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Monday, 29 September 1997
Page: 8627

Mrs DRAPER —As many members of the House would be aware, the AFL Grand Final Premiership Cup crossed the Victorian border into South Australia for the first time on the weekend. An incredible feeling of pride and elation has swept the state following the Adelaide Crows historic win on Saturday.

The team have rightly been hailed as heroes—with the biggest hero of all being South Australian coach, Malcolm Blight, who returned to the coaching box for Adelaide at the start of the year and has taken the team right to the very top. We have given the Crows a huge welcome home: thousands of fans turned out at Adelaide airport to see them return, 25,000 fans joined them for a celebration yesterday afternoon and a ticker tape parade will honour the team on Friday.

From the moment the Crows entered the AFL competition, they had a hard battle ahead to prove themselves in the Victorian dominated competition. Not only did the Crows triumph over St Kilda on Saturday; they did it well, with a 31-point win.

I must express my heartfelt sympathies to Nicky Winmar on the loss of his father. To Andrew McLeod, you not only played a courageous game, but you showed true compassion towards Nicky after the final siren. To Tony Modra and Peter Vardi, while we were saddened that injuries prevented you from taking part, we all recognise the important part you played throughout the season.

Diehard fans such as me always knew Adelaide could do it, and the team did not let us down. Congratulations, Adelaide Crows. You have worked hard for this. You deserve this. You have given the state great cause to celebrate and you certainly are the pride of South Australia. (Time expired)

Mr SPEAKER —I note particularly the scarf worn by the honourable member for Makin. I hope the atmospherics here this afternoon do not prove to be too warm for you.