EJ Whitten Game: Kick it to Karl

bb-karl-stefanovicTonight, Karl Stefanovic tries his hand at AFL (you have been warned) in the annual AFL charity match, the EJ Whitten Game, screening on Nine.

This is screening in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth only.

A comedian, a renovator, TV stars and even a world champion boxer are among a star-studded lineup for the Ray White EJ Whitten Legends Game at Etihad Stadium on July 1.

The annual game in support of prostate cancer research will be screened by the Nine Network in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth at 8.30pm on Tuesday, July 1.

Football fans will be entertained as both teams are full of AFL heavy hitters, some heavier than others since hanging up their boots.

The Footy Show unveiled the two teams last night and Rex Hunt will coach the Victorian team, with Glenn Archer his captain. Shane Crawford will captain and coach the All Stars.

Karl Stefanovic is making not just his Legends Game debut, but his senior football debut too, playing for the All Stars. After growing up in Queensland the Today show co-host is something of a footballing novice, playing only a handful of AFL games as a junior. But coach Crawford is confident the Gold Logie winner is made of the right stuff and his mental toughness will get him over the line.

Comedian Dave Hughes will try not to make the fans laugh when he plays his first game for the Victorian team, while The Block Fans v Faves champ Steve O’Donnell will be hoping his winning form continues when he pulls on the Big V.

One man opposition players won’t be messing with is newly crowned IBF Middleweight champion Sam Soliman, who is debuting for Victoria.

Matthew Lloyd, Brendan Fevola, Michael O’Loughlin, Dermott Brereton and recently retired “rookies” Jeff Farmer, Justin Koschitzke, Andrew Embley and Daniel Kerr are just some of the former AFL stars suiting up for a great cause. Nine News sports presenter Corey Norris is also a first-gamer. A handy forward, Norris once kicked 10 goals in a game in Adelaide’s Southern Football League, but suffers terribly from white line fever.

Chance Bateman, Jamie Charman, Sam Lonergan, Brad Miller and Michael Osborne are all debutants for the All Stars, joining Legends Game veterans Troy Luff, Mal Michael, Nick Daffy and Peter Burgoyne.

Scott West, Ben Graham, David Rodan, Ben Dixon, Jason McCartney and Brent Guerra are just a few of the big names playing for Victoria.

Crawf has recruited gun forward Abbey Holmes to his All Star forward line. Holmes made AFL history this year by becoming the first woman to kick 100 goals in a season.

Played in memory of AFL’s “Mr Football” Teddy Whitten, who lost his life to prostate cancer, the Ray White EJ Whitten Legends Game raises money for prostate cancer research and brings men’s health issues to the fore.

Each year in Australia 20,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and close to 3,300 will die from the disease every year, which equals the number of women who die from breast cancer annually.

Since Mr Football’s death in 1995, the EJ Whitten Foundation has worked to increase national awareness and promote early detection of prostate cancer, as well as contributing to a range of research programs throughout Australia.

The Ray White EJ Whitten Legends Game is a consistent ratings hit for Nine. The average audience for each of the past five years has been a whopping 426,000 viewers per match. The game also features in Melbourne’s list of the Top 100 shows of the year, each and every year. The 2012 telecast was the eighth most watched AFL match of the year in Melbourne, across all channels.

8:30pm on Nine in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

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