In eight days time something will happen which I am a long way from used to.
An Australian based sporting franchise I support will attempt to win a championship, which if successful will be the first time I have tasted championship glory in my own country.
While I don’t know who the Canberra Cavalry will be taking on for the Claxton Shield, one thing is for certain – the images that unfold will stick with me forever.
The most common question I get asked is “Why Canberra?”
Simple really, when the ABL was re-formed in 2009 I had no geographical ties as I wasn’t living in an ABL market.
I waited until the sides were announced and examined logos and colour schemes and potential home grounds to come up with a winner, and my heart landed (and stuck) in the capital.
By the time the first game of the new ABL rolled around I was less than 48 hours from completing my undergraduate degree at James Cook University in Townsville.
Rather than studying for my last ever exam (Ethics in Journalism, I believe) I sat listening to the HHH coverage of the Cavalry and Blue Sox from Blacktown as the Cavs went down in an agonising 1-0 game.
The inaugural season didn’t get any better and by the time the clashes against Brisbane were flooded out in Mid-January we were 12-24, in dead last place and the laughing stock of the league after being on the wrong end of too many blowouts.
Flash forward twelve months and the Melbourne Aces eliminate the Cavalry on the last day of the season at the showgrounds.
This would have been tough enough to watch had I not been an Aces employee at the time, a process which served as a massive learning curve of what loyalty is all about.
When I look at how far we’ve come I realise the result doesn’t matter, because we have shown that we belong.
Would a championship be nice ? Yes of course it would, because it is a feeling that I have rarely felt in my life.
Do I fancy our chances better if we beat Sydney or Perth ? No. We are going to have to play hopefully two and possibly three great games of ball to be the first team outside of Perth to win the revamped league while claiming a spot in the 2013 Asia series.
What do I think will happen at The Fort ? I think there are going to be a few thousand people just like me, proud of the fact they’ve stuck something through, when it might have been easier to give up, who are hoping for the best but have seen enough to know better.
Whatever happens my blood is orange and there is always next year.