Andrew Gaff grew up sitting in the grandstands at the MCG watching his beloved Melbourne Football Club.
The Victorian and his family cheered on their Demon heroes and he hoped that one day he would be on the hallowed turf playing in big games. Melbourne's biggest game of the year always comes on the Queen's Birthday weekend and that match is traditionally played against Collingwood.
So, when Gaff's AFL dream came true after being drafted by West Coast, it was ironic that his first match at the MCG came against Collingwood in last year's qualifying final.
He has since played another thee games at the MCG and is yet to taste victory at his beloved ground.
On Saturday night, he will again run out in front of a packed crowd which includes family and friends, and relish another battle against the Magpies in an AFL semi-final.
"I was there pretty much every week I reckon with the family. Obviously a few of the games were against Collingwood," Gaff said.
"I was lucky enough to play last year when we played that first final. I hadn't played a game at the G before that game so it was all a bit of a blur for me.
"You can tell the Collingwood supporters are a lot louder than most other teams, especially with about 80,000 there."
Gaff said last year's finals series had given the Eagles a great insight into what was required to succeed. He hoped the ground would also have plenty of Eagles supporters who travelled from Perth.
"I know it inspires all of the boys when we run out before the game and notice there's a lot of Eagles supporters cheering," Gaff said."They're all great supporters and I'm sure there'll be a lot there."
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