From near, far, and at the ‘G, they will gather for footy’s holy day

The Advertiser - - NEWS -

HE’S the Em­ploy­ment Min­is­ter hop­ing the state won’t ben­e­fit from the eco­nomic boon that could ac­com­pany a Crows’ pre­mier­ship.

Kyam Ma­her was born just after Rich­mond’s 1973 flag and had no choice about who to sup­port, cour­tesy of an un­cle who played a hand­ful of VFL re­serves games for the Tigers.

Ma­her, right, road tripped from Ade­laide to Mel­bourne for last week­end’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal with his wife and three sons, but min­is­te­rial du­ties mean he’ll be leapfrog­ging be- tween re­mote in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties this week­end, rather than join­ing the pil­grim­age to the MCG. He will catch the game at a pub some­where be­tween Port Lin­coln and Ce­duna – clad in one of the many Rich­mond out­fits in his suit­case.

“I made a com­mit­ment some time ago to go on this trip and as a Tigers fan, late Septem­ber is nor­mally pretty free for me,” he said.

The game will at­tract a global au­di­ence with for­mer For­eign Min­is­ter Min­is­ter Alexan­der Downer, right, gath­er­ing with fel­low ex­pats in Lon­don at 5am to watch the game. Downer is back­ing Ade­laide and Rory Sloane to win the Norm Smith.

De­fence In­dus­tries min­is­ter Christo­pher Pyne, far right, with AFL chief ex­ec­u­tive Gil­lon McLach­lan) will be watch­ing the game at home with his fam­ily and tip­ping Ed­die Betts for best-afield.

Pyne was at the Oval for last Fri­day’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal win . “When I was leav­ing, 200 fans must have called out pos­i­tively to me! It was ridicu­lous,” Pyne said. “But as my wife said: ‘They would have been happy to see (evil A Night­mare on Elm Street char­ac­ter) Freddy Krueger if he was wear­ing a Crows scarf!”

Po­lice Min­is­ter Chris Pic­ton was for­tu­nate his num­ber came up in the ticket bal­lot and he’ll be watch­ing at the MCG with the cheer squad.

“At three-quar­ter time from the (Ade­laide Oval) stands last week (dur­ing the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal I booked a Tiger Air­lines flight over (this) morn­ing,” Pic­ton said, adding the trip was en­tirely self-funded. He’s tip­ping Tom Lynch for the Norm Smith Medal.

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