As Jindera Football Club players resume training for the year on Tuesday evening, their thoughts will be with Nick Dempsey.
The popular football and water polo player remains in the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne after suffering spinal injuries diving into a pool about 2am on Sunday.
Peter Dempsey, Nick’s father, said in a statement his son’s condition was stable.
“Nick suffered a broken neck after diving into our pool at his 21st birthday party,” he said.
“He was air-lifted to the Alfred where he had his vertebrae four and five repaired and stabilised and room made for swelling of the spinal cord.
“He is still being assisted with breathing and in a coma for his own comfort.”
Mr Dempsey thanked friends and family for their ongoing support through Nick’s recovery.
“Nick is being looked after by the best trauma teams in the world, and as we know, he is a tough kid and will fight hard to get better,” he said.
“Trudy and I would like to thank all those who have offered help and sent messages of support – we are forever in debt to our close friends, who have made this tough time a bit easier.”
Jindera Football Club president Andy Stuart said the club was devastated by the news.
“Our training resumes on Tuesday and we’ll be offering what support we can to players who are affected and some of the young teammates who were there when the incident occurred,” he said.
“I’ve been involved with the footy club for a long time, but never had to deal with anything like this.
“I can only imagine if it’s tough for me, it’s 100-fold for the family.”
Mr Stuart said Nick and his brother Rhys, players for the senior team throughout 2016, were “wonderful young men”.
“Nick’s a very well-liked member of the playing group, so with what we support we can give, we’ll try and work our way through that,” he said.
“The whole family have been involved in the football and netball club last year and they’re a very important part of our club.
“On behalf of the club, our thoughts and prayers are with them during this tough time.”
Hundreds of messages of support for the Dempsey family have also been shared on social media.