Blues & Roos bound for Bendigo


SCHOOL visits, an Auskick Clinic, and a coaches forum are just of the some things that will be happening when Carlton and North Melbourne are in Bendigo for their upcoming AFL community camps.

North Melbourne will mark another visit to the city on February 12-13, and the Blues will be here on February 13-14.

AFL Central Victoria’s Commercial, Media and Operations Manager Tom King said players will visit a lot of schools.

“Both clubs are covering the majority of schools within the Bendigo area spanning from Lockwood to Huntly and Marong to Axedale,” King said.

A busy run for the Roos will include visits to 17 schools, four junior clubs, and a hospital visit.

A Civic Welcome led by Mayor Andrea Metcalf will be held for North Melbourne FC at Ulumburra Theatre on February 12 at 11.30am.

Carlton’s rundown includes 19 schools, six junior clubs, and the Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative.

A welcome event for Carlton FC will be held in the LSU Gallery at La Trobe University Bendigo on February 13.

“Both clubs will be doing a Come and Play (Auskick Clinic) which will be followed by player signing and photograph opportunities for the general public,” said King.

North Melbourne’s session will be at Tom Flood Sports Centre in Barnard Street, and Carlton at La Trobe University in Edwards Road, Strathdale.

To participate in these clinics, an Aukick registration is required.

To sign up for Auskick go to

The Blues’ photo and signing session with about half of Carlton’s squad will be from 4.30pm on February 13 at the La Trobe University Bendigo oval.

A Coaches Forum with Carlton assistant coaches Tim Clarke and Aaron Hamill and football director Greg ‘Diesel’ Williams will be run on February 13 at La Trobe University Bendigo.

It’s a free session for coaches to be run in the McKay Lecture Theatre from 6pm to 7.30pm.

For Williams it’s a return to a city where he grew up and first played footy with Golden Square.

A dual Brownlow medallist, Williams made his then-VFL debut with Geelong in 1984 and later went on to play for Sydney Swans and Carlton.

A 250-game career for the brilliant centreman included Brownlow wins in 1986 and ’94, a premiership and Norm Smith medal with Carlton in 1995.

The ’95 triumph was the 16th in the Blues history.

Selected in the AFL Team of the Century, Williams was inducted to the Bendigo Sports Star of the Year Basil Ashman Hall of Fame in 2000-01.

He was a dual winner of the Michelsen Medal as fairest and best in the Bendigo FNL in 1982 and ’83.

Hamill played 200 AFL games across stints at Carlton and St Kilda between 1995 and 2006.

He played a key roles in the Blues attack on the way to the 1999 grand final which was won by North Melbourne.

Captain of St Kilda in 2003, Hamill had a 10-year coaching stint with the Saints which included time as forward-line, assistant coach to Scott Watters, Alan Richardson and Brett Ratten.

He returned to the Blues in 2022 as backline, assistant coach to Michael Voss.

After a 96-game career with Hawthorn from 2000 to 2008, Tim Clarke has racked up plenty of coaching experience.

He had coaching stints with Richmond under Damien Hardwick, crossed to Carlton, headed north to Gold Coast, and rejoined the Blues in ’21 as midfield, assistant coach.

No matter what level you are coaching you can register for the Blues’ Coaches Forum forum by Wednesday, February 7 here.