May 20, 2019
The South Burnett Saints will be playing their annual Heritage Day this Saturday, May 25, and are hoping for a bumper line-up of past and present fans.
The Saints women’s team will play the winners of the last four premierships, Toowoomba Tigers, at 12:30pm and the men will take on last year’s preliminary finalist, Warwick, at 2:30pm.
Brisbane Lions triple premiership player and Brownlow Medallist, Jason Akermanis, will be in attendance at both Saturday’s matches and as well as the Heritage Jersey auction which will be held on Saturday night at the Carrollee Hotel.
The day is also about inviting past players and supporters back to the club to catch up with old friends.
“AFL was first played in the South Burnett in 1981, so there’s a bit of history around to share and celebrate these days,” Saints president Andrew Foley said.
“So whatever and whenever a person’s involvement was in South Burnett AFL, we would love to see them back at the club this Saturday.”
The South Burnett Bulldogs – the region’s first AFL team – played at Cheers Triangle until 1985, winning two premierships in the process, but folded when construction of the Tarong Power Station came to an end.
The Kingaroy Bulldogs re-emerged three years later in 1988, moving to Lyle Vidler Oval.
AFL was played for about 15 years after that, with the Kingaroy-Nanango Jets junior club appearing on the scene in the late 1990s.
AFL in the South Burnett then went into a hiatus in the late 2000s, but re-emerged with the creation of the South Burnett Saints, whose inaugural season was 2013 and first premiership was in 2015.
“While most former players had moved on from the district by the time the Saints came into existence and the new club had to pretty much start from scratch, all the initial uniforms and equipment were paid for by ex-Bulldogs players,” Andrew said.
“This helped to cement a link between old and new, and we want that link to continue and grow because tradition and heritage is very important to a football club.
“Making that link and completing that circle is what Heritage Day is all about – a celebration of the game in the region and the friendships it has formed.”
Andrew said the Saints also hoped that past players and supporters – whether they were Bulldogs, Jets or Saints – would also take an active interest in the club and perhaps even become members or volunteers.
Bulldog Spirit medals will be given out on Saturday to the best Saints player in both games, with AFL Darling Downs President Pat Gipps attending to assist with the presentations.
Entry to both games is free.