Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made a number of cheeky digs during the Grand Final breakfast in Melbourne as footy fans gear up to watch the AFL Premiership decider.
Mr Albanese appeared at the Grand Final breakfast on Saturday morning where he was joined by state and federal politicians ahead of the season finale between the Geelong Cats and Sydney Swans.
The audience appeared to be laughing after the Prime Minister joked about the group of guests at breakfast compared to the entertainment at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
“We are lucky to have so many representatives here from federal and state politics. People at the (MC) G get Robbie Williams and Delta Goodrem, you get me and Peter Dutton – so sorry about that,” he said during his speech.
Mr Albanese said Saturday’s contest should be a “cracker” as Melbourne prepare to host the first AFL Grand Final since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
“You never forget your first Grand Final. Mine was way back in 1989 when I drove down to see one of the greatest Grand Finals that had ever been held between Hawthorne and Geelong,” he said.
“I was on the edge of my seat. Hopefully I’ll be in a better seat today than I was back then.
“If Geelong win, I’m really worried that when I was away last week in London, Richard Marles was the acting Prime Minister, so I’m worried that he’s also sworn himself in as the minister for the Cats.”
Mr Albanese then gave a shoutout to Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff, who is still waiting for an answer on whether the AFL will hand the state a licence for a 19th team.
“Jeremey has been camping outside AFL House for a couple of weeks now, waiting for news on the Tassie AFL team – so it’s nice he’s been let in here for a hot meal. Good on you Jeremy,” he said.
The Grand Final will begin at 2:30pm at the MCG on Saturday with Geelong heading into the clash as slight favourites looking to continue their 15-game winning streak.
“Win or lose. Sydney have done Australia a great favour in knocking Collingwood out last week by a point,” Mr Albanese said.
Thousands of avid AFL fans gathered on the banks of Melbourne’s Yarra River on Friday to see their idols from the Geelong Cats and Sydney Swans ahead of the Grand Final.
The parade was the first time it had occurred in Melbourne since 2019 after the 2020 match was moved to Brisbane and the 2021 Grand Final to Perth amid COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria.
Despite huge numbers of fans turning up for the parade, the AFL’s decision to move away from the traditional structure was slammed.
Mr Albanese weighed in on the parade saying: “To Gill, I would say having watched the parade on the Yarra yesterday, to quote a former prime minister, ‘we do need to stop the boats’,” he said.
Despite Sydney being the underdogs, Swans forward Tom Papley believes his team has what it takes to bring the premiership back to the Harbour City.
“Geelong’s a great team they’re the benchmark all year, they won two more games than anyone else their defence and stuff has been all year but we’re confident we can get the job done,” he said.
During the season, the Swans beat the Cats by 30 points at home, the same match which saw thousands of spectators rush onto the Sydney Cricket Ground after Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin kicked his 1000th goal.