West Coast legend Glen Jakovich has backed Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas’ plan to stage a so-called people’s parade on the eve of the AFL grand final, and said Perth owes it to heartbroken Melburnians to “put on the best show we’ve ever put on”.
A dual premiership player himself, the four-time Eagles club champion said he was “overwhelmed and humbled” to be chosen to carry the cup onto the turf of Optus Stadium at the AFL decider on September 25.
However, Jakovich believes it is important to acknowledge the loss Victorians are suffering, missing out on the grand final two years in a row due to COVID outbreaks.
“Their heart’s been ripped right out, they are the sporting capital of our nation. You go to Melbourne for grand final week, and from Monday onwards it’s just an amazing experience,” Jakovich said.
“The heart of football has always been at the MCG and, while we’ve got this opportunity, I think it’s important that we respect it, we enjoy it, and fulfil what it requires to put on the best show we’ve ever put on.”
And while Victoria’s loss is WA’s gain, Jakovich is quick to assure the AFL world that Perth will put on a show.
“Its bizarre circumstances in the world that we live in at the moment, but I’m very, very grateful of this opportunity for West Australians; that we’ve got this unique experience about to happen,” he said.
“We are the custodians of [the game], we get to hold all those experiences and opportunities, starting from this Sunday with the Brownlow at Optus… it’s going to be a truly wonderful experience for all West Australians and all Australians who can get a ticket or be involved.
“The build-up is going to be enormous.”
Jakovich highlighted the significance of the City of Perth’s alternate people’s parade in getting fans involved.
“I think it’s important that we do hold something for the people, not everyone is going to be able to go to the grand final, so I think everyone deserves to relish and enjoy the atmosphere,” he said.
“It’s a people’s game and it’s a people week, regardless of whether your team is participating or not, you can really be involved.”
As this year’s premiership cup ambassador, the Eagles great is responsible for touring the cup across the state as well as presenting it at Optus Stadium before Saturday’s game.
“I’m really overwhelmed and somewhat humbled to have this opportunity bestowed upon me, it’s one that I’ll relish,” Jakovich said.
Allocated tickets for both Demons and Bulldogs fans have already been snatched up, with remaining 10,000 general admission seats set to go on sale at 10am tomorrow.