Anzac Day Feature

Qantas Joeys keeper Aaron Lennox was the pride and envy of his family back in Australia today,

Qantas Joeys keeper Aaron Lennox was the pride and envy of his family back in Australia today, becoming the first of the Lennox clan to visit Gallipoli on Anzac Day.

He and the entire Qantas Joeys squad attended the Australian Service at Lone Pine Cemetery today - in between their two-match series with Turkey - to commemorate the soldiers who lost their lives 94 years ago during the Gallipoli campaign.

Anzac Day is special for the Lennox family. His late grandfather served the country during World War II in Balikpapan, Borneo - exactly 30 years after the WWI Battle of Gallipoli.

Lennox said he was absolutely honoured to be in Turkey for Anzac Day along with almost 8000 other Australians who made the trek.

“Anzac Day is very significant for me, I-ve been going to the Dawn Service since I was six or seven with the family,-- Lennox said after the service.

“None of my family have had the opportunity to come here so everyone-s very excited for me and I was and still am very excited myself because it was a very special moment.

“They sent a few texts, my dad went to the Dawn Service again back in Sydney and the family wishes they were here as well.

“It-s been a tradition since I was very young so I want to keep it going. It would have been nice to go to the Dawn Service but obviously because of our football commitments we couldn-t go - it was still a good experience.

“When we were told we were coming up against Turkey for Anzac Day in Turkey, it was very exciting and I couldn-t believe it.

“Hopefully it will turn into a big event in the coming years. The crowd was good on Friday, I heard a few Aussie chants and Turkey was a very good team.--

The camera of midfielder Christopher Bush got a solid workout, with the midfielder also proud to be in Gallipoli for the event, which has been close to his heart since he was a toddler.

“It is great being here and it was pretty moving seeing where all the Anzacs fought and reflecting on the spirit that they showed,-- said Bush, who hails from Goulburn in NSW.

“It-s been a tradition in my family to go to the Anzac Day service in my home town since I was six.

“It was fantastic seeing all the Aussies here in Gallipoli, showing their support and the football trip has been a great opportunity for us to see this.

“You learn a lot at school, but to go to the War Museum in Canberra and then to come here and learn first hand what went on has been something else.--

FFA chief executive Ben Buckley was among the dignitaries at the Dawn Service on Anzac Cove, along with almost the entire Joeys coaching staff.

Buckley said the experience of playing the two matches either side of Anzac Day and attending the Lone Pine service was invaluable for the Joeys, who were among the youngest at the service (all the players were born in 1992 or -93).

“This has been a wonderful opportunity for the young players to not only get international football experience but come to Turkey and understand the significance of Gallipoli and the shared history that Australia and Turkey has,-- Buckley said.

“We-re delighted that we could work this program out with the Turkish Football Federation and hopefully their young players will come to Australia next year and learn something about Australia.--

The Joeys are aiming to atone for their 1-0 defeat when they again do battle with Turkey under-17s tomorrow (26 April) in Canakkale, in the second of a two-match series.

Match Details - Turkey u-17 v Qantas Joeys * Game 2: Sunday 26 April, 2009 Canakkale Stadium, Canakkale 2pm local (9pm AEST)

Qantas Joeys squad: Christopher Bush (ACT/AIS), Stephen Domenici (ACT/AIS), Jason Geria (ACT/AIS), Alexander Meibusch (ACT/AIS), Mustafa Amini (NSW/AIS), Kerem Bulut (NSW/AIS), Kevin Davison (NSW/AIS), Patrick Dixon (NSW/AIS), Samuel Gallaway (NSW/AIS), Robert Kolak (NSW/AIS), Aaron Lennox (NSW/AIS), Jared Lum (NSW/AIS), John Martinoski (NSW/AIS), Aaron Peterson (NSW/AIS), Daniel Petkovski (NSW/AIS), Nikola Stanojevic (NSW/AIS), Lawrence Thomas (NSW/AIS), Curtis Good (VIC/AIS), Ersin Kaya (VIC/AIS), Damir Lokvancic (VIC/AIS), Eli Babalj (WA/AIS), Scott Mellish (WA/AIS), Trent Sainsbury (WA/AIS)