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AFL grand final parade sees Cats and Swans take to Yarra River, but not all fans get a view

The grand final parade has made its way through Melbourne, with a leg of the festivities taking place along the Yarra River for the first time, but not all fans have been happy with the display.

Players and coaches from both teams travelled by boat along the Yarra, disembarking at Birrarung Marr before making their way to the MCG by road.

Footy fans watch as part of the grand final parade travels down the Yarra for the first time.(ABC News: Danielle Bonica)
People holding their phones and queuing.
Many thousands took advantage of the public holiday to join the festivities.(ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

However, some in today’s crowd were left disappointed by their experience, saying they missed out on seeing the on-water section of the parade.

One fan, Milly, wrote on Twitter that she was among a large crowd who missed out despite waiting in a designated “viewing area”, saying the boats had “turned around” way before reaching the spot.

Another fan, Sian Dart, said the boats turned around before they reached her.

“Those maps of the parade were full on deceptive for tens of thousands of people,” she said.

“Great concept, complete execution failure.”

Sydney Swans players on a barge on the Yarra River
Sydney Swans players wave to the fans lining the banks of the Yarra.(ABC News: Danielle Bonica)
A barge on the Yarra River containing Geelong Cats players
The Geelong Cats barge cruises along the Yarra.(ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

The ABC has contacted the AFL for comment.

It was estimated up to 250,000 people were set to take part in today’s events.

A crowd of people wearing football merchandise.
Large crowds streamed into Melbourne to soak in the atmosphere ahead of the clash.(ABC News: Danielle Bonica)
Two people eating and wearing Sydney Swans merchandise
Two Sydney Swans supporters have a bite to eat as the festivities take over Melbourne.(ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

Fans celebrate premiership’s return to Melbourne

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Atmosphere in Melbourne ahead of AFL grand final clash

Saturday’s clash between the Swans and the Cats at the MCG will be the first premiership match held in the city since the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

Among those in Melbourne this morning is the divided Chapman family.

Sydney Swans fan Matt is convinced his team will take out the win.

His seven-year-old son, Geelong Cats fan Rafa, is equally convinced his team will win.

A boy and a man wearing football memorabilia.
Sydney Swans fan Matt Chapman and his son, Geelong Cats fan Rafa are at loggerheads ahead of tomorrow’s game.(ABC News: Stephanie Ferrier)

The family bought tickets to the grand final six weeks ago.

“To have both our teams in the game is pretty special,” Mr Chapman said.

The shiny, silver 2022 AFL premiership cup.
The 2022 AFL premiership cup bears the colours of both teams ahead of the grand final.(ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

He said it was great to have the grand final parade and the game back in Melbourne.

“We’re looking forward to the day and looking forward to tomorrow’s game,” Mr Chapman said.

Swans fan Julian Farrell is a little bit superstitious.

“Every time I dress in some sort of costume, we end up losing the grand final,” he said.

“I’ve worn Santa Claus suits twice, and we’ve lost.”

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