Saints fans flock to Moorabbin training - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints fans flock to Moorabbin training

By Jeff Turnbull 22/09/2009 07:53:53 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda fans old and young, even four footed, flocked to Moorabbin Oval for the last time on Tuesday to see the only open training session before Saturday's AFL grand final against Geelong.

Around 10,000 supporters, decked out in the Saints' red, black and white colours, crammed into the ground and, through force of numbers, broke through a hurricane fence on the far side to ease the squeeze.

It's been 43 years since its one and only premiership for the foundation club and 12 years since its last grand final appearance.

The joy and expectation was palpable as supporters cheered each player as they came out on to the ground at varying intervals, giving special cheers for doubtful starter Max Hudghton and another for captain "Saint" Nick Riewoldt.

Lifelong supporter Paul O'Beirne was shouldering his six year-old twins Matthew and Ella in the outer knowing that the his team faces a formidable opponent on Saturday.

"It's going to be very difficult but I think we have a good chance," Mr O'Beirne told AAP.

"The two teams are very evenly matched and that's what will make it a very tight game."

Louise Stevens has told her mother - who was at the 1966 premiership win and again in 1997, and will be at the MCG on Saturday - to find a 1966 coin and take it along as a good luck charm.

"But they are hard to find - it was the same year we went decimal and there are not that many around," she said.

Alan Turner has come down from Echuca with his 10-year-old border collie Indy and is still waiting on word whether he has scored a ticket.

Indy was wearing a coat in St Kilda colours and loves chasing the football back home.

Mr Turner says he reckons his team can get up "but I'm not as confident as I was after seeing Geelong overrun Collingwood".

One of the Saints biggest fans, 79-year-old Carla Babare, fell in love with the club and the game when she arrived in Australia as a refugee 55 years ago.

"I came here when the Communists kicked us out of Yugoslavia," she said.

She is a member of the Angels coterie and was a cheer squad member.

"I plan my holidays around St Kilda games," she said.

"We have relatives in Newcastle and when St Kilda are playing in Sydney we'll go up and stay with them but then go down to Sydney to watch the boys.

"It's a bit cheeky."

She has cupboards full of scrapbooks going back to 1964 and says the grand final will be close but "we can beat them".

"I've told my kids I won't die until St Kilda wins a premiership."

The Saints move to new training facilities at Seaford, south of Melbourne, next year.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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