Magpies, Tigers lock in first AFL Charity Shield clash

Vi Truong |

Collingwood and Richmond will contest a Charity Shield to get their AFL pre-seasons going.
Collingwood and Richmond will contest a Charity Shield to get their AFL pre-seasons going.

In an AFL-first, two of the league’s biggest clubs are set to face off for the inaugural Charity Shield, with hopes the game becomes an annual pre-season fixture.

Collingwood and Richmond announced the match at Foodbank Victoria on Tuesday, with fundraising efforts from the game supporting the community relief service.

The Charity Shield will launch the AFL’s community series, kicking off at Ikon Park on February 27.

Richmond first approached the current premiers about the concept, with Tigers’ chief executive Brendon Gale spearheading the initiative.

“We felt it was the right match – we’re the closest neighbours in this fierce national competition,” Gale said.

“To shine light on disadvantage and raise money for such a worthy recipient such as Foodbank, and providing 50,000 meals a day was an idea worth exploring and developing.”

Joined by Richmond’s Tom Lynch and Tim Taranto alongside Collingwood players Jack Crisp and Brody Mihocek, Magpies’ chief executive Craig Kelly acknowledged the impact of both clubs joining forces to help Victorians most in need.

“The match encourages the Magpie Army and Richmond’s fans to come together for something bigger than football,” he said.

Collingwood fans.
Collingwood’s huge following were on hand the day after their AFL grand final win over Brisbane. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)

Kelly also emphasised both clubs’ intentions of making the Charity Shield an annual match.

“We think it’ll be well supported and there will be some things we can improve and do differently, but we’re really excited with where it’s at,” he said.

Foodbank Victoria chief executive Dave McNamara welcomed the announcement, outlining the importance of their work in the community.

“We are a community organisation just like football,” he said.

“There are far too many people out there we know that aren’t putting up their hand for help.

“For Foodbank to be a part of this match, we reflect our community, footy clubs reflect their communities, and it will hopefully raise awareness.”

Fundraising efforts will be supported by ticketed entry, priced at $10 for Richmond and Collingwood members, $20 for non-members, and free entry for kids.