ONE GOAL IN

Cats army hits the road as Tigers pre­pare to take over the town ... again

Herald Sun - - FINALS FEVER - AARON LANGMAID aaron.langmaid@news.com.au

THOU­SANDS of footy fans are gear­ing up for this week­end’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nals — with Cats sup­port­ers pre­par­ing for a cross-bor­der con­fronta­tion with the Crows, and Mel­bourne ex­pected to be awash with yel­low and black.

The Tiger army will pack the MCG on Satur­day in what could turn out to be a sell­out against the Greater West­ern Syd­ney Giants.

The rush for tick­ets be­gins this morn­ing when seats for com­pet­ing club mem­bers go on sale from 9am. Sales to the gen­eral public for both matches start at 2pm.

MCC mem­bers can claim their seats from noon, and AFL mem­bers from 9am to­mor­row.

The Mosley fam­ily will be among Rich­mond fans ready to bask in the at­mos­phere.

Bri­tish-born Krysia Mosley is the mother of seven ded­i­cated Rich­mond sup­port­ers aged 3-14 and wife of long-suf­fer­ing Tigers fan Lach­lan.

“My hus­band is a mad Rich­mond fan so I was pushed into it pretty quickly,” she said.

“It’s in the blood re­ally, all the kids are mem­bers. As soon as they’re old enough to do Aus­kick, we send them along.

“We’ve painted our front gate yel­low and black, and my hus­band prom­ises he’ll paint the roof if we get into the Grand Fi­nal ... it’s so ex­cit­ing.

“My hus­band was five when Rich­mond last won a Grand Fi­nal. It’s a long time wait­ing for him.”

Hun­dreds of fans are ex­pected to show up from 10am on Fri­day when the gates open for the Tigers’ 10.30am train­ing ses­sion at Punt Rd.

A bus con­voy has been or­gan­ised by Gee­long Foot­ball Club to get fans who missed out on flights to Fri­day night’s game in Ade­laide.

Gee­long cheer squad pres­i­dent John Van Lith said fans would do any­thing to get to the game.

“We saw what hap­pened on Fri­day night and we know the team has what it takes to get to the Grand Fi­nal,” he said.

Rich­mond hote­liers are brac­ing for a big week­end as footy crowds swamp the sub­urb.

Lon­don Tav­ern Ho­tel duty man­ager Ta­mara Broad­smith said ex­tra staff would be called in to han­dle de­mand.

MCG spokesman Shane Brown said it was too early to tell if Satur­day’s Rich­mondGWS clash would be sold out.

“We will have a bet­ter idea from what hap­pens in terms of ticket sales on Mon­day,’’ Mr

Brown said. Across the bor­der, con­cerns were mount­ing over the in­crease in ticket prices at Ade­laide Oval.

Prices have dou­bled since the qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal two weeks ago when Ade­laide de­feated GWS.

Ade­laide Crows sup­porter club pres­i­dent Kevin McCall said some fans were be­ing “priced out” of fol­low­ing their club.

“It’s a sad part of modern sport that the av­er­age sup­porter will be charged through the nose,” Mr McCall said.

A beefed-up po­lice pres­ence is planned for the MCG this Satur­day.

Vic­to­ria Po­lice Act­ing Com­man­der David Clay­ton said fans would no­tice po­lice at the ground, public trans­port hubs and across the CBD.

“Any­one at­tend­ing a fi­nals game is ad­vised to ar­rive early as the stan­dard bag checks and wand­ing will be in place and park­ing lim­ited,” Cdr David said.

Pic­ture MARK WIL­SON

A group of diehard Gee­long fans who are mak­ing the trip to Ade­laide this week.

The All Na­tions Ho­tel’s fa­cade has been painted yel­low and black. Pic­ture: TIM CARRAFA

Pic­ture: ALEX COPPEL

The Mosley fam­ily of Bronte, Os­car, Leo, Kitty, Erik, Al­fie and Jas­mine have painted their al­le­giance on the fence.

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