Glenelg captain Max Proud is happy to concede that the incredible year the Tigers have had wouldn’t have meant much at all had they not made it to this weekend’s grand final.
Glenelg won 17 games in a row in 2021, before losing to Port Adelaide in round 19 and then again two weeks later to grand final opponents the Eagles in the second semi final.
While many Glenelg fans wouldn’t have wanted to see their side lose at all this year, the two-straight losses seem to have pushed the side even further, galvanising for a 28-point win over South Adelaide in the preliminary final.
“The Eagles have been a great club for along time and we expected them to be here at this time of year to be honest,” Proud said.
“We didn’t have a great year last year, but I think the way that we performed this year, being 17-1 wouldn’t have meant much if we weren’t here at the last opportunity.
“We’ve had some great battles against the Eagles in the past, a couple of weeks ago was a good example of that, so I’m sure it’s going to be a good game.”
Proud debuted at SANFL league level in 2012, and since then has played 132 games for Glenelg.
He was given the honour as captain at the beginning of 2020, on the back of the club’s premiership glory the year before, a day Proud still has strong memories of.
“Personally, it’s a bit different (this time), and it had been so long since Glenelg had played in a grand final, in 2019,” he said.
“But we’ve had a lot of turn over of players – like the Eagles have from last year – it tends to happen after a grand final win, you lose guys to the AFL or they retire.
“So we’ve got a really different group at the moment, with guys who have joined the club and are starving for success and to repeat what we did in 2019.
“There’s no question about how much the guys want it and it’s good that we’ve got guys that have been there before to be able to help in the lead up this week, we’ve got good confidence in those guys.”
More SANFL Grand Final Week on The Inner Sanctum
The understanding about what needs to be done on the weekend for the Tigers is as clear as can be, despite the murky month just gone, according to Proud.
“You’ve got to move on in some ways and look forward to how we can play our best footy, and do what we’ve done for the majority of the year and just play our style of footy,” he said.
“We know that’s good enough and as long as we bring that intensity, we know we’re going to be around the mark.
“We’ve got great belief in the way we play we’ve just got to bring it for four quarters.”
The Tigers could potentially go into the game on Sunday unchanged, although have included Brad McCarthy, Jonty Scharenberg and Will Chandler onto an extended bench.
The bayside club’s reserves team will also play off for a title at Adelaide Oval, kicking off against Central District at 12pm on Sunday before the league.
Proud will lead his side in the grand final from 3pm on Sunday, as he goes for his second premiership and first as captain.
Keep up to date with the 2021 SANFL grand final week right here, as The Inner Sanctum has every angle covered. Tomorrow: umpire Corey Bowen ahead of his sixth grand final and our comprehensive grand final preview.
Subscribe to our newsletter!