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Bharat Football Club cruise to a big Anzac Day win

On a cool ANZAC Day morning at the Fotheringham Reserve, Dandenong the sounds of bugle followed by the National Anthem reverberated across the air – the speciality was the crowd honouring the veterans were from the Indian and Sri Lankan communities!

The match was an AFL inaugural ANZAC Day game for Bharat Football Club against archrivals Sri Lanka. An even greater occasion for the game of AFL Football that was played for the first time between the two nations!

The Bharat Football Club (BFC) has put on a football master class, thrashing Australian Football Sri Lanka by 100 points in front of a good crowd at Fotheringham Reserve. The Bharat Football Club has had an outstanding two months of football. With tournament wins at the Sikh Games, Unity Cup and now the first inaugural Anzac Day match Vs Sri Lanka.

The BFC jumped out of the blocks with early goals to Yasser Hussain and Chaitan Sarikonda and took a six goal to nothing lead into the first break. Vasish Vasan and Francisco Darius Fernandes dominated in the middle of the ground, making the most of the tap work from Alex and Sahil Grewal in the ruck and winning countless centre clearances.

Abhi Kalia was dangerous as a small forward, as was Krishnal Prasad who provided the missing half forward link that the BFC has been looking for. "It's so good to get a win, My first win with the team, It feels so good," Abhi said.

The BFC picked up where they left off in the second quarter and continued to pile on the goals, taking a 70 point lead into half time. Girish Rao and Mat Max dominated in key defensive posts, getting the ball to ground where attacking runners Karan Singh, Sana Singh and Navi Singh set up play from the back half. Midfielder Francisco Darius Fernandes joined in on the second quarter goal fest with two of his own and finished with three goals for the game.

AF Sri Lanka struggled to get back into the contest in the second half with the BFC continuing their dominance. Key forwards Yasser Hussain, Aashish Sharma and Chaitan Sarikonda worked together to keep each other in the game, sharing the goals around and worked even harder to get the ball to ground for their small forwards and midfielders.

Prasan Singh and Gurnaz Khatra presented well through the midfield and both had plenty of the ball however, it was Gurnaz' tackling and pressure which caught the eye of many at the ground. "He's a special player with a mountain of talent. We're lucky to have him at the club," Coach Sana Singh said.

The game was all but over in the last quarter however, that did not stop the BFC from inflicting more pain on the Sri Lankans. David 'Tin' Luong was in and under packs all day, feeding the ball to his outside runners and put in a solid performance for his team.

Late inclusion Manvir Singh Sarai took his chance with both hands, showing off his marking and foot skills. Young gun Navi Singh was awarded the Anzac Day medal as voted by the coaches for his all round performance across half back, which also included a goal when he dashed forward. "Navi's tackling pressure and run of the back half is a real weapon for us," Coach Sana Singh said.

A massive win for the club after a busy two month schedule. Players will take a few weeks off before returning to training in preparation for a special multicultural match to be played under lights at the Whitten Oval in Mid June. More details to come.

Final Scores:
Bharat Football Club 22.12.144 defeated AF Sri Lanka 5.4.34 Votes: 5 Navi Singh, 3 Chaitan Sarikonda 2 Vasish Vasan, 1 Gurnaz Khatra, 1 Girish Rao Goals: 5 Yasser Hussain, 4 Aashish Sharma, 4 Chaitan Sarikonda, 3 Francisco Darius Fernandes, 1 Abhi Kalia, Vasish Vasan, David 'Tin' Luong, Navi Singh, Gurnaz Khatra, Alex

The Bharat Football Club now turns their focus to community events and activation's as they look to recruit more talent of Indian origin. The club will also commence training for a match in June at the Whitten Oval. The club has been great putting some stellar efforts to recruit players from the Indian community spearheaded by the BFC President Sanjeet (Sana) Singh.

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