A Knight To Remember excites guests in support of our youngest players

Engulfed in ivy like a medieval castle, AHD Melbourne was transported back to medieval Europe as the Knights hosted A Knight to Remember!

Last Saturday evening, the Melbourne Knights Football Club hosted its inaugural Fundraiser Gala, A Knight To Remember, at the iconic AHD Melbourne, bringing together members of the Croatian community, local businesses, and Club enthusiasts for a night of celebration and support. At the heart of this special event was a cause that will see a positive shift for the Club and its youngest players. Beginning in November 2023, the Club’s Somers Street home has been undergoing a transformation that will ultimately allow the Club to host all its junior boys and girls and women’s competitions at home.

Currently, training and playing out of Dobson Reserve in Maidstone, the Knights MiniKnights, MiniRoos, Junior Community Teams and JBNPL teams train and play many of their games away from home due to a lack of available surfaces at Somers Street. In 2024, under President Simon Pincic, the Club has focused on improving its junior boys, girls and women’s footballing experience, seeing it heavily invest in redeveloping Pitches 2 and 3 to include new irrigation and elite playing surface thanks to the partnership with Symon Bros. Constructions, Danny Batinovic and Darko Surcik. An additional fourth (half) pitch (Pitch 4) will be constructed adjacent to Pitch 3 to accommodate our most junior players.

Once complete, this will see Somers Street transformed, with five pitches in total, four grass pitches and one synthetic pitch. To facilitate this special redevelopment project, the Knights were able to acquire the services of Sanja Franjic and Jasna Pavlovic to organise this special fundraising event. Well known for their fun, memorable and extravagant balls, including their Pink Wonderland Ball and Mystical Masquerade Ball, A Knight To Remember was sure to excite all those in attendance.

With guests arriving early in anticipation, they were greeted on the red carpet and ushered upstairs by the court jester in residence, where the doors to the ballroom were kept under guard by two Knights. To guests’ delight, the doors opened to much fanfare as smoke filled the room and the band played music to match. The ballroom was elegantly decorated with ivy, iron candelabras, and firelight by candles thanks to the efforts of Yelka Jurinovic from Elegant Occasions.

Hosted by Tony Dorotic, the evening’s entertainment included live performances by Grupa More and a special battle duel by the Knights in armour. The evening was also graced by the full Melbourne Knights FC first-team squad who also generously contributed to the night’s fundraising efforts. Also in attendance to support the event was Dandenong City Hajduk Football Club, St Albans Saints Dinamo Football Club, and FC Strathmore Split.

A highlight of the evening was the raffle and auctions, featuring an array of exciting items such as a framed 1976 Umbro Australia jersey, and Melbourne Knights FC 70th Anniversary jersey. Local businesses and community members generously donated many of the raffle items, demonstrating their support for the Club’s mission to provide accessible football programs to children of all ages and skill levels. The event concluded with a rousing live auction, with Dorotic encouraging spirited bidding on items such as a HNS jersey signed by Zlatko Dalic, Luka Modric and Josko Gvardiol, and a special edition of the forthcoming Melbourne Knights history book, signed by author and former Knights President, Pave Jusup.

A Knight To Remember Fundraiser Gala was a celebration of community, dedication, and the beautiful game of football, and as a result of the fantastic turnout and generosity of guests, the Club is now halfway to achieving its fundraising target to support the project. The night would not have been possible without the contributions of Sanja Franjic, Jasna Pavlovic and the generosity of Symon Bros. Construction, Melbourne Croatia Soccer Club, I&D Group, AHD Melbourne, F.A Hrvatska Zora, Cimera Butchers, D.Excavations Pty Ltd, Totally Workwear, Croatian Golf Club, Hrvatski Nogometni Savez, Elegant Occasions, Krupic Motors, Stilcon, Sidelink Transport, Cost Less Curtains, Filigree Jewellers, St Andrews Hotel, Billich Gallery, Oz Cro Imports, People2People Computer Services, DLKN Hairdressing, Barkly Glass, Verve Photography Studio, Beauty by Joulexa, Keilor Mower Service, Simon Pincic, Pave Jusup, Davor Gelemanovic, Ana Kuvacic, Sladjana Kezic, Linda Samardzic, Jelica Dalic, and Stephanie and Ivan Franjic.

As guests departed, there was a palpable sense of unity and optimism for the future of the Club. Speaking on next year’s event, Gala organisers Sanja Franjic and Jasna Pavlovic enticed guests to expect next year’s function to be even grander on scale.

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