FINALLY, patient club photographer Janine Clark is capturing Sebastopol joy. Raw emotions Janine is finding through her lens are now joy, belief and a different kind of determination.
Players' body language has changed.
Janine's parents Mick and Mary Clark are the 'Burras' oldest life members. As a club, they say there has always been a great environment off the field.
But reaching the Ballarat Football League grand final has tapped into a renewed, stronger Burra pride.
"The community spirit is amazing. To get in the grand final, we really want to be respected as a football club," Janine said. "There's been a lot of people who have stuck by the club."
The community spirit is amazing. To get in the grand final, we really want to be respected as a football club.Janine Clark
Janine said this season's success had been predominantly built on homegrown talent like Simon Butler and brothers Toby and Ben Hutt, who she had followed through the ranks with her camera from juniors.
The return of Burra Tony Lockyer from the North Ballarat Roosters in the Victorian Football League had bolstered the club on and off the field, Janine said.
"H's amazing. He has been such a loyal player and always said when he would come back to the club, he actually did," Janine said.
"He brought a couple of (VFL) mates with him but, even with a couple of bigger-name players, it's still a Burra effort."
Janine said Lockyer had made a special hospital visit to her dad in Melbourne earlier this year. It was a move she said helped reinforce a strong, supportive club culture.
This week has been emotional for her parents, particularly amid her dad's ill health. Janine's mum Mary has pulled out books of newspaper clippings dating back to the 1980s, proudly re-visiting the road to now.
Club supporters have been sharing photos on social media of their houses, lawns, businesses and cars dressed up and painted in the Burras' yellow and blue.
But the one photo Janine can hardly wait to capture is the team stepping out on the balcony above clubrooms on Sunday. No matter what the outcome, Janine said it would be a proud moment.
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