PLAYING on ANZAC Day Eve is a truly special experience for the Melbourne players.
It’s a night where everyone takes a step back and acknowledges what is really important.
Just like his teammates, Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn is honoured to be a part of the celebration.
“The best part about playing on ANZAC Day Eve is definitely being able to play in the spirit of the ANZACs,” Gawn told Melbourne Media.
“We’ve done a lot of education around what an ANZAC means, and it’s definitely been something that gives us the spirit out there when we play.”
While it is impossible to compare a game of football to what the ANZACs went through, Gawn is able to draw inspiration from their stories.
“Obviously it’s footy and it’s not going to war, but to be able to have that spirit and feel what they felt in terms of mateship and togetherness is what I’ve grabbed from anyone I’ve heard speak about the ANZACs,” Gawn said.
“We play for a club that has real rich history with ANZACs, a lot of players served.
“To be able to [play] on ANZAC Day Eve, it definitely is a proud moment.”
Melbourne is set to play Richmond in the fifth edition of the ANZAC Day Eve tradition on Wednesday night, and Gawn says being able to observe the ceremony is a true privilege.
“All the lights around the ground – it is pretty special to be in the middle there and to look around and see all those lights flashing,” he said.
And for one minute, a crowd in excess of 80,000 people goes completely silent – an amazing moment for the Demons players to witness.
“For the ANZAC minute of silence, you’re truly focused and remembering the things you’ve learned during the week, during the year or back at school,” Gawn said.
“That minute of silence is really powerful.
“To be there with our mates, to be there with my mates – 22 of them – it is something special.”