FOR nine years Bill Grant has held the mantle as the last coach of a senior premiership team for Mitiamo in the Loddon Valley league.
On Saturday, though, Bill is desperately hoping he can pass that baton onto his son, Andy, who will coach the Superoos in their grand final against Newbridge.
“It would be terrific if that happens on Saturday for Andy and the boys… I couldn’t think of anything better,” Bill said on Thursday.
Mitiamo’s last premiership win was in 2009 when Bill guided the Superoos to a comprehensive 58-point grand final win over Calivil United – 22.11 (143) to 12.13 (85).
It was a game remembered for not only the Superoos ending the golden run of Calivil United, which had won the previous six premierships, but also the dominant performances of Mitiamo twin tower forwards Ryan Haythorpe (eight goals) and Alex Chapman (seven).
The Superoos’ 2009 premiership was won at Bridgewater, the same venue where Mitiamo will go into battle against Newbridge.
There is a strong Grant flavour to Mitiamo’s grand final team this weekend.
As well as Andy coaching, Bill – who led Mitiamo from 2006 to 2010 – will have two other sons, Tom, who was a member of the 2009 premiership side, and Matt, as part of the Superoos team.
The opportunity for Andy, Matt and Tom to be part of a Mitiamo premiership on Saturday comes on the back of what has been a tough and emotional year for the family after their mum and Bill’s wife, Annette, passed away in June from pancreatic cancer.
“It would be very special to win it for mum… no doubt she’d be very proud,” Andy said.
Added Bill: “She used to come along and watch everything, especially after she finished her netball, but she had been watching the kids right from when they started out.”
An Annette Grant Memorial Game was held last month when both Mitiamo and Marong players wore purple socks, with the match raising funds and awareness for research into pancreatic cancer.
“That day had fantastic support from both Mitiamo and Marong and helped to raise some awareness and, hopefully, that will continue to grow,” Andy said.
“But it would be amazing if we could get the job done on Saturday. I know mum will be looking down and it would be great for the family.”
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