EVERY September brings that wonderful finals feeling. And after Saturday’s exciting clash where Hawthorn rose above Adelaide to secure their position in the 2012 AFL grand final against Sydney, the stage has been set for this weekend.
For supporters of the two teams that make it to the big dance, there’s nothing like the week of expectation and edge-of-the-seat excitement.
But for those whose teams didn’t make it, the big question is, who will Ballarat be barracking for?
Logic dictates that the Victoria team, Hawthorn, would attract much of the city’s support on the last Saturday in September. But has the Australian trait of cheering for the underdog got a hold of Ballarat?
There are many ways to help you decide which team you should go for, but getting behind our former Ballarat stars is only going to make it harder.
In the 2012 AFL grand final, five former Ballarat footballers will take to the ground, including Hawks Brad Sewell, Isaac Smith and Clinton Young and Swans Adam Goodes and Jude Bolton.
Who would you choose between Adam Goodes and Brad Sewell?
For five-year-old twins Will and Bella Nolan, that question is one of the first things in life that has split them apart.
The best of friends, the Nolan twins are rarely separated and still choose to share a bedroom.
But when it comes to footy, especially now that both their teams are in the grand final, Will and Bella don’t see eye to eye.
For Will, choosing to barrack for the Hawks was an easy choice because “my dad does”.
“My favourite player is Buddy. Then Cyril, and then Roughhead,” he said.
For Bella, donning the red and white was something she chose to do because her Pa, John, did.
“I love Adam Goodes,” she said.
The twins’ mum, Renee, is also a Swans supporter, so on Saturday the Nolan household will split down the middle in a war between the girls and the boys.
“They’re really excited about the final,” Ms Nolan said.
Mayor of Ballarat Mark Harris said that, as a Richmond supporter, he is used to supporting other teams in the finals.
“I’m a little bit unmoved in this final and haven’t really got behind either team,” Cr Harris said.
“We have some fine former Ballarat players who will be playing in the final and I wish them all well.”
As for the Ballarat community, Cr Harris believes the city is Victorian-proud but people always chose the team that they’re closest to.
“It’s hard to make a call on who Ballarat will get behind, because if your partner or friends and family barrack for either team, of course you’re going to support them. It’s a very tricky one to pick.”
On The Courier’s Facebook page, Hawthorn was the clear favourite when the question was asked: “Who are you barracking for in the grand final?”
More than 80 per cent of comments backed the Hawks in the grand final. Facebook user Leanne Bykersma commented, “Hawks cos they’re the Vic team and my brother is a Hawks fan”.
So, with only five days left until the first bounce you have one vital decision to make – who will you be barracking for on Saturday?