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Local footy – the game we truly love!

Sep 9, 2023

Another football season has come and gone, and we find ourselves in the midst of the finals series!

As an avid enthusiast of the sport, I love attending footy matches, whether it’s the electrifying atmosphere of a packed AFL game, the community vibes at a SANFL match in the suburbs, or, most importantly, the grassroots charm of a local footy game held at one of our GSFL club ovals.

Local footy holds a special place in my heart, and it’s the level of the game that perfectly suits not only me but also you and everyone else.

During a local match, I stand by the players, many of whom I know on a personal level. It’s an experience like no other, where I can enjoy a post-game beer or engage in a chat with them.

What other form of the game allows you to stand by the fence, cheer on the umpire, and then, after the game, engage in a discussion? You can even buy them a coldie (sometimes, they return the favour), continuing that boundary line discussion on their great efforts or even where they could improve. Most of them appreciate the fact that you genuinely care.

In the local competition, the coaches may have played at the highest levels of the game, but they remain humbled by the tireless efforts of the club’s volunteers. These dedicated individuals work relentlessly to support their clubs and players, from the youngest and smallest Modified Colts to the most seasoned and decorated senior players.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of all clubs, and their unwavering commitment often goes unrecognised, except for the satisfaction of aiding “their” boys in taking the field every Saturday!

Is it winning that counts? It certainly does when your side secures those vital 2 points! There is nothing better than the feeling of being ahead on the scoreboard when that final siren sounds.

On the flip side, if your team doesn’t belt out their song after a game, you can be still be there for them after they have had a debrief with the coaching staff on what may have gone wrong or what to try next time! You can put an arm around a shoulder and talk about missed opportunities or encourage them to do better next time!

So, the next time you pull into the parking lot of any of our ten local grounds, take a moment to consider this: this is an incredible life experience, all for just a few dollars. There’s simply nothing better than local footy!

ANDREW BATTEN

GSFL Secretary

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Photos courtesy of Jesse Ehlers, Fleurieu Sun.

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