There’s plenty of big AFL dogs in town right now, but none bigger than top dog, Gillon McLachlan, who seems like he’s yet to take a breath.

On Friday, McLachlan spoke to 96FM’s Russell Clarke and Ryan Daniels and told us that Perth has got a rather familiar vibe to it

“It’s unbelievable,” he said.

“It feels like a real Melburnian, Victorian Grand Final… everyone’s into it, everyone’s owning it, everyone’s out and about celebrating it in their own way.”

McLachlan also remarked on the energy of West Australians.

“They’re creating what I hope will be one of the great Grand Finals,” he said. “It’s set up beautifully, the venue’s incredible, the weather looks good, we’re getting close to being up to the players to do their job.”

Ryan Daniels put to McLachlan that West Aussies often joke that it’s not the AFL but still the VFL, but considering the energy, could that joke turn a corner?


“I could stay here, I can tell you,” McLachlan replied. “If it’s always like this, I’m not going anywhere.”

Thing is, after hosting the Dreamtime game and now the Grand Final, could Perth be a contender for future big-ticket events such as the ANZAC Day clash, or as Ryan Daniels deadpanned: “Can you see that we’re ready for it?”

“Yeah,” he replied. “I’ve been sort of overt about that, I’ve had conversations with Richmond an Essendon, clearly it wouldn’t be every year, but they think there’s a possibility to look at doing it semi-regularly. I think selling out that game so fast with two non-West Australian teams has made everyone look at this stadium at bit differently.”

One player who has made the AFL really work for the Grand Final to be held in Perth, with borders and COVID-safe policies, has been our own premier, Mark McGowan.


“Yeah, I think we’re in a pretty good place, I’m not sure we were a couple of years ago,” McLachlan said.


“All good partnerships have their ups and downs but we’re both pretty happy campers at the moment.”

Gil added that he and McGowan had a good laugh together on Thursday during the entertainment rehearsals.

“He’s loving having this game here in WA and we’re pretty grateful.”

Lastly, McLachlan has been infuriating coy over tipping a winner, imploring that the game will be a draw.

It wasn’t good enough for us. We wanted to know who was going to be holding up that cup.

After some silence and some pained umming and ahhing, he unexpectedly just came out and said it…


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