TRULY, DEEPLY RADLEY,

VIC­TORY SALUTE FOR BOY FROM BRONTE

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - 2018 GRAND FINAL - NICK CAMP­TON

YOU’LL hear them be­fore you see them at ANZ Sta­dium to­day.

A pack of al­most 100 Roost­ers fa­nat­ics, led by a red, white and blue ver­sion of wrestling icon Ma­cho Man Randy Sav­age, bear­ing signs, with painted chests, bel­low­ing their songs for their man, Vic­tor The In­flic­tor, to take down the Storm.

These are the Bronte boys, Vic­tor Radley’s ra­bid cheer squad. They reckon they’re the big­gest fan club for a sin­gle player in the league and good luck prov­ing them wrong.

“They’re bloody le­gends, those boys. They get a mas­sive crew to­gether every week, make signs, and I think there was about 30 of them with paint,” Radley told The Sun­day Tele­graph. “You can’t get a bet­ter group of boys to come to the game to sup­port you.”

It’s a rare thing for Roost­ers fans to cheer on a lo­cal boy. The likes of Tom Sy­monds and Luke Rick­et­son are few and far be­tween.

Radley has fast be­come one of the most pop­u­lar play­ers on the starstud­ded ros­ter and, given he’s the first top grader to come out of Bronte in more than 80 years, it’s no won­der he in­spires this kind of pas­sion.

“Dave Brown’s dad was the first pro­fes­sional life­guard here,” said the leader of the gang, Robert Bruns. “He’s the last Bronte lo­cal Rooster. Vic­tor’s fol­low­ing in those foot­steps.

“I’m 40, went to my first game when I was six months old. It’s the first time in my life I’ve been able to cheer on some­one from the beach.

“He’s not big, he just goes hard. From when he started it didn’t mat­ter who you were, what your name or rep­u­ta­tion was, he was af­ter them.”

Bruns and the rest of the Bronte Board­rid­ers have been with Radley since the be­gin­ning.

“It’s all Bronte kids, Bronte guys who grew up in the area and hang out down the beach. We’re all surfers,” Bruns said.

They know his mum, his dad and his three brothers and they know why the other three Radley boys are nick­named Man Head, Milk­man and Snot­face. South Syd­ney peo­ple like to say the Roost­ers don’t have a soul, but they do. It just takes some­one like Radley to bring it out.

It doesn’t hurt ei­ther Radley is a true ma­niac on the field and plays as though he’s never learned he’s not 120kg. That all- ac­tion style has made him one of the most pop­u­lar Roost­ers play­ers in some time, even out­side the east.

The pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal against Souths was one of the first times the 20-year old couldn’t hear his fan club.

“Nor­mally they’re sit­ting next to the tun- Robert Bruns with young Vic­tor Radley fans Tookot Mor­ris, Lloyd Luk­erdes-An­drews, Char­lie Har­vey, Ben Dover, Nate Phipps, Juzzy Vol­patti and Jimmy Ash­bridge out­side their head­quar­ters in Bronte. Pic­ture: Chris­tian Gilles nel, get­ting loud, es­pe­cially when I’m sit­ting on the bench and they’re get­ting into me,” he said.

Bruns has a bus head­ing to ANZ Sta­dium and it’ll be filled to the brim.

They’ll paint Radley’s name on their chests, hoist the Vic­tor The In­flic­tor ban­ners.

“The Roost­ers don’t have the big­gest sup­porter base and that is what it is, I’m not ashamed of that. But the hardcore fans are there,” Bruns said.

“At Bronte, we’re do­ing our part sup­port­ing Vic­tor.”

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