“We came down to training to see the boys because we are happy about the win on the weekend.”
With those words, young Alex Pasznicki summed up the feelings of every one of the hundreds of West Coast fans who flocked to Subiaco Oval yesterday after the epic win over Collingwood on Saturday.
The 12-year-old from Roleystone, who describes himself as the Eagles’ “number one fan”, was so keen to congratulate and cheer on his heroes as they trained that, like many other youngsters at the ground, he took the afternoon off school.
“It was a good win,” Alex said. “Hopefully we make the grand final.”
Woodvale grandfather Kim Hunter had his three-year-old granddaughter Evie on his lap as he turned his mind to the reality that his team was just one home win away from a ticket to the MCG.
“I’m excited about it,” he said. “They’ve been playing really well all year and they played really well on Saturday — and I think they will do it again. I think they are pretty keen to atone for 2015 (grand final loss).
“I was at 2015 and I’m keen to atone for it as well.”
Mr Hunter said if the Eagles win their preliminary final against Hawthorn or Melbourne on Saturday week, then he will be booking a flight — or driving — across the Nullarbor no matter what.
“You don’t get this opportunity too many times in your life,” he said. “It’s much better to enjoy things like this than a lot of other things that are going on in the world — it’s fantastic.”
Other West Coast fans are much more confident and have started organising tickets on a charter flight heading east.
Hype Tours director Aaron Ford said there had been a steady increase in supporters registering their interest in the flight.
It will depart only if the Eagles reach the grand final and will leave Perth at 7am on the Friday before the grand final and return at 1pm on Sunday.
“The interest has been strong,” Mr Ford said. “It’s been coming in steady since Saturday night and probably since this morning it has been taking off.”
Seats on the 100-person capacity plane can be guaranteed with a $150 non-refundable deposit.
Last night, the cheapest direct fare between Perth and Melbourne with Qantas — leaving Friday 11.50pm and returning Sunday 9.20pm — was $1309.
A Virgin flight would have cost at least $1248, Jetstar $1042 and Tigerair $984.90.
Eagles members yesterday received information about registering for the grand final ticket ballot on Thursday.