St Kilda stars take on Sebastopol coaching roles

Daniel Parker and Emma Powell in the special jumpers that Sebastopol will wear on Saturday for the fundraising match. 
Daniel Parker and Emma Powell in the special jumpers that Sebastopol will wear on Saturday for the fundraising match. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD

ST KILDA defender Sam Gilbert and Saints young gun Eli Templeton are moving into the Sebastopol coaching box.

Gilbert and Templeton will step in as assistant coaches to Phil Carman on Saturday for the Burras’ clash against Ballarat at Marty Busch Reserve.

Just for a change though, Sebastopol is dropping its “Kookaburras” tag and becoming the Sebastopol Saints in the Ballarat Football League. At least for one week.

Sebastopol is strengthening its ties with AFL club St Kilda as part of a special fundraiser for prostate cancer awareness.

Gilbert, sidelined with foot troubles, brings plenty of experience to Sebastopol.

The reliable defender has chalked up 143 AFL games, including the 2010 grand finals.

First-year midfielder Templeton (fractured arm) quickly won over fans with his dashing play when promoted from the Saints’ rookie list to play the opening six rounds.

Saints’ head of football Chris Pelchen and Ted Whitten junior – son of AFL Hall of Fame member Ted Whitten and prostate cancer research advocate – will also speak at a special club function on game day.

Sebastopol senior footballers will sport a special one-off jumper for the fixture, similar to the Burras’ strip on the top half, only a lighter blue, while the bottom half will be made up of the red, white and black strips of St Kilda.

Netballers are also planning to wear light blue bibs.

Sebastopol president Chris Parker said it would be a significant day for the club and one that was important to show support for prostate cancer. The club held a similar day two years ago for breast cancer.

“We’re keen to show support for the worthwhile cause as we are very much a community club,” Parker said.

“It’s also important to show that despite the senior results (Sebastopol has not won a senior football match since 2012), there is still a pretty strong heart beating underneath.”

The Burras have a close partnership with St Kilda, based on support via Pelchen, who has offered personal assistance in rebuilding the club’s culture and structure over the past year.

As part of the luncheon, a framed photo of Footscray legend Ted Whitten senior will go under the hammer, as well as a number of other items to raise money.

Parker said he was hoping a bumper crowd would attend the match, including a number of former players, as well as Footscray and St Kilda supporters who might not otherwise have thought to attend.

Tickets are still available for the three-course luncheon at Marty Busch Reserve for $50 and can be purchased by contacting Chris Parker on 0438 359 949.


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