Invasion of the Crows, now for MCG victory
ADELAIDE is riding a wave of support from its army of fans as it tries to break a 19-year premiership drought.
An estimated record crowd of 140,000 people lined the city streets of Melbourne yesterday for the popular Grand Final parade and while Richmond holds the home ground advantage, Crows supporters made their presence felt.
Star forwards Eddie Betts and Tom Lynch were joined by their children in the back of their utes for the motorcade parade.
“We created this opportunity so you embrace it,” Adelaide captain Taylor Walker said.
“We’ve got probably the most passionate and loyal fans in the competition and they’ve come over from Adelaide so it’s very exciting.
Coach Don Pyke believes the crowd won’t be as onesided as those which Richmond and Adelaide have both enjoyed in their first two finals.
“It’s pretty clear we’re going to have a fair amount of crowd support ourselves, there’s nearly 20,000 Crows members who are coming over plus others,” Pyke said.
“So I expect it will be more a typical grand final crowd which will be less one-sided than maybe Richmond have had in the two finals to date and we’ve had at our ground.
“Both sides will be wanting a good start and bring some energy early but also the capacity to settle and start play- ing the game, because sometimes you can get over-hyped, so we’ll make sure we find that blend and balance.”
Crows fans Jess Schurgott, 30, and partner Chris Tilley, 32, drove to Melbourne yesterday morning for the grand final, without grand final tickets.
The Edwardstown couple, who were in the front row for the parade and have not given up hope of getting into the MCG for today’s big clash.
“We decided to come anyway and try and win tickets and see if we can do something when we get here,” said Ms Schurgott, who’s been a Crows silver member for more than a decade.
“The parade was awesome, the hype and atmosphere was amazing, it really made us want to be at the game even more .
“We’ve been to every game this season, we’re part of the family and we’re so proud of them to make it this far, and everything the club has been through. It really shows their resilience and how strong they are as a team.”
For young players like Rory Atkins, the parade brought back childhood memories of when he was growing up in Melbourne before being drafted to Adelaide.
“I remember being in the crowd there watching guys drive around and now being one of the ones sitting in the back of the car is pretty exciting,” Atkins said.
“And texting family, they find it pretty surreal that their brother or son is actually a part of it as opposed to a spectator.”
LONG JOURNEY: Charlie Cameron's aunt and grandmother, Susan Sewter and Hazel Sewter, made the trip from Queensland and, below, Crows fans at the parade.