Brayden Maynard raises his fist and speaks into a microphone.

Collingwood’s Darcy Moore thanks Magpie Army for support through wins and losses

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The screams were deafening as Collingwood captain Darcy Moore bounded onto the balcony of the Glasshouse and held aloft the 2023 AFL Premiership Cup.

The energy from Saturday’s win had not faded as thousands of Magpies fans swooped onto Collingwood’s training ground to pay homage to their grand final heroes.

Crowds continued to stream through the gates of Olympic Park for hours after they opened.

Magpies faithful queued as far as the eye could see before the gates opened for the family day.(ABC News)

As spectators chanted Moore’s name, the skipper thanked the fans for their loyalty through thick and thin.

“We just want to say a massive thank you to our 19th man, the Magpie Army,” Moore said.

“You’re there for us through the wins, the losses, the hard times and the good times.

“We know we can count on your support.

“You guys really make it feel like a dream come true.”

Brayden Maynard raises his fist and speaks into a microphone.

The Collingwood chant echoed throughout the park, led by Brayden Maynard.(ABC News)

He then handed over the microphone to Brayden Maynard, who led Collingwood’s signature chant for the delighted crowd.

‘Out of body experience’: Players and coach reflect on win

Craig McRae speaking to media.

Craig McRae’s wife gave birth to their child the day of the grand final.(ABC News)

After the presentation, coach Craig McRae said he had not had much sleep after his wife gave birth to their daughter, Maggie, the morning of the grand final win.

“I’m still living in that space of joy,” McRae said.

“It’s been a remarkable 24 hours and some day I’ll sit back and reflect on what an incredible day it was.”

Bobby Hill speaking to media.

Bobby Hill says he watched Cyril Rioli’s highlights ahead of the grand final.(ABC News)

Norm Smith medallist Bobby Hill said it still had not sunk in that he was a premiership player.

He paid tribute to former Norm Smith winner Cyril Rioli and revealed he watched his game highlights on the morning of the grand final

“He’s a real role model for the Indigenous community and everyone else in the AFL,” Hill said.

“I went into the game just being a premiership player and to get both is just unbelievable.”

Steele Sidebottom addressing the media.

Steele Sidebottom says he’ll be enjoying the grand final result for a long time.(ABC News)

Midfielder Steele Sidebottom kicked Collingwood’s final goal in the grand final.

He appeared dazed as he looked back out over the crowd from inside the Glasshouse after the balcony presentation.

“I’ve thought about this moment for a long time,” Sidebootm said, shaking his head.

“When that siren went yesterday, I was almost having like an out-of-body experience, I couldn’t believe it.

“So much hard work from everyone to get the result and I’m going to make sure I enjoy it for a long time.”

Mason Cox speaking to media.

Mason Cox says the Collingwood fans were going “nuts” after every goal kicked.(ABC News)

American-Australian player Mason Cox said being on the balcony and looking over the crowd was an incredible experience.

“I don’t think there’s many places in the world that can get that kind of support,” Cox said.

He said the support the players received from the Magpie Army was “incredible”.

“Even at the ground yesterday after every goal you could hear the difference of Collingwood versus Brisbane,” he said.

“To hear the ground go absolutely nuts, it’s a unique experience.”

An aerial shot of a football field with people looking like tiny dots spread across the ground with a river flowing behind.

Thousands of Collingwood fans flock to Olympic Park to continue celebrating the grand final win.(ABC News)

Cox said he was drinking beers out of the premiership cup within 10 minutes of the grand final win but remained tight lipped about last night’s celebrations.

“It’s like Vegas you know, you just can’t say anything about it,” he said.

Four boys were black rock and roll star style wigs and KISS band costumes and pose as rock stars on a football field.

The pint-sized performers may not have rock and rolled all night, but they are still partying today.(ABC News: Bridget McArthur)

Some of the young performers who almost stole the show from legendary rock artists KISS backed up appearances at today’s event.

Most of them are also Collingwood supporters and were celebrating the grand final win as well as being part of history by performing with the band.

“My favourite part was when we met KISS at our rehearsal,” one of the little stars said.

“I loved it when I was back-to-back with [the guitarist] and then I did my jam in front of him,” another said.

Three boys wear black rock and roll star style wigs and KISS rock band costumes and pull rock star poses close to the camera.

Loyalty was divided among the boys as to whether they were bigger fans of KISS or Collingwood.(ABC News)

One of the boys said the wigs was squeezing his head but he knew he was lucky to have the opportunity to perform at the MCG with rock legends

‘Proud of the boys’: Melbourne fans support Lions

Across town, Lions players signed autographs and commiserated with fans who gathered at the Brunswick Street oval.

Harris Andrews wears a Lions jumper and looks out at the crowd

Harris Andrews says the team appreciates their fans’ loyalty.(ABC News)

“Obviously we didn’t get the result we wanted yesterday but to see such loyal fans turn up and support us … is really exciting,” Lions co-captain Harris Andrews said.

“It makes me really proud to be part of the club.”

A boy wearing a Lions guernsey and a yellow and black Pokemon cap holds two pages of autographs up while surrounded by fans.

This young Lions fan says he was excited to meet his heroes.(ABC News: Bridget McArthur)

A young fan said he thought they were going to win when the Lions kicked a goal in the dying moments of the game.

“They did very well but just didn’t manage to get there in the end,” he said.

A Lions player signs autographs as crowds of fans, many with Lions scarves and hats, stand against a barrier.

Hundreds of fans gathered at Brunswick Street Oval, with some lucky enough to meet the players.(ABC News: Bridget McArthur)

A mother and daughter who travelled down from Brisbane said regardless of the loss, they were still on a high after soaking up the atmosphere of the grand final.

“It was unreal, just the atmosphere. Nothing like this at the Gabba,” one said.

A woman with white hair and sunglasses wears a yellow jumper and Lions scarf while her son stands behind in a Fitzroy guernsey.

These “diehard Fitzroy fans” say they were heartbroken when the Lions lost.(ABC News: Bridget McArthur)

One Fitzroy fan said she was heartbroken when the team merged with the Bears in 1996 but had learned to love Brisbane.

She said yesterday she “went almost through a box of tissues” when the team lost.

“I’m 80 and I’ve been a Lion all my life,” she said.

“We used to get off the tram just over here in Brunswick Street when I was first in a little pushchair, my parents would bring me along.”

Her son said seeing the players in person was the first time he’d smiled in the past 12 hours.

Some fans headed from the fan day to the Lions’ AFLW game against Hawthorn in the afternoon.



Author: Russell White