History in the making
THE annual Ovens and King Football Netball League grand final is far more than a sporting event.
It’s part of Wangaratta’s cultural fabric - a day for catch-ups, celebrations, and recognition of the position sport occupies in the life of the city.
Even those with no allegiance to any of the clubs involved will make their way to the WJ Findlay Oval tomorrow, keen to witness history in the making.
There are the stalwarts who will watch their umpteenth grand final, casting an eye over the current crop of talent and allowing their minds to stretch back to their own playing days, or the years when their home clubs tasted success.
The youngsters for who the district’s football fields and netball courts become playgrounds each winter will revel in the carnival-like atmosphere, as streamers, banners, balloons and club-themed dress make it a day to remember.
And the loyal servants of duty clubs will work their fingers to the bone to ensure vital income.
It’s a day when anything can happen, and just might.
In the words of Greta co- coach Lindsay Humphries, who will play in the B grade final and then coach the Blues’ A grade team, “if you’re playing, there’s a big crowd and lots of support, and if not, you dream of playing”.
King Valley netballer Stacey Matthews, who will be working behind the scenes tomorrow, said the family environment of the grand final, an extension of that seen through the year, would be at the forefront of the event.
“Everyone is just as involved, even if they’re not playing,” she said.
“It takes everyone to make the club run, and if everyone pitches in, it makes it a lot easier.”
FANS OF ALL AGES: King Valley fans Piper (3) and Misty (14 months) Matthews, and Greta’s Oliver (3) and Elliott Humphries are among the youngsters who have watched their families’ clubs follow the road to this year’s Ovens and King grand final. King Valley and Greta will do battle in tomorrow’s A grade netball clash.