On Saturday night, Paul and Cath McDonald will watch their son Tom play in the biggest game of his 193-game AFL career.
However, they won't be watching from the stands or even in the same state.
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When Tom's Melbourne Demons take on the Western Bulldogs at in Perth, they will be 3000km away, at their farm outside of Edenhope.
Ahead of the game, the McDonald family is experiencing a mix of nerves and excitement but can't wait for the match to start.
Daughter Laura, who just had her wisdom teeth removed, will also be watching the match from the McDonald home.
However, lockdown restrictions have prevented the remaining McDonald clan members from gathering to watch the game.
"It's quite nice because of my sick leave I get to come home and they can look after me for the week and watch the game together. It wouldn't have happened otherwise," Laura said.
Despite the restrictions, the family is grateful to see Tom play on the AFL's greatest stage.
It's hasn't been an easy ride for the 29-year-old from the North Ballarat Rebels, taken with pick number 53 in the 2010 draft.
He moved to St Patrick's College in Ballarat in late high school, following longtime Rebels talent operation lead Phil Partington's advice.
Up until that point, he had been commuting to Ballarat for training every week.
"He was nicknamed the travelling man," Paul laughed.
"Because Cath would pick him up from school, take him down to Horsham, he'd jump on the bus from there, go to Ballarat and come back again. It was around an 800km round trip.
"He wouldn't get home until midnight on a Thursday and then Parto just said, look try and get him to school in Ballarat because he's showed more and more progress."
McDonald's early years came in a torrid period for the Dees, and he subsequently only played in nine wins from his first 39 games.
The Dees changed coaches on several occasions during that period and didn't finish higher than 13th in Tom's first five seasons.
"Tom was basically drafted and a year later had to be the key back in a team that was struggling for five or six years," Cath said.
According to Cath, Tom is feeling "quite calm" ahead of the grand final.
"With this two weeks, they had that first week where they just knew they couldn't get too nervous for a whole fortnight - it's been such a long break," she said.
"He said to me, 'I really didn't believe I'd be playing in a grand final'."
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