Hands up those footy fans! The ones with the kids that spend hours in the backyard with the Auskick ball. Watch hours of footy replays on TV. That sleep in their team pjs EVERY NIGHT! Well you guys might want to make time to let your little footy fan get nice and close to their heroes at an open training session. Families line the outside of the track watching the drills, keeping score in the goal square and listening into a couple of press conferences. Less interested toddlers will spend most of the time running up and down stairs or kicking a footy around on the path but keen observers will pick up some tricks and strategies from the sideline.
Often it is a light session the day before a big match, and depending on the mood, injury status and other commitments, players get right amongst the fans to give their little (and lets face it - big) hawks, tigers, saints or magpie fans a bit of attention. Generally once a week each team will allow fans to chat, mingle, sign autographs and pose for photos after one of their training sessions. There can be a little of hustle and bustle for those precious signatures, however, showing patience and good manners gets you far. You might even get a high five from your fave! Ahem....CYRIL!!!
Mamma's special mention: Mamma and Bubs went to watch a Hawthorn session this season and it is a brilliant suburban stadium filled with plenty of memories (plus a funky cafe, The Last Piece, over looking the field). The players were brilliant and made great efforts to chat with the little guys and signed dozens of jumpers. It helps to bring a sharpie with you, however we were pretty lucky that the support crew had a couple as well.
the nitty gritty
Double check with your club of choice prior to heading to a training session, especially to see if they are an 'open session'. Little hearts might break if no one has time to stop and chat after their time on the track!
Wellington Rd, Mulgrave