Draft hopes safe after fire scare

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 23 Januari 2013 | 14.43

Gippsland Power player Josh Cashman shows how close the bushfire came to players hiking on Mt Feathertop. Picture: Gippsland Power Source: Supplied

THIRTY of Victoria's brightest football hopes are home safe and sound after blazing bushfires ruined their Mt Hotham pre-season training camp.

Gippsland Power was forced to evacuate at about 7.30pm last night, with emergency helicopters called in to rescue the club from its hike to the peak of Mt Feathertop.

They arrived home safely at about 2am.

"The boys' welfare is most important and you've got the responsibility to look after them and make sure they're safe," Power talent manager Pete Francis said today.

"We're disappointed obviously, we loved the camp last year, we had a week up there and we felt it was really important heading into our season.

See the amazing pictures as Gippsland fled the bushfire

"But from the fire and getting helicoptered out I think they've bonded pretty well anyway. They were hugging each other and high-fiving and everything is OK, which is great."

The TAC Cup outfit headed up on Monday and planned to stay until Sunday night before winds changed in Victoria's north-east, pushing the blaze up the steep mountain ridges.

"We noticed smoke coming from Harrietville and the plume got bigger and bigger,'' Francis said.

"Then it started to spot and we knew things were fairly urgent.''

Francis said fire authorities were contacted and immediately sent a helicopter out to evacuate the group, but that heavy winds played havoc when the chopper was trying to land.

"We had to go into the face of the fire so that they could land a bigger chopper that could carry 15 of us at a time,'' he said.

"It took three trips to get us all out, and in the last group the fire was spotting near the helicopter and we felt a bit of danger then.

"We all stayed calm, the boys were excellent and did what they were told.''

Gippsland Power footballers are evacuated from Mt Feathertop. Picture: Gippsland Power Source: Supplied

The Power, which leads the way in several initiatives from junior clubs across Australia, left most of their phones and wallets at the base before the hike and are desperately hoping they can be retrieved.

"We didn't feel threatened at any time because the emergency services were so good, but the fire was within a couple of hundred metres of us – the staff, because we were the last to get on – and it was right there," Francis said.

The club was set for a 12-hour 33km hike to Harrietville and back today, which is at the heart of the bushfires.

Before the evacuation Gippsland enjoyed a skills session, intense boxing workout which was organised by coach Nick Stevens and his brother as well as the hike to Mt Feathertop.

"We'd go back to Hotham in a heartbeat. We love the place and walking around it and when you get up it's absolutely magnificent, so we think it was just bad luck," Francis said.

The club will not plan another camp before Round 1 and Francis said the early end would not hurt financially.

Sale teenager Josh Cashman has impressed throughout the pre-season, as has Leongatha product Aaron Heppell, the brother of Essendon's Dyson.

"They couldn't break him (Cashman) yesterday in the boxing," Francis said.

"Aaron is really fit, he's had a great pre-season.

"Last year was pretty spasmodic and he couldn't do a lot of the work with injury but he's done all the work this year, he's in peak condition and like Dyson he's very professional."

Anda sedang membaca artikel tentang

Draft hopes safe after fire scare

Dengan url


Anda boleh menyebar luaskannya atau mengcopy paste-nya

Draft hopes safe after fire scare

namun jangan lupa untuk meletakkan link

Draft hopes safe after fire scare

sebagai sumbernya

0 komentar:

Posting Komentar

techieblogger.com Techie Blogger Techie Blogger