AFLFA press release: Demons dominate 2018 AFLFA Fan of the Year Awards

AFL FANS ASSOCIATION (AFLFA): “GIVING FOOTY FANS A VOICE”

 

The resurgent Demons have dominated the 2018 AFL Fans Association Fan of the Year Awards.

 

Melbourne diehard Shaun Dux is Male Fan of the Year and The Demon Army has gone back-to-back as Supporter Group of the Year. The Crows Supporters Group’s Colleen McKaye is Female Fan of the Year.

 

AFL Fans Association vice president Cheryl Critchley says there were many deserving nominees this year, so choosing the winners was difficult. Most volunteer for their clubs as well as supporting them through thick and thin.

 

“Our awards recognise grassroots AFL fans whose efforts are often extraordinary but can go unrewarded,” Cheryl says. “All clubs have them and they are the lifeblood of our great game.

 

2018 Female Fan of the Year – Colleen McKaye, Crows Supporters Group (cheer squad)

 

Colleen McKaye is involved in almost every aspect of the Adelaide Crows Supporters Group (CSG). As part of the committee, Colleen is described by fellow supporters as ‘Australia’s biggest Adelaide Crows fan’. She is part of the banner making team, organises buses and tickets for interstate games, and attends all home games and some interstate matches every year.

 

Well-known by the club and players, Colleen has followed the Crows since they entered the AFL and helps organise fundraising raffles and events. Her dedication shines through when she has missed whole quarters to help set up after-match functions. At games, she gets the crowd going with chants.

 

Colleen, whose number plates read Crow13, has had two CSG roles this year – Assistant Treasurer and Events/Fundraising. As part of that, she organised this year’s CSG Sportsman’s Night with two weeks’ notice. Colleen is also a devoted mum to her son James.

 

“I live and breathe the Crows and so much of my time is spent supporting them,” she says. “I get to games three or four hours before the bounce to help set up the Bay, pole the banner, and take merchandise to The Magarey Room, where I organise our after-match raffle and sell merchandise along with other members. For big games like Showdowns, I dress up in over the top clothes to show my Crows colours and this year I attended away games in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Alice Springs and Canberra.”


Colleen McKaye
can be contacted on 0414 919 840.

 

2018 Male Fan of the Year – Shaun Dux, The Demon Army

 

If there is something Melbourne-related happening, Shaun Dux will probably be there. The Demon Army member attended almost all his club’s AFL, AFLW, VFL and VFLW games this year. If that’s not enough, he also attends many training sessions.

 

Shaun helps his club and The Demon Army at events, always keen to put his hand up. He wears his footy emotions on his sleeve, learns the players’ names and knows their statistics, what they excel at and more. His devotion knows no bounds and he never gives up, through wins, losses, rain, hail or shine. As Shaun’s nominator said, “You’ll struggle to find anyone that comes close to this bloke. He lives and breathes our clubs and teams.”

 

Shaun is the red and blue sheep of his family. His mother, brother and sister follow Richmond, but his grandmother told Shaun, who was born at the same time and in the same hospital as Demon legend Robbie Flower’s son, that he had to follow Melbourne if he wanted to step inside her house.

 

The devoted Demon will travel to Perth for Saturday’s preliminary final against West Coast and celebrate his birthday the day before. Shaun hopes it will be a weekend to remember!

 

Shaun Dux can be contacted on 0430 432 922.

 

2018 Supporter Group of the Year – The Demon Army (cheer squad)  

The Demon Army has gone back-to-back after another stellar year of barracking. The Army now has a record 630 members, and thanks to the support of its interstate branches, the group filled its allocation for every interstate game this year.

 

Ryan Sinclair, Sophie Galer and Suzanne Considine have all helped co-ordinate the Army’s resurgence since 2013. They rebranded from Cheer Squad to Demon Army and embraced those who wanted to help. Numbers rose from 250 in 2012 to more than 550 in 2017 and now 630.

 

The group organises social events and places a huge emphasis on inclusiveness, which has encouraged many more fans to become involved. The atmosphere behind the goals at Melbourne games is now electric, with giant player face cut-outs, huge flags and a sea of red and blue.

 

Following Melbourne’s big win over Hawthorn on Friday night, Suzanne and her fellow co-ordinators are working hard to ensure that a large part of their Army makes it to Perth for Saturday’s preliminary final against West Coast. Suzanne hasn’t missed a game for about eight years and will be there with red and blue bells on. “Everything from now on is a bonus,” she says.

Contacts: Ryan Sinclair 0434 286 374 / Suzanne Considine 0450 926 224 / Sophie Galer 0418 344 424.

 

Previous winners

2017
Female Fan of the Year:
Annie Green (Adelaide Crows Supporters Group)
Male Fan of the Year:
Ryan Sinclair (Demon Army)
Supporter Group of the Year:
The Demon Army
2016
Female Fan of the Year:
Jan Courtin (Sydney Swans)
Male Fan of the Year:
Robert Smith (Adelaide Crows Supporters group)
Supporter Group of the Year:
The Adelaide Crows Supports Group (Cheer Squad) and Essendon Cheer Squad

 

2015
Female Fan of the Year: Lesley Benham (Collingwood)
Male Fan of the Year:
Liam Briggs (Port Adelaide Cheer Squad)
Supporter Group of the Year:
The Alberton Crowd (Port Adelaide)

 

AFLFA membership is free and fans are encouraged to join at www.aflfans.org.au.

For more information contact: AFLFA vice president Cheryl Critchley on 0418 312 596.
Email: media@aflfans.org.au

 

(Please Note: AFLFA president Gerry Eeman is overseas until 23 September and is not currently contactable for interviews.)     

 

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