Tiger sneaks AFL’s Holy Grail into Ballarat | exclusive look

Finally, Tiger premiership glory is here!

Exclusive look at Butler with the AFL premiership cup. Picture: Jeremy Bannister

Exclusive look at Butler with the AFL premiership cup. Picture: Jeremy Bannister

Richmond premiership player Dan Butler sneaked the AFL’s most coveted prize into Ballarat on Tuesday night.

Butler arrived at his family home – the premiership cup belted safely into a car seat – for a secret, surprise party with family and close friends.

“It’s pretty special to show and share friends and family what all the hard work’s been about,” Butler said. “I’ve watched the game a couple of weeks after but it still hasn’t sunk in.”

Richmond claimed the AFL premiership in September after a 37-year flag drought. Glory was delivered in a 48-point win against Adelaide.

Butler said experiencing the passion and pride of a parochial Tiger Army had been incredible, every step of the way.

“They’re pretty amazing, we have so many great supporters and during the final job they were so loud, it was like having another man on the field,” Butler said.

Ballarat was snubbed in an official national AFL Cup tour, despite having been the training ground for four premiership Tigers: Shaun Grigg, Daniel Rioli, David Astbury and Butler.

Richmond players and staff have each been allocated time with the game’s Holy Grail. Butler arrived home after work with the prize, which even his parents had been yet to touch.

Tiger premiership teammates Jason Castagna and Nathan Broad came along to Ballarat for the ride.

The Tigers started back in training last week and are determined to make the most of their pre-season before the Christmas break.

“It’s a bit of a different feeling getting back into training after winning the premiership,” Butler said.

“We’re re-setting and getting back to ground zero.”