Weekend Courier journalist and Eagles fan missed season for trip

Tristan Lavalette has a beer for the Eagles.
Tristan Lavalette has a beer for the Eagles.

THE past few months have been bittersweet for former Weekend Courier journalist and mad West Coast Eagles fan Tristan Lavalette.

While his team were flying high to secure second spot on the AFL ladder and ultimately set up tomorrow’s preliminary final against North Melbourne, the West Coast season ticket-holder has missed it all.

Lavalette vacated his seat in early June to travel around Europe, a trip that has taken him to 12 different countries and countless memorable experiences; it has also meant missing from close quarters the Eagles’ best run in many years.

Despite spending the past three months thousands of kilometres from Subiaco Oval, he readily admits to spending “way too much time” thinking about his team.

“At the start of the season, when the Eagles started so shakily, I kept consoling myself by thinking of Europe and that I was going to miss the bulk of the season anyway,” he said.

“After their stunning turnaround, I have actually missed out on what is probably my favourite ever Eagles season.

“I watched three games on the internet in Switzerland. I also listened to the last 10 minutes of the derby after madly looking for a café with WiFi in Barcelona. My wife was not amused, but it was well worth it.

“I’ve had an amazing time in Europe, but must admit I’ve missed watching the team, going to games.”

He watched the recent win over Hawthorn from a Walkabout Aussie pub in London – “sounds pathetic, I know!” – but arrived back on home soil in time for tomorrow’s match.

Should the Eagles make the grand final, Lavalette said he would love to travel to Melbourne but admitted it would be unrealistic given the four months spent overseas.

“Four months overseas has hit the hip pocket. At least I’ll be in Perth.”