Dare to dream | Dees and Dogs family preparing for big day

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Is it a nightmare or a dream? For a Stawell family divided by Demons and Bulldogs football colours, it is a dream come to true to see both of their beloved sides meet on football’s grandest stage. At 7:15pm on Saturday the Stewart family will have their eyes glued to the television to watch the clubs battle for the AFL premiership cup in Western Australia. The family, filled with five generations of passionate supporters, are anxiously preparing for the biggest game of the 2021 AFL season, with all parts of the family hoping to see a thrilling contest. For siblings Ian Stewart and Janine Sibson, the healthy rivalry dates back to their parents. “Mum and dad went to the first grand final in 1954 and dad was sitting in there amongst all the Bulldogs people and of course they won,” Mrs Sibson said. “Then they got married the month after. READ MORE: “I can remember my dad taking me to the Whitten Oval when I was little, getting to watch Teddy Whitten and Nanna used to take us to the MCG. “On their gravestones they have the emblems engraved into the headstones.” Their mum, Val, was a staunch Demons supporter and got Ian and their brother Steven onboard with the Demons. Their dad, Geoff, was a one-eyed Bulldogs fan and managed to get Ian’s sister Janine Sibson on the Doggies bandwagon. For Ian Stewart he was nervously awaiting the grand final, an opportunity for the Demons to win their first premiership since 1964. “We can’t lose can we,” Stewart said. “If we were playing another team it might be different, but if we lose, we get to feel good for them (Bulldogs fans). “When the Bulldogs fell out of the top four I didn’t think it could happen, but here we are. “I’d love it to be a draw and then they can play another ten minutes, and then it can still be a draw, so then they can play another 10 minutes. “But who would know really.” For Mrs Sibson her side’s premiership drought was broken in 2016, when the Western Bulldogs prevailed over the Sydney Swans. But in 2021 it is a different story with a different feeling. OTHER NEWS: “I’d love Melbourne to win for lots of reasons. For Max Gawn and Neale Daniher, but they are playing against my team,” she said. “We are all mad, it doesn’t matter who you barrack for, it is like a disease. “It makes me sick thinking about it really. I have been pretty good with the nerves so far. “We just want both to win really, but there can only be one winner.” In the Stewart family the Demons and Bulldogs connection continued to spread with Ian’s wife, Toni, changing her alliances when the boys were young as their teams were always at the bottom of the ladder. On Saturday night she is stuck in the middle, barracking for both the Demons and Bulldogs. Brody, the eldest son of Toni and Ian, followed his dad with Demons. Koby and Liam, their two other sons, followed their Auntie Janine and Pa with the Bulldogs. As an added piece to the puzzle Koby’s fiancée, Jessie, is also a Doggies supporter. Mrs Sibson has a son, Mark, who follows Melbourne and granddaughter, Mia who is Bulldogs. There is no doubt there will be thousands of nervous households across the country on Saturday night, but at the Stewart’s place in Stawell, there will be no losers. If you can see this message, you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Stawell Times-News, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and for allowing us to continue telling Stawell’s story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great town.

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Is it a nightmare or a dream?

For a Stawell family divided by Demons and Bulldogs football colours, it is a dream come to true to see both of their beloved sides meet on football’s grandest stage.

At 7:15pm on Saturday the Stewart family will have their eyes glued to the television to watch the clubs battle for the AFL premiership cup in Western Australia.

The family, filled with five generations of passionate supporters, are anxiously preparing for the biggest game of the 2021 AFL season, with all parts of the family hoping to see a thrilling contest.

For siblings Ian Stewart and Janine Sibson, the healthy rivalry dates back to their parents.

“Mum and dad went to the first grand final in 1954 and dad was sitting in there amongst all the Bulldogs people and of course they won,” Mrs Sibson said.

“Then they got married the month after.

“I can remember my dad taking me to the Whitten Oval when I was little, getting to watch Teddy Whitten and Nanna used to take us to the MCG.

“On their gravestones they have the emblems engraved into the headstones.”

Their mum, Val, was a staunch Demons supporter and got Ian and their brother Steven onboard with the Demons.

Their dad, Geoff, was a one-eyed Bulldogs fan and managed to get Ian’s sister Janine Sibson on the Doggies bandwagon.

For Ian Stewart he was nervously awaiting the grand final, an opportunity for the Demons to win their first premiership since 1964.

“We can’t lose can we,” Stewart said.

“If we were playing another team it might be different, but if we lose, we get to feel good for them (Bulldogs fans).

“When the Bulldogs fell out of the top four I didn’t think it could happen, but here we are.

“I’d love it to be a draw and then they can play another ten minutes, and then it can still be a draw, so then they can play another 10 minutes.

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Pictures: TALLIS MILES

“But who would know really.”

For Mrs Sibson her side’s premiership drought was broken in 2016, when the Western Bulldogs prevailed over the Sydney Swans.

But in 2021 it is a different story with a different feeling.

“I’d love Melbourne to win for lots of reasons. For Max Gawn and Neale Daniher, but they are playing against my team,” she said.

“We are all mad, it doesn’t matter who you barrack for, it is like a disease.

“It makes me sick thinking about it really. I have been pretty good with the nerves so far.

“We just want both to win really, but there can only be one winner.”

In the Stewart family the Demons and Bulldogs connection continued to spread with Ian’s wife, Toni, changing her alliances when the boys were young as their teams were always at the bottom of the ladder.

On Saturday night she is stuck in the middle, barracking for both the Demons and Bulldogs.

Brody, the eldest son of Toni and Ian, followed his dad with Demons.

Koby and Liam, their two other sons, followed their Auntie Janine and Pa with the Bulldogs.

As an added piece to the puzzle Koby’s fiancée, Jessie, is also a Doggies supporter.

Mrs Sibson has a son, Mark, who follows Melbourne and granddaughter, Mia who is Bulldogs.

There is no doubt there will be thousands of nervous households across the country on Saturday night, but at the Stewart’s place in Stawell, there will be no losers.

If you can see this message, you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Stawell Times-News, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and for allowing us to continue telling Stawell’s story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great town.

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