Footy runs deep for Tigers, Giants fans

Fans packed central Melbourne to catch a glimpse of their AFL heroes ahead of the premiership clash.
Fans packed central Melbourne to catch a glimpse of their AFL heroes ahead of the premiership clash.

Michael Mielczarek waited almost four decades to see his beloved Richmond Tigers win an AFL premiership, but his young daughters are hoping to see their second in two years.

Lila, nine, and Marlo, six, dressed in yellow and black, were among a crowd of thousands who showed up for the AFL Grand Final Parade ahead of the Tigers' clash with Greater Western Sydney on Saturday.

"Two years ago (when Richmond won the grand final) was a special dream, I'd been waiting 37 years so hopefully we get another," Mr Mielczarek told AAP.

Club colours certainly favoured the local contenders Richmond on the parade sidelines on Friday.

"I'm feeling really excited to see them win," Lila said from behind her tiger face mask.

For the Longey family, Richmond loyalty runs deep.

One-year-old Dylan takes his name from among the Tigers' player list, as does brother Jack.

"Dylan Grimes, and there's that many Jacks on the team," dad Dominic said.

There was a splash of GWS orange through Friday's crowd, including Emily Young, who is convinced the visitors can win Saturday's flag.

"At the moment it is a 50/50 game. I don't think anyone has an advantage over either team," the Parramatta woman said, having supported the club since its inception.

"I reckon we go in as underdogs in nearly every game we play and that seems to spur us along a bit. I like the underdog tag in that regards."

The parade has been part of the game since 1977 and kicked off at the Old Treasury Building before wrapping up at the AFL Grand Final Live Site near the MCG.

Fans are expected to flock the AFL Grand Final Live Site outside the MCG at Yarra Park from 9am on Saturday, while Tigers fans head to Punt Road Oval.

Australian Associated Press