The Richmond Tigers’ journey for 2013 may be over, but their namesakes, the Glenrowan Kelly Tigers Football and Netball Club, are keeping the dream alive.
The first thing to point out is that the Kelly Tigers don’t play a mutant form of combined football and netball, it’s just that the town can’t really support two sports clubs. Despite the tourist attraction provided by the town’s most famous son, bushranger Ned Kelly, Glenrowan, like so many rural townships is feeling the pinch. Footy might not solve the economic problems, but it has given the community spirit a heart starter.
In 2012 the Kelly Tigers were racked with debt, still had players in their 50s on the team (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) and finished with the wooden spoon, stone motherless last on the local ladder. The perseverance of these Tigers through tough times struck a chord.
From the pit of despair, hope was born, and a group of Glenrowan supporters poured energy and a bit of cash into the club, recruiting new players and supporters. Today the Kelly Tigers will take on Milawa at Wangaratta in the Grand Final.
One of the first games on record for the area was a match between the Tigers and Milawa in 1898, so there’s a bit of history there.
It might be just a footy game, but the Grand Final appearance has created a buzz in Glenrowan that hasn’t been seen for years.