A pre-game pump up speech from none other than Captain Dayne Zorko and his Vice-Captain Harris Andrews inspired the Fitzroy Juniors Under 14 team to their first victory in 427 days.
The boys have not won a game since Round 2 last year and managed to pip their opposition by a goal.
Coach Matt Drew and Sam Lord of the Brisbane Lions organised the pep talk as a surprise for the team. The boys had no idea that their heroes would be coming to gee’ them up before their game and less than 24 hours after their own inspiring win over St Kilda.
The message from Zorko and Andrews was clear – focus on the small stuff.
“It was really good, the boys were very excited and listened intently to what they said,” Fitzroy’s Under 14 Coach Matt Drew said.
“They said to focus on little wins. By the time you get to the end of the game, the result takes care of itself.”
The team burst out of the blocks, kicking five unanswered goals in the first quarter.
“We started with five goals…so they were fired up,” Drew said.
“The start was the difference.”
When the final siren sounded and Fitzroy realised they had won by a goal, it was pure ecstasy.
“Mums and Dads as well as the kids were jumping up and down at the end of the game,” he said.
“It was just a ripping day, it was fantastic.”
Drew said the game was reward for the boys’ efforts. They have never given up, despite the setback of not one victory so far this season.
“Despite the fact we haven’t been winning, they’ve still been turning up in droves,” he said.
“They’ve been chipping away and practicing hard, so it was good reward for effort.”
The team just wish that Andrews and Zorko could give them a pep talk before every game.