Fans board bus for epic trip to MCG

South Western Times - - Eagles Fever - Emily Ace

Ex­cite­ment lev­els were “through the roof” ac­cord­ing to Gan­n­aways Char­ters and Tours owner Ray Gan­n­away, as he loaded up a coach full of West Coast Ea­gles sup­port­ers to be­gin the jour­ney across the Nullar­bor yes­ter­day.

The bus was loaded with 35 footy fa­nat­ics plus the crew, as they faced 48 hours of driv­ing to make it to the AFL Grand Fi­nal and street pa­rade on Fri­day.

Leav­ing from the Bus­sel­ton de­pot at 6am, the coach made its way through Bun­bury and Aus­tralind to pick up faith­ful fans, with a fi­nal stop in Mun­dar­ing be­fore em­bark­ing on the epic jour­ney. “Every­body is fired up and ready to go,” Mr Gan­n­away said.

“Nor­mally we only take 32 or 33, but a cou­ple of ex­tra peo­ple pleaded so we threw them on – which is good, it’s no drama.”

He said the pas­sen­gers ranged from 11 years old to 88.

“They are all duly ex­cited, even though it does look like we are go­ing into typ­i­cal Mel­bourne weather for the big game,” he said.

Mr Gan­n­away is also the co­or­di­na­tor of the Bus­sel­ton Ea­gles Sup­port­ers Club, which has been go­ing strong since 1997 and in­cludes mem­bers across the South West.

The coach and its team also made the jour­ney in 2015 when the Ea­gles came up against Hawthorn, but Mr Gan­n­away was hop­ing for a dif­fer­ent re­sult this time around.

“There is a bit more con­fi­dence around this time than 2015 – I think ev­ery­one is a bit more com­fort­able with the Ea­gles be­ing up for the chal­lenge this time de­spite the fact it is Colling­wood’s home ground,” he said.

“Fin­gers crossed we get the re­sult that we need and the fourth premier­ship in the Ea­gles’ cab­i­net.”

He said on board en­ter­tain­ment in­cluded a choice of more than 200 Ea­gles games.

Pic­ture: Therese Col­man

Ded­i­cated Ea­gles sup­port­ers Chi­hiro Gan­n­away, An­drew Ben­nett, Janet Dye, Willy John­ston and Vir­ginia Hanna with sib­lings Cal­lum, 13, and Madi­son Gan­n­away, 11, pre­pare to leave the South West and em­bark on their AFL Grand Fi­nal ad­ven­ture.

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