AFL Finals: Being a West Coast Eagles supporter is no easy task

West Coast Eagles’ Sharrod Wellingham celebrates with teammates Josh Hill and Dom Sheed during Saturday night’s preliminary final victory over North Melbourne. Picture: Jon Hewson. d444347
West Coast Eagles’ Sharrod Wellingham celebrates with teammates Josh Hill and Dom Sheed during Saturday night’s preliminary final victory over North Melbourne. Picture: Jon Hewson. d444347

BEING a West Coast Eagles fan is no easy task.

Other fans accuse us of many things – of being part of the chardonnay set, of leaving before the end of the game if things aren’t going well, of generally lacking passion.

Well I’m here to tell you that not all of that is true.

And yes, while I may enjoy the occasional glass of chardonnay (as long as it is served with a nice piece of chicken) my drink of choice when watching the games is most definitely not wine.

Here’s the thing: if you’re a West Coast Eagles supporter like myself, chances are you’ve grown up with the game and seen the good times as well as the bad.

I was a child when I first started watching Aussie Rules footy.

In my second year of watching AFL games on TV, my team won the 1992 grand final.

This was followed by a disappointing 1993, and then another premiership in 1994.

To put it simply, in my first four years of following AFL my team won the highest honour twice.

Sure, there’s been disappointment. There has been a wooden spoon.

I cried when we lost the 2005 grand final. I cried again when we won in 2006 – though for very different reasons.

I guess my point is that just because West Coast Eagles fans are not used to losing, does not mean we lack passion.

It’s just that we expect so much of our team.

We expect them to go deep into September. To play in grand finals.

And this year, they have done exactly that.

Watching them overrun North Melbourne on the weekend, despite some erratic kicking, was uplifting.

This weekend, West Coast finally has a chance on the AFL’s biggest stage once more.

And for all my fellow Eagles fans, that is a beautiful thing.