Saturday’s round 20 clash between Tigers FC and Clarence will take on extra significance, with the two sides competing for the inaugural Gadomski-Riewoldt Trophy.
The Tigers will be hosting a sold-out pre-match luncheon at the Twin Ovals featuring Garry Baker to raise funds for the Alex Gadomski Fellowship – a Tasmanian research fellowship that is finding a cure for Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes in conjunction with Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision.
The Fellowship is in the name of Alex Gadomski, the late son of Tigers FC President Paul Gadomski and brother of Tigers FC players Lachlan and Jordan.
Alex passed away at 21 years of age after a five-year battle with aplastic anaemia, followed by myelodysplasia (MDS) – both as a result of bone marrow failure. It was Alex’s dream to complete his UTAS medical degree and research hard to find a cure for the disease that ultimately cut his life short.
This is the first time the teams will compete for the Gadomski-Riewoldt Trophy, with one player from each team to also be recognised with the ‘Alex Gadomski Medal of Courage’. Both teams will also wear special-edition socks for the match.
Tigers coach Trent Baumeler says this is a special day for the club.
“It would absolutely mean a lot for us to win.
“We had Paul (Gadomski) come in on Monday night to talk to the boys about Alex’s story and it was very emotional, to be honest,” he said.
“It’s really important that we come out, play the right way and pay respect to the game and the trophy as well. It’s great Lachie will be able to play in the game and Jordan in the Dev League as well.”
Both Baumeler and Clarence coach Jeromey Webberley are hopeful the game can become a marquee event on the Bupa TSL Fixture into the future.
“Clarence have supported it greatly. Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision is a cause close to their heart, so it’s been great that the two clubs have been able to get together to make this happen,” Baumeler said.
“It will become that annual game and it will become special as the years go on as the two clubs hopefully raise some awareness but also pay tribute to special people who are involved with each club,” he added.
“It’s about creating awareness,” Webberley said.
“We have the Stay ChatTY connection with Lauderdale and it’s great to have another one. This can be a real highlight of our roster every year. This is a really positive spin-off of what footy clubs can do. Clubs can do these days and raise some awareness around the club but around the community as well.”
Baumeler insists he has been tactical in approaching the week for such a fixture, with the focus on game day remaining solely on the task at hand for the 22 players taking to the field.
“Our main focus is playing this weekend. Being put under the pressure of playing in a big game will only hold us in good stead come finals time.
“It will be a tough day for some but we are there together and will get each other through and hopefully deliver a good performance.”
Baumeler is cautious of the ‘Roos in the dying stages of the season.
“I think you can read too much into their win-loss ratio.
“Their last month has seen them get some continuity in their football. Ethan Jackson has been really good, Ryan Bailey looks to be getting to his best. I think they’re a pretty tough proposition and have nothing to lose across their last two weeks.
“They lost to Launceston last week but they beat Lauderdale the week before.”