The match took place at Lakeside Stadium in Albert Park, Melbourne, for the Blue Ribbon Foundation Tony Clarke Memorial Shield.
The memorial shield is contested annually in memory of Tony Clarke, who was a Senior Constable with Victoria Police, murdered while undertaking routine traffic duties in 2005. Tony was a “football enthusiast” and loving family man, according to President of the Victoria Police Soccer Club, Acting Superintendent Darren Cooper.
For almost 70 years, the Copperoos have promoted soccer and sportsmanship, and in doing so they have championed the values of equity, diversity and fairness for members of Victoria Police and the community it serves.
This day was no different. Police officers both currently serving and retired came out to follow the game, alongside local community members and the family of Tony Clarke. It was a show of support for the essential and demanding work done by Victoria Police, and a reminder that strength comes from unity in the community.
Soccer has always had the capacity to bring people together, and is passionately followed in Italy and the UK, where it is essentially the national sport. While the national stadium is one place where Italians feel particularly united, it is also valuable to see the sport bring people together in a local Victorian setting.
Italo-Australian Daniele "Danny" Tiatto played primarily for soccer clubs in Melbourne and went on to sign a contract with English clubs Manchester City and Leicester City in the middle of his 23-year career, before returning to Australian soil. Tying on his boots for an important cause, Tiatto was joined by former Socceroos stars Ned Zelic and Josip Skoko.
Yet for all the star power, the Copperoos came out on top! The teams engaged in a healthy competition, with the tie at 1-1 being broken in the end for a 3-1 victory in favour of the Copperoos.