The Redcliffe Tigers AFL club has welcomed today’s announcement this years AFL Grand Final will be held at the Gabba.
Former Brisbane Lion and three-time premiership player Robbie Copeland says hosting the event in Queensland will create a buzz that he hopes will inspire kids to sign on for next year’s season.
Copeland, who took to the field in the Tigers’ senior side this year after a two year break, says the AFL’s decision is recognition of the efforts of the Queensland government to make southern teams welcome and keep this year’s season alive.
“I think it’s going to be a great thing for everyone in general, and AFL Queensland will benefit,” he says.
Having celebrated two premiership victories and one loss with the Lions, Copeland says he tried to treat each Grand Final day like any other.
“When you’re out on the field, it’s just another game – but obviously the intensity goes up.
“It’s one thing for spectators, but for a player it’s different because you’re there to do a job.”
The Tigers seniors team are one game out of the finals, with the result of this weekend’s match deciding whether they play on or their season ends.
Copeland says he took to the field again as a way of giving back to the community, although he’s been involved off the field with Aspley, where his sons play.
“I love to be out there kicking the footy – it’s in my blood.”
Tigers president Scott Stanford says today’s announcement will likely inspire more signings for next year’s season.
“Personally, I think it’s a great move by the AFL,” he says.
“AFL in Queensland is a growth sport and I am hoping that the excitement around the finals series will translate into kids wanting to pull on the boots in 2021.”
Scott predicts a large Queensland presence at the October 24 Grand Final, with border restrictions likely to keep southerners away.
“Unless they travel up two weeks beforehand and go into quarantine,” he laughs.
Scott says the Tigers are considering hosting an event at the club to coincide with Grand Final day, but it will have to conform to COVID-19 restrictions.
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