Riddell District grand final: Rupertswood to face Macedon

Riddell FLTHE new kids on the block are taking on a premiership-starved opponent in this weekend’s Riddell District grand final.

Sunbury-based Rupertswood has not won a final since joining the competition in 2013, despite making the top six every year.

But not only has Rupertswood won two finals this season, it has set up a grand final meeting with minor premier Macedon, a club out to break a 41-year premiership drought.

Rupertswood president Brad Pietro­monaco said it was good to “get the monkey off the back” by winning the first final.

“We knew we could do it but you’ve got to do it, they don’t give finals away,” Pietro­monaco said.

“It was a huge relief for the boys and they believe in themselves. Who knows what could happen next week?”

Rupertswood started life as a junior club with most of its players linked to Salesian College. The club first fielded a senior team in 2000.

While the club’s juniors continued to play in the Riddell junior league, the seniors joined the Victorian Amateur Football Association. Its most recent senior premiership was in 2009 in Division 1.

Pietromonaco said some people underestimated what it would take to compete in the Riddell league when the club decided to switch leagues.

Winning its first premiership would help get opposition clubs and football hierarchy to “start respecting Rupertswood for who they are”, he said.

“The dynasty is about to begin for Rupertswood football club, and the next three to five years is a huge window for this group,” he said.

Macedon coach Jeff ­Andrews said messages of support had been coming in from across the globe as the side aims to win its first premiership since 1976.

It includes one message from a former club president currently in Poland.

“I think he was almost contemplating flying back for it,” Andrews said. “It means a lot to a lot of people, so we’re ­really looking forward to it.”

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