Echuca United premiership players continued celebrating the club's first senior grand final win, dressed in their finest, on Mad Monday.By Luke McManus
The triumphant Echuca United premiership team descended on the American Hotel on Monday, continuing their post-match celebrations well into the afternoon.
Verses from the club’s theme song could be heard from streets away as the premiers, draped in their best Mad Monday outfits, enjoyed a ride around town in the back of truck before settling in for an afternoon of quiet reminiscing and storytelling.
Josh Rankins was one of the Eagles’ prized recruits this year, having played with Swan Hill in the Central Murray Football League for five seasons, winning two premierships with the Swans.
Rankins, dressed as his club coach and teammate Scott Beattie, said it didn’t take long for the Eagles family to welcome him with ‘‘open arms’’ and for him to forecast the success which lies ahead.
‘‘It’s a very family-orientated club,’’ he said.
‘‘That sort of environment brings great people, great people brings success, and off you go from there.
‘‘I’ve been lucky enough to play in a couple (of premierships), and to play alongside great blokes before, and these guys are no exception.
‘‘You could tell at the start of the season, the club was destined for great things.
‘‘After our win against Mulwala away (in round three) I thought, righteo, something special is about to happen here.
‘‘We grabbed it with both hands and that was it.
‘‘Obviously the boys had a bit of success last year, we didn’t lose any players and gained a few, so the goal was to make a grand final and nothing less.
‘‘Obviously, you never know what can happen grand final day but gee whiz, when we ran out, in the back of my mind I thought nothing was going to stop us.’’
Club stalwarts Duane Heuston and Jake Guinan shared a similar line of thought.
Hueston, who kicked two goals on Saturday, said the triumph was ‘‘just reward for many years of hard work’’.
‘‘It feels really good,’’ he said.
Short and sharp, but more than enough from the 2013 Murray Football League player of the year, who was happy to simply soak in the atmosphere around him.
Sporting his personalised Redfoo ‘‘wiggy’’, Guinan spoke highly of a club he’d been part of since 1994.
‘‘(The) Best thing was, after being water boy and running the boundary for the seniors when I was 12-year-old, sharing the win with the older blokes,’’ he said.
‘‘It wasn’t about getting a medallion for me, it was about getting it for the supporters, for the guys who’ve been there since ‘94, and for the blokes from (Echuca) East and (Echuca) South.’’
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