Yesterday I went to a season ending AFL match . It was at the traditional saturday afternoon time . The sun was shining , a green grass smell pervaded our nostrils , and we were surrounded by faithful fans. Growing up in a country town you barracked for the country VFL team . A move to the city saw support for the VFL team of your new home suburb . My friend , who grew up in the shadow of our mutual team’s Â Footy Oval , said ” you all barracked for them , there was just no one else “. She has been a Â lifetime supporter of our Â club , I have followed them for a mere 40 years . During this time Â we have seen our team survive a troubled past , and achieve a spectacular lack of on field success . Not for us the dazzling highs and lows of Finals and Grand Finals . Our time came and went a few years back , as ultimate success was cruelly snatched from our grasp , by a long time foe .
A lot of enjoyment has been wrung from those years . My four children , and her two have been initiated , and like us , will be lifetime supporters . Footy has been fun , its bonded us , ignited passions and provided endless fodder for conversation . Sure the new AFL is slick , swanky , scandal ridden , and irritating .Yesterday our team waved goodbye to three players , whilst ending the season with a win .
Champagne was shared , reminiscences laughed over , and camaraderie spilled out amongst the faithful crowd. No spectre of drug scandal , racial vilification , players trading allegiances , or abuse was raised . It was a fun day out at the footy . The sweet seal on the deal came when the 16 year old pointed out , on our departure from the ground , mine , her dads , and her name , on the club loyalty poster near the front gate . We exited the ground wearing our footy jumpers , jerseys , guernseys , to the resounding chorus of our club song ringing in our ears . The phrase ” there’s always next year ” escaping our lips .