Saints of all seasons

The Saints have had a year very much like my most recent set of holidays. Weather wise that is.

Instead of attending the Saints v. Geelong game on the Friday night, my boyfriend and I chose to watch the game on TV at university in Bathurst, and rather than spend the next two weeks in Melbourne, we decided to travel up and spend a week with his grandparents up past Newcastle.

It was snowing when we left Bathurst on the Saturday. Usually it snows once a year, and the snow doesn’t stick. But this time, the paddocks were beautifully white, and people were getting out of their cars and throwing snowballs and taking photos. It was very cold, much like the Saints game the previous night; though snow is much more beautiful then some of the games the Saints have played throughout the season.

When we got to Fingal Bay, the weather was a different kind of beautiful.  We had a week of sunshine, blue skies, 28 degrees and sunbaking on the beach. I got sunburnt in the middle of winter. Unbelievable.

Like the weather, the Saints played some hot games throughout the season, some against the lesser teams, other against those vying for the finals. That is what hurts the most about the season, knowing we could have matched it with the best but did not consistently keep up the good performances.

Despite the Saints likely to miss finals, we chose to leave the rare winter sunshine and travel to Melbourne to watch the boys take on the Giants. A certain win, probably a boring game, yet we chose to spend 12 hours in the car to watch them nonetheless.

I did question this decision in occasion, particularly when the other half started singing in the car…can’t say I am not dedicated to the Saints!

As it turns out, it was not your usual game. It started with us receiving emails saying that we had been accepted as part of the Saints members Walk of Fame, so we could do the march around the ground and be recognised for our support we give to the club. Maybe the 12 hours in the car would be worth it!

Upgrading our tickets to ground level for free (REALLY appreciate this, I am not a rich uni student!) we walked into the ground as usual. Then the gentleman at the bag checking point at the ground asked with a cheeky grin if we were carrying any guns or knives in our backpack. With an equally cheeky smile we denied it, and were let through.

Despite leaving the sunshine for the storms and gales blowing in Melbourne, the Walk of Fame was great. It was so exciting to be able to walk out on the ground and be celebrated as a Saints member.

We defied the security when they lead us down outside the Saints’ rooms, and instead of leaving I managed to grab a photo with ex-player Aaron Hamill, who shares the same name as my brother, Robert Aaron, who is named after Hamill and Robert Harvey.

He’s a handsome man!

We waited behind the fence in the car park and watched the boys run up the race. It was great to see this professional environment underneath the ground.

And it was a good thing that we hung around, because Warnie, Liz and the kids whizzed by us as we were leaving! Several handshakes and photos later and we were on our way to our seats up the Giants’ end and settling down from the high of this great experience.

Whilst it was great to relax in my seat and enjoy a very convincing win from the Saints, it only brought home the disappointment that finals were a long shot, despite our potential throughout the season.

With a new coach and young players getting their fair share of game time, the year 2012 has not been a total disappointment. The potential is there for the seasons to come, it is incredibly exciting.

We have Carlton in a few days time, and then that is it for the season. When I suggested to my uncle and cousins that we attend the match, I thought it was definitely going to be a fight for eighth spot. Yet the Kangaroos and Fremantle did not agree with this arrangement and decided to win games they weren’t expected to win. So instead, it is a likely battle for ninth.

Like the weather, the Saints have been hot and cold for the 2012 season. If only it could be summer, sunshine and 28 degrees all year round.

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