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AFL Grand Final 2019: GWS vs Richmond ultimate guide to the big day
The biggest day on the AFL calendar has arrived with GWS and Richmond set to battle it out for the ultimate Grand Final glory.
The biggest game of the year is finally upon us as GWS and Richmond square off for the 2019 AFL Grand Final.
All eyes will lock onto the MCG as the two sides fight it out for premiership glory. The Tigers are out to claim their second flag in three years, the Giants hoping to capture their first ever.
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The gates to the MCC don’t open until 8am, but eager fans have been camped out and lining up in the darkness with thousands already waiting to get into the famous stadium.
Australian icon Paul Kelly will headline the day’s entertainment with two rising Australian singers in Dean Lewis and Tones and I supporting.
John Williamson will perform Waltzing Matilda while Mike Brady will perform Up There Cazaly. Conrad Sewell has been announced as the national anthem singer.
Brett Deledio looms as one of the cruellest Grand Final stories in recent memory — and dual premiership Kangaroo David King reckons it’ll be “the worst three hours of his (Deledio’s) life”.
Deledio on Saturday will watch his two footy loves from the MCG grandstand go head-to-head when his Giants clash with Richmond.
“It’ll be a horrible watch. This will be the worst three hours of his life, I reckon,” King told foxfooty.com.au.
Deledio’s story proves just how brutal some Grand Final narratives can be.
After being taken with Pick 1 in the 2004 draft, Deledio won two best and fairest and All-Australian honours twice across 243 games in 12 seasons for the Tigers — a stint when the club consistently featured in the bottom half of the AFL ladder.
At the end of 2016, an opportunity arose to join the Giants, who were themselves in the AFL premiership window after an agonisingly close preliminary final loss to eventual premier Western Bulldogs.
Since that trade, though, little has gone Deledio’s way.
Consistent injuries have restricted him to 32 of a possible 78 games. Those injuries forced him into retirement at the end of the Giants’ 2019 campaign — a campaign that’s still going but Deledio won’t feature in again due to, you guessed it, injury.
The second preliminary final in 2017 was a most devastating day for Deledio. In his 250th game, Deledio came up against his old — yet much-improved — side Richmond, which was aiming for its first Grand Final appearance in 37 years. On the siren, with GWS six goals in arrears, Deledio broke down on the ground as the Tigers secured that Grand Final berth.
The 2019 AFL Grand Final will be played on Saturday, September 28 when Richmond chases its second premiership in three years and GWS eyes its maiden flag.
The start time has been confirmed for 2.30pm after more debate about a twilight decider.
The annual Grand Final parade will be held in the streets of Melbourne on Friday, September 27 — a public holiday in Victoria.
The Grand Final will be shown live and free-to-air on Channel 7.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 20: Tom Lynch of the Tigers celebrates a goal during the 2019 AFL Second Preliminary Final match between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 20, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
FULL BACK: D. Astbury, N. Broad, D. Grimes
HALF BACK: B. Houli, N. Vlastuin, J. Short
CENTRE: B. Ellis, D. Prestia, J. Caddy
HALF FORWARD: D. Rioli, T. Cotchin, K. Lambert
FULL FORWARD: J. Castagna, T. Lynch, J. Riewoldt
FOLLOWERS: T. Nankervis, S. Edwards, D. Martin
INTERCHANGE: I. Soldo, L. Baker, M. Pickett, S. Bolton
EMGERGENCIES: J. Ross, S. Stack, R. Garthwaite, K. McIntosh
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