His­tory in the mak­ing

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News - BY SIMONE KERWIN sker­win@ ne­me­dia.com.au

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.”

PHOTO: Emma Hil­lier

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.

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