trophy and more importantly collect three points to get the season underway.
The club is calling out to all past players and the wider community to get down to Jaensch Oval to support United on Saturday to help kickstart their season as it’s a must-win game which will help guide their season and campaign as they aim to return to division two.
The B grade will get proceedings underway at 1pm, followed by the final game of the day, the A grade, at 3pm.
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