I FINALLY got to play on Anzac Day for the first time last year and it was unbelievable.
It was only a one-off game at Monbulk, in front of a few thousand people, but the experience was something I’ll honestly never forget.
There’s nothing like it.
I’ve been lucky enough to play in some big games at the highest level, and won two flags with the mighty Pigeons, but the pre-match for Anzac Day was something else.
Standing on the field while the Last Post was being played was incredible.
The feeling that runs through you is hard to describe.
When you play finals or a game where the national anthem is played, you don’t really focus on it.
It’s just noise in the back of your mind — all you’re thinking about is the game.
Everything going through your head is about how you are going to get off to a good start, or who you’re going to smash into first when you walk to your position.
The atmosphere in the crowd is the same.
Everyone is rowdy and yelling out.
But Anzac Day is different.
It’s dead silent.
Standing there, it was impossible not to think of those people who have served our country and the experiences they went through.
I’ve been to a few dawn services before but one I really remember was when I was at Carlton and went with Bret Thornton.
We went to the AFL game between Essendon and Collingwood afterwards and the amount of people around the city was unreal.
There were people everywhere.
It’s one of the biggest days on the calendar and I think it’s only getting bigger, which it should.
When I was a kid, we didn’t speak about Anzac Day anywhere near as much as people seem to now.
I’m lucky enough to be playing again today at Kinglake and I honestly cannot wait.
The community there has gone through some tough times since the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 but it’s days like Anzac Day that bring everyone together.
Hopefully I can help them out with some good footy — but it’s because of the Anzacs that I’m able to do it.