Tiger cubs cruise under Subiaco lightsI

Claremont (WAFL) strolled into the quarter final stage of the Foxtel Cup, easily defeating Southport (NEAFL)12.8 (80) to 4.2 (26) at Patersons Stadium on Tuesday night. Although fielding an inexperienced side, the Tigers cemented their dominance early and showcased an exciting brand of footy in the 54 point win.

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It’s a tough ask but what do I care? My former junior club is on the national stage. As a kid, never did I believe the Southport Sharks would grace the turf of Subiaco Oval. It’s surreal seeing many guys that I played junior football alongside, getting this opportunity. The odds are long, but under the winter backdrop and coaching of Norm Dare who knows? Former teammates Kiel and Screech stride through the centre with pin point skill. Surely after a long flight and the bright lights, Claremont may wilt on the big stage?

I gulp my water and wait for the opening bounce.

My dreams are dashed as It’s a bloodbath early. These young Tigers show no mercy to the visitors. With many young players starved of league selection, this is their time to sign. They play classic counter attack footy. Harlem globetrotter style. it is so quick, confusion reigns over the Sharks bench. By quarter time, it’s five goals to zip.

Former Eagle Tom Swift traded his textbooks in tonight and made a return to football for the first time since retiring from the AFL last year. After juggling a mark that bounced off his head, my mate declares that ‘the doctor is applying his knowledge of physics out there!’

As I ponder the score, my friend reminds me of the opportunity for several young Gold Coast players and the exposure they will get from the game. He has a point. It should improve as the game wears on and it does.

Despite the gulf in skill level and state league, both Claremont and Southport are wealthy clubs and attack the game in a similar way. Both are fearless at the contest and have an insatiable taste for victory.

Gradually the Tigers ease off the throttle and their scoring subsides. Sharks midfielders Haydn Kiel and Fraser Pope stamp their authority on the game. Surely they should be playing at a higher level after this display.

As the siren reigns out over Patersons Stadium on a chilly Perth night, I am happy. I have seen one of my dreams come true. A dream that I never thought possible back as a child. Gold Coast football on the national stage, where it finally belongs.

About Justin Fris

Journalism student, with an unquenchable thirst for all things sport. I love putting words onto pages and sharing all that encompasses sport

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