The more, the merrier.
That's the general sentiment for clubs who will have the opportunity to host football and netball finals this year.
The busiest time of the season is finally here, and that means an increased workload for many clubs who have been given the responsibility of hosting finals.
From food to parking to alcohol and groundskeeping, there is an array of areas that clubs must keep in mind.
Warrack Eagles hosted the Wimmera league grand final day last year, running what most would agree was a successful event. The club's then-president Adrian Bibby said there was one key factor to the success of the day.
"Finals really involves every person at the club. Last year we would have been looking at having a couple of hundred people involved - no worries about that," he said.
"It makes it really hard if you have plenty of teams playing in the finals.
"We had access to a fair few players, which made things easier. You need absolutely everyone you can get hold of.
"Last year did run well. It really all comes down to the volunteer help you get. The more, the merrier."
Mr Bibby said food and parking were some of the biggest factors to consider when planning to host a final.
"The main thing was making sure you have plenty of (food), and you don't run out. You take a bit of a punt by seeing how you have gone in the past as to what you need," he said.
"I found other clubs were very helpful when it came to ... asking them what types of numbers they would put out for different types of food.
"Parking is also another big thing. Even though we didn't have to man the gates, you have to make sure you have enough parking."
The whole club has to help and that's the way it is.Trevor Baker
Followers of the Mininera league will flock to Ararat's Alexandra Oval for the second semi-final, with the Ararat Eagles tasked with pulling strings behind the scenes. President Nats McRoberts reinforced that hosting a final was all about people power.
"There are people who are coming out of the woodwork who are willing to help that have been affiliated with the club in the past," he said.
The Eagles are focused on making the day a special occasion for rusted-on fans and neutral followers alike.
"We'll have the jumping castle, and I think we have (local musician) Parso to come and do the national anthem and sing a few songs at half-time," Mr McRoberts said. "We'll grasp it with both hands and see where we can go with it. Like every other volunteer organisation, we're relying on volunteers to turn up on the day."
Despite the heavy investment of people power into hosting a final or grand final, they are incredibly lucrative occasions for clubs.
The Horsham District league finals work on a rotational basis, with the aim of sharing finals across the league over several years. The grand final is at Horsham City Oval every year.
Pimpinio will host this season's preliminary final and president Trevor Baker said planning was well underway.
"Preparation of the oval is the main thing, and then there's the car parking, too. There's a lot in it," he said.
"It takes a whole club to run it... you have to do the rosters, barbecues, car parking and all that stuff. So we're well and truly in front of it. There would be around 70 (people) working. The whole club has to help - and that's the way it is."
Stawell Warriors committee member Colene Matthews said the club would fill more than 100 different "shifts" when the club hosts the Wimmera league's second semi-final.
"Those jobs can be from putting out extra bins, cooking chips in the deep fryer to scoring on the netball court," she said.
Mrs Matthews said the hardest aspect of hosting a final was finding volunteers.
"Sometimes at the end of the season and when teams aren't in finals, it's hard to get some players and supporters back to help," she said. "If we have teams in the finals, it's tricky as well because our volunteers are tied up with getting the teams onto the field."
The Wimmera league works slightly differently, with finals venues allocated according to what best suits the league.
"Both leagues will try to avoid senior home ground advantage as a priority," AFL Wimmera-Mallee general manager Steve McQueen said.
Mr McQueen said planning for finals started months in advance in order to be as prepared as possible.
"At the end of June we started thinking about possibilities and scenarios of who would likely be playing finals," he said.
"We have already had talks with police about venues and liquor licensing."
The spotlight was shone on crowd behaviour at AFL games this year. Mr McQueen said AFL Wimmera-Mallee and police were committed to keeping people safe at finals.
"We have a great relationship with regional police and work closely with them to ensure things run smoothly and safely," he said.
Mr Bibby said hosting a final was big for any club.
"It is a good money-spinner, so most are interested," he said.
Mr McQueen said it is exciting to be approaching the "business end" of the season.
"Finals is ultimately why people play," he said. "It is the time of year where there is a bit of an extra buzz around."
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