THERE was an air of optimism as hundreds of Crows followers marched to the MCG this morning, hoping to witness their membership finish a 19-year premiership drought with victory in as we speak’s AFL Grand Final in opposition to Richmond.
Proudly carrying pink, blue and gold, Adelaide supporters from far and huge flocked to the hallowed floor hours earlier than the much-anticipated decider, trying to absorb the environment of soccer’s largest day.
They might need been outnumbered by their Tigers counterparts however the Crows devoted have been already in full voice, assured their boys may safe the membership’s third AFL premiership following triumphs in 1997 and 1998.
The Adelaide cheer squad was in place early, establishing their banners and flags greater than 4 hours earlier than the primary bounce. Among them have been brother and sister Riley, 15, and Ashlyn Graham, 12, who have been decked out head-to-toe in Crows colors.
“I’m pretty pumped and very excited, I’ve never been to a grand final. On the way here everyone was singing and yelling on the tram, there’s a great vibe around the place,” mentioned Riley, from Seymour, Victoria. His father is initially from Adelaide.
“We’re a lot louder than Tiger fans, I think 10 Crows would beat 100 Richmond fans. I think we’re going to smash them, we’ll just win, it won’t be a challenge. We’ll win by 37 points and Sam Jacobs or Matt Crouch will win the Norm Smith medal.”
Patrick Mackay, 29, travelled additional than most to be at the grand last. Originally from Adelaide, he’s based mostly in London however flew dwelling final week to observe the preliminary last then stayed on for the Crows’ first decider in nearly twenty years.
“This is a boyhood dream come true, I can’t believe this is actually happening,” mentioned Mr Mackay, who’s flying again to London tomorrow.
With tickets at a premium, many followers have been left exterior the bottom, hoping to discover a manner contained in the venue.
Ben Painter, 37, from Happy Valley, missed out within the Crows members’ poll however determined to drive over and check out his luck, holding an indication exterior the bottom: “Looking for an AFL Grand Final ticket — have two kidneys, willing to sell one”.
“I’m still looking, I haven’t given up yet, and I won’t until the final siren,” he mentioned.
“It’s just great to be here and to soak up the atmosphere, there’s plenty of banter between the fans and hopefully I can find a way in to watch the boys.”
Crows AFLW premiership star Sarah ‘Tex’ Perkins was additionally at the bottom to lend her assist, first participating in Fox Footy’s Longest Kick competitors close by on the banks of the Yarra River.
“I’m having a bit of fun this morning then hopping across to the ‘G’ and cheering on the boys. I’m looking forward to it,” she mentioned.
“I think it’s absolutely amazing to see so many Crows fans out and about in Victoria. The club’s got amazing support and I can’t thank them enough for the support they’ve given me and girls throughout the year, so hopefully the boys can get it done today.”
Perkins mentioned she anticipated the Crows so as to add extra silverware to the membership’s trophy cupboard later as we speak.
“I’m a little bit confident, a little bit nervous too … but I think the Crows by about 10 points,” she mentioned.
“It’d be an amazing achievement to do it (the double) in the first year, to be the first club ever to achieve the double in the AFL competition. We’re three from three in AFL grand finals so no pressure on the boys but hopefully they add another one. I’d just keep it simple, stick to the game plan that they’ve played all year and that’s got them here and I know they’ll do fine.”
The lengthy kick competitors was gained by retired Carlton champion Brendan Fevola, who confirmed he nonetheless has it by booting the footy a large 66.1m throughout the Yarra. Fevola mentioned he was supporting Richmond in as we speak’s match however wouldn’t be sad to see the Crows triumph for former Blues teammates Sam Jacobs and Eddie Betts.
“Grand final day is like Christmas, it’s brilliant and we’ve got two great sides in there. I’m tipping the Tigers only because my mum is a Richmond supporter so I better go for them,” he mentioned.
“But I’ve got great mates in Sauce and Bettsy at the Crows so I just hope it’s a great game. I’ve been in touch with both of them and Eddie was pretty stoked to be here.”