When Andy Dodds made the step up to senior football this season for the Tumut Eagles, he certainly didn’t think he would be gifted the opportunity to play alongside old brother, Charlie Dodds.
Yet, after Covid-19 forced many university students back home to study online, Charlie found himself in Tumut, and once again playing for the Eagles.
“I’m back at the Eagles because I am studying online this coming semester and I missed playing club soccer,” Charlie said.
“I enjoy being back with my mates that I played juniors with, senior players I’ve played with over the last few years, and the younger players new to the teams.”
The 20-year-old was especially pleased to be sharing the experience of playing football alongside younger sibling, Andy, who was only playing under 15/16s in 2019.
The pair even made their combined senior debut in round one when taking on Lake Albert Sharks at The Bull Paddock.
“It’s awesome being on the field with someone I can communicate with so effectively,” Charlie said.
“We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, which makes it easy to play off each other.”
Charlie who has been mixing it between second and third grade, said the clubs roster this season was unbelievable.
“The club this season has an incredibly talented roster, with competitive teams across the three grades,” Charlie said.
Andy, who was still getting used to the rigors of senior football, was enjoying the challenge of training with, and playing against men.
“It’s certainly a big step up in intensity. Really everything is different. We play for longer and there are more subs,” Andy said.
“Even at training, we are working for longer and doing more complicated drills but that is what you need to expect but I’m enjoying the challenge.”
The 17-year-old admitted it was nice to have his big brother on the field, and explained that the Eagles were somewhat an extended family to those that play with the club.
“It’s always good to have him there and that comforting feeling that someone has got your back,” Andy said.
“It feels like everyone in the team is part of your family but it’s certainly good to have him back and hopefully we can get some sibling connection on the field.”
Andy, who made a name for himself as goalkeeper during juniors, has been playing more in the outfield this season and wants to slowly progress from third grade to first grade.
“I have a solid spot in third grade and I have been playing some second grade but I am aspiring for a position in that top side in the future,” Andy said.
The Dodds siblings will now focus their attention to Sunday, as they prepare for a big game against the strong Leeton United.