Victory superfan, Jayden Newman, will not only fulfil a childhood dream but create history on Friday night when he becomes Australia’s first ever virtual mascot.
Seven-year-old Jayden has cerebral palsy, is non-verbal and uses a motorised wheelchair and despite his love for the club which makes it hard for him to attend games.
But thanks to the help of the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), Jayden will get to tick an item off his bucket list and walk out with the team against the Wanderers tomorrow night.
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Thanks to the specially designed virtual mascot, a portable two-way camera on wheels, Jayden will be able walk side by side with the players onto Marvel Stadium, all from the comfort of his own home.
Marco Rojas and Jake Brimmer recently met Jayden and his family in anticipation of Friday night’s fixture.
“Jayden will have an amazing experience behind the scenes,” said Rojas.
“He will experience the warm-up, the guard of honour and the amazing atmosphere that the Melbourne Victory crowd produces.
“It’s a rite of passage for a football fan to experience a live game and to be there for his first one makes me feel very blessed to be a part of it.”
Jayden’s mum, Brooke Newman, has shared how the incredible piece of technology will provide her son with the ultimate matchday experience.
“Jayden is very excited about becoming Victory’s first ever virtual mascot,” said Brooke.
“Being in a wheelchair makes it hard to leave home and watch games, so this gives him the opportunity to be up close and personal with the players which is fantastic.
“To be able to do it all from home makes it so much easier for us to achieve.”
Brimmer said it was wonderful to be able to put a smile on Jayden’s face.
“We are so excited to be able to provide this experience to Jayden and his family.
“At Friday’s match he will be able to drive the mascot around the change rooms, say hi to the team, watch the warm-up on the ground and be involved in the guard of honour.
“It is a privilege to watch Jayden’s excitement and to know that ourselves and TAC have put a smile on his face.”