AFLPA president Patrick Dangerfield says the league’s best players will make themselves available for the bushfire relief match.
AFLPA president Patrick Dangerfield says the league’s best players will make themselves available for the bushfire relief match.

How bushfire relief match teams will be chosen

Geelong star Patrick Dangerfield and AFL boss Gillon McLachlan are confident the league's biggest names will take to the field in next month's bushfire relief match.

McLachlan confirmed details of a representative match on February 28 at Marvel Stadium on Thursday which will be played between Victoria and the All Stars alongside a donation of $2.5 million dollars to support communities impacted by the bushfires across Australia.

Richmond premiership coach Damien Hardwick will coach Victoria, while Sydney Swans coach John Longmire will coach the All Stars team.

The 'State of Origin' match will be part of a double header also featuring the AFLW clash between Collingwood and Melbourne with all money raised on the night to support bushfire recovery.

Sydney coach John Longmire will lead the All Star team.
Sydney coach John Longmire will lead the All Star team.

Each club will supply a minimum of three players to choose from.

AFL Players' Association president Dangerfield said he would definitely be putting up his hand to play and expected most of the league's biggest names to get involved.

Premiership coach Damien Hardwick will be in charge of the Victorian team.
Premiership coach Damien Hardwick will be in charge of the Victorian team.

"Any opportunity to help those in need I think our players have always been really good at putting their hand up … so I've got no doubt we'll have the best players in the competition playing in this game," Dangerfield said.

"I'm certainly keen to get involved in the game and play and wear the Big V and do it all for a cause which has affected so many Australians over the past few months.

"It's really special (to play for the Big V), I think we can't lose sight of the reason we're doing it though and that is to raise as many funds as we possibly can and there will be different activations during the week no doubt in order to help us do that.

"The purpose behind it is clear, but wearing the Big V will certainly be special."

McLachlan said the AFL was working through the process of how the players would be selected for the match with league football boss Steve Hocking in talks with the clubs.

"What I do know is and from conversations I've had is the players are really keen to play," McLachlan said.

"I'm confident (we'll get the best players). I've been overwhelmed by the positivity from the playing group and from our clubs.

"We are asking all clubs to put three players forward which I know they'll do then there is a bit of flexibility to work through that. It may well be there is more than that, but that's the aim."

Dangerfield also announced a donation of $250,000 on behalf of the AFL Players' Association.

Asked what other players he would like to play alongside, the Geelong star said he just wanted the best.

"Just the best possible talent that we can get that's going to help secure and raise the most amount of funds possible, that's really all that matters that we can actually raise a significant amount that's going to make a genuine contribution to those in need," Dangerfield said.

"I think Pendles (Scott Pendlebury) is always very keen to don the Big V again. We'll see the best players from around the league participate in this game and it will be one you don't want to miss."


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