ANZAC Cup Player Spotlight – Jake McIntosh

ANZAC Cup Player Spotlight – Jake McIntosh

On ANZAC Day 2018, the 10th annual ANZAC Cup between the men’s and women’s Australian Spirit sides and their French national team counterparts will be played to mark the 100th anniversary of the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux. AFL Europe will be putting the spotlight on some of the players who will represent Australia each week in the lead-up to the game, highlighting their remarkable connections to the ANZAC’s and previewing an incredible event.

Riley Brettell – AFL Europe

At age 31, Jake McIntosh is already something of a local football nomad, though you could never accuse him of trekking the path well-worn.

From his junior days at Mines Rovers in Kalgoorlie, Jake packed his bags for the big lights of Sydney in to ply his trade for the Sydney Redbacks, before becoming heavily involved with the Southern Power in both playing and administrative roles. After his stint on the famous Shire, the natural progression was a move to London, where he now steps out for the North London Lions.

Despite rivalling Burke and Wills for distance covered through his career so far, Jake is now preparing to embark on the football adventure of a lifetime to the small town of Villers-Bretonneux in the North of France, where he will represent the Australian Spirit Side on April 25th in the 10th Annual ANZAC Cup against Frances national Australian Football team.

The 2018 ANZAC Cup will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, with the match played as part of the local ‘Australia Week’ celebrations that honour the sacrifices made by the diggers who reclaimed the town from German forces on the night of April 24th, 1918.

Jake was always well placed to be one of the 34 Australian’s who would be chosen by AFL Europe to take part in the match, with the selections criteria emphasising the applicants personal connection to the armed forces over specific football credentials. In that regard, Jake was close to unrivaled.

 

 

His military bloodlines span three generations and stem back to World War One, where his great-great Grandfather Isaac Lefevere fought at Gallipoli, while his great-great-great Uncle John Carr was killed in action fighting for the very town Jake will spend ANZAC Day experiencing.

As if that wasn’t enough, Jake’s great uncles Len, Robert, Edward & Harry Smith all served in New Guinea during World War Two, before his Grandfather, Allen West, went on to serve in the Royal Australian Navy for close to a decade from 1953.

It is a family history that Jake will be proud to honour in Villers-Bretonneux this ANZAC Day, describing how his strong relationship with his grandfather is set to be a focal point of his experience.

“My grandfather was extremely emotional and we’ve spoken extensively about the opportunity in the last few weeks. He and my grandmother have been huge inspirations of mine and they’ve said they’d like nothing more than to come to the dawn service and the game and be part of the experience with me… which would be a dream come true to be able to share that experience with him,” Jake said.

“Representing your country playing sport is about as big as honour as I can imagine, and on ANZAC day at the location of such an important event in Australian history, I will be reflecting on those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”

Jakes passion for the day is clear for all to see, having been a regular participant in the ANZAC march, at Dawn Services and as a player previously, but he expects his Villers-Bretonneux experience will top all of that.

“Having been abroad for 3 years, my pride as an Australian has grown exponentially. Having already had the chance to visit Gallipoli, I understand the emotion felt when setting foot in an area so famous in our national history, so to be in Villers-Bretonneux on the 100th anniversary of the battle and representing my country would be something my family and I would treasure for the rest of our lives, and quite easily be the greatest and proudest moment of my life.”

Stay across afleurope.org and AFL Europe social media channels for more news and build-up to ANZAC Cup 2018.

ANZAC Cup 2018 presented by AFL Europe and major partner National Australia Bank

Special thanks to the organising committee in France, Association Bretonvilloise d’Animation for their ongoing support of the ANZAC Cup