Thursday, October 03, 2013

The 2013 AFL Grand Final Premiership Win

A day to remember forever on Saturday, as Hawthorn became the 2013 AFL Premiers. What a day!

Our day started just as it did the year before, and also in the winning 2008 year, with a breakfast gathering at The Mess Hall in the city. Jenny and I joined Mum, Melissa, Jessica and Heath, and Jordon, before Flash and Cass, Gluv, and Axe filled the table. Those of us with standing room ate fairly quickly, before making the dash across Fitzroy Gardens to the gates of the MCG.

Joining the forming queue, we had learnt from the last couple of times, and had a strategy. The moment they let us in, at 11am, we made a run for our allocated section, and were rewarded with the front row of our standing bay.

The sprint happened on the ground, and then Birds Of Tokyo played as the pre-match band (not that we could really hear them in our bay under the stand), and then Mike Brady let a stadium-sing-a-long for his iconic footy songs of Up There Cazaly and One Day In September.

After both teams come out onto the ground for their final warm up, the Great Southern Stand displayed the names of both teams, Hawthorn and Fremantle, which was pretty impressive!

All too quickly, the teams both ran out properly through their banners, and the roar and colour of each team become apparent. A sea of yellow and purple!

The nerves and excitement heightened as the teams lined up for the National Anthem, and that all mighty roar of the crowd at the end of it - and then it was game on!

I feel like the first half went by in a blur - a complete arm wrestle, very low scoring, and the Hawks managed to stay on top, and maintain serious pressure. We were up by 4 goals at the big break. Hunters + Collectors played at halftime, and whilst we again couldn't really hear them well, there was a huge crowd sing for Holy Grail. Such an unofficial footy anthem!

The third quarter was what all the nerves were for, as the Dockers piled on goals, and behinds, to come within 3 points of the Hawks at one stage. Fierce stuff! Heroic four goals from Gunston for the match and a brilliant defensive game from the eventual Norm Smith medalist Lake, and the Hawks sealed the win and the premiership at the final siren by 15 points.

Midway through the last quarter the attendance figure was flashed onto the screens, at 100,007 people. Wow! There was a collective noise of awe at that. The bay sitting in front of our section were Freo fans who had travelled across from Perth and had told us that this was their first time at the 'G were stunned.

The song was sung, over and over. The four of us together hugged, and soaked it in, before working our way to the boundary fence. We watched as the medal presentation happened, cheering each and every player. And then the cup was raised, in victory!

A great spot for the players' victory lap, we high-5ed and hugged and cheered with them as they came past and shared it with the fans that were there. They were very happy, and excited boys!

After the lap, and the players singing the song together in the rooms broadcast across the stadium, all the Hawks we knew gathered at a spot to enjoy the Premiership Party, with Birds Of Tokyo and then Hunters + Collectors playing. But really, we were waiting the presentation of the Premiership team again.

Once all this was done, many of us wandered up to Richmond for drinks and the replay at the London Tavern. Later on in the evening, you may have seen us dancing up a storm in a little bar on Church Street. Good times.

Made even more special this time with the three of us sisters together for it, after Jessie being on the other side of the world for 2008. It was also one I could fully celebrate too, given the sober experience of 2008! All is right in the world again!

We're a very happy team at Hawthorn!

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