REJOICE Richmond fans as you can get up close with the 2017 AFL Premiership Cup next weekend.
Sunraysia has a die-hard ‘Tiger Army’ fan base and any wanting to see the club’s first piece of silverware in 37 years can do so from 11am to 3pm next Saturday, October 28.
The full details of where the cup will be, however, were yet to be confirmed at the time of writing.
Richmond Football Club general manager of football, Neil Balme, PICTURED, confirmed the cup would visit the club’s old recruiting zone of Sunraysia while here last week. Balme and the Tigers have thrown their support behind Mildura Rural City Council (MRCC) and the Mildura Future Ready (MFR) plan, which includes potential funding for the proposed Mildura South Sporting Precinct.
Balme, who returned to the club he won two VFL premierships with as a player after working at Geelong, said the old ‘one week at a time’ cliche rang true throughout the Richmond Football Club as the 2017 season progressed.
“While you see (how a club looks) from afar you don’t really quite know what to expect,” he said.
“I didn’t know how good they were, and it was evident we didn’t have the best list of players, so the effort (to win) was quite amazing.
“It was almost a slow burn… just going bit, by bit, by bit across the season. We had a big loss to Adelaide and another to St. Kilda, but they were probably the only really bad performances, we were playing some reasonable footy.
“The way footy is, by Thursday each week you convince yourself you’re going to win regardless of who you’re playing.
“Even with three or four weeks before the finals, there was no guarantee of what was going to happen.
“We really were just taking it week by week. Everyone is bored by that, but it was genuinely how we saw it. Our footy over the last month was quite extraordinary, our best footy of the year by far.
“The club should be so proud itself, and the boys should be so proud of themselves. I actually said to (Richmond CEO) Brendon Gale the week after that it feels like we almost have no purpose now, but that’s obviously not the case. We just tried to keep focussed on our individual roles within the club.”