Two old Hervey Bay rivals all set to do battle
MICHAEL Gay admits football comes second to the significance of another April 25 event Australians hold close to their hearts. He says it's particularly the case because one of his Bay Power players, Peter Spain, understands both the responsibility and the honour of serving his country.
In the second set of Wide Bay Anzac Day clashes, following those played in 2013, the Power travels to Bundaberg today to meet cross-town rivals the Hervey Bay Bombers.
Gay said the reasoning behind the unusual scheduling was both Bundaberg teams travelled to the Fraser Coast last year for the corresponding fixtures, and it was now time to repay the favour.
And while it will surely be a day of mixed emotions for Spain, who is set to give a stirring pre-game address, it promises also to be a similarly mixed experience for Gay, who coaches for the first time against the club he gave more than a decade to.
"It's significant; obviously being Anzac Day… it's a time to reflect," he said. "We're lucky enough to be playing because of the guys that sacrificed, so, in that regard, it's probably not about the footy, it's more so about why we are able to play."
The Power is hoping the emotion of the day can help it topple the undefeated Bombers, who even at this early stage of the season are looking very strong.
Hervey Bay coach Troy Ignatenko said he was looking for more of the same from his side, which in contrast to the winless Power, is two from two this season.
He said the key to success was possession and commitment, two things his side is becoming renowned for.
Frank Coulthard Oval, April 25:
Hervey Bay Bombers v Bay Power, 3pm
Across the Waves v Brothers Bulldogs, 6.30pm