Fans will be allowed onto the playing arena at Mars Stadium during Central Highlands Football League grand final day.
The green light was given by the league’s board on Wednesday and follows widespread disappointment from spectators, which weren’t allowed onto the field until the senior presentations last year.
This meant quarter-time and three-quarter-time breaks were held without fans around the huddles and the immediate post-match celebrations following the under-15, under-18 and reserves games went ahead without involvement from those that watched on from outside the fence.
CHFL president Eddy Comelli said it was important to allow people on the ground on such an important day for the competition.
“We want to allow people on there. We want to have that country feel,” Comelli said. “It will add atmosphere to the game, no doubt about that.”
Last year, CHFL administrator Diane Ryan said the decision to not allow spectators onto Mars Stadium during breaks was made to ensure the day remained on its tight schedule.
The Courier ran a poll after the 2017 grand final day, and of the 735 voters, a whopping 83.54 per cent believed the decision “took away from the country footy feel”.
Local football fan Paul Frawley even posted about his frustration on The Courier Footy Facebook page.
“This day belongs to the supporters of the clubs so please give the day back to them next year,” he wrote.
On Wednesday, Beaufort coach Rohan Brown and vice-captain Alex Petrie were at Mars Stadium for the annual grand final press conference along with Buninyong coach Jarrod Morgan and co-captain Alex Bomitali.
The Crows will take on the Bombers in Saturday’s senior decider, which is scheduled to begin at 2.45pm.