Mem­o­rable time for play­ers and fans

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Sport - With Josh Kennedy

THE past few weeks have pro­vided me and my team­mates with some of the best mem­o­ries of our ca­reers.

That’s not just be­cause we have won our way into the AFL grand fi­nal and given our­selves the chance to live out our child­hood dreams. Ob­vi­ously we’re ex­cited to be in that po­si­tion and are look­ing for­ward to it, but the fi­nals cam­paign has been re­ally spe­cial.

I don’t know the rea­son, but the at­mos­phere at Su­bi­aco oval has been un­be­liev­able.

Again, last Satur­day night in the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal against North Mel­bourne, the crowd noise was deaf­en­ing.

Their sup­port was re­ally im­por­tant and no doubt that helped get us go­ing when we were a bit slow out of the blocks. To see the pure joy on fans’ faces post-match was re­ally some­thing spe­cial. Hav­ing said that, the feel­ing among the boys has also been some­thing spe­cial. There is a great bond in this play­ing group and that unity has been a key to what we have achieved so far this sea­son.

It’s not just the 22 or 24 blokes who have played in those two fi­nals ei­ther. The whole squad has been to­gether on this jour­ney.

If we man­age to get up against Hawthorn in the grand fi­nal, it will be be­cause ev­ery player on the list has played a part in some way.

While we want to treat this week as nor­mal as pos­si­ble, we know that’s not re­al­is­tic.

We will pre­pare to take Hawthorn on at their best. We know that’s for­mi­da­ble, but we also know our best is good enough to suc­ceed against them. IN­TER­NA­TIONAL stu­dents from Edith Cowan Univer­sity and UWA were in­vited into the West Coast Ea­gles Football Club this sea­son to what was, for many, their first Aus­tralian football ex­pe­ri­ence.

The par­tic­i­pants rep­re­sented a vast ar­ray of coun­tries across the globe, in­clud­ing Sin­ga­pore, Malaysia, In­dia, Viet­nam, Eng­land, USA, Canada, Brunei and Den­mark, and all were ex­cit- ed to learn more about Aus­tralia’s na­tional game.

As a part of the West Coast Ea­gles 101 pro­gram, they took a be­hind-the-scenes look at West Coast’s fa­cil­i­ties and were taught about the game, along with rules, po­si­tions and teams.

The high­light for all was the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend a game – ei­ther when the Ea­gles took on Greater Western Syd­ney Giants in Round 5 or in Round 21, when the Western Bull­dogs came to Su­bi­aco Oval.

Both matches re­sulted in big wins for the Ea­gles, cre­at­ing a tremen­dous at­mos­phere for the new fans to be a part of. Speak­ing on be­half of UWA’s con­tin­gent, Ken­neth Ai­den Foo said the new fans had a “ton of fun”.

“It was great to get to learn about a to­tally new sport and at the same time get to go be­hind the scenes of one of the best teams,” he said.

“We thor­oughly en­joyed our­selves at the game too.”

ECU Guild vice-pres­i­dent of so­cial ac­tiv­ity, Trent Barron, said he looked for­ward to con­tin­u­ing the op­por­tu­nity for fu­ture in­ter­na­tional stu­dents.

“Work­ing to­gether with the West Coast Ea­gles to pro­vide in­ter­na­tional stu­dents with a gen­uine Aus­tralian ex­pe­ri­ence helped in­tro­duce new fans to the game and pro­vided them with a unique ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group is an af­fil­i­ated part­ner of the West Coast Ea­gles.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.