Melbourne and Richmond skippers Nathan Jones and Trent Cotchin with Sergeant Rhi Busch. Picture: Michael Klein
Melbourne and Richmond skippers Nathan Jones and Trent Cotchin with Sergeant Rhi Busch. Picture: Michael Klein

Dees predict record-breaking Anzac crowd

MELBOURNE is expecting its biggest crowd in 54 years for Tuesday night's blockbuster Anzac Day eve clash against reigning premier Richmond.

The Demons have predicted an attendance in excess of 87,000 which would make it the largest crowd since Melbourne and Collingwood drew 86,664 in Round 9, 1964.

Fans have been urged to arrive early to avoid missing the Anzac ceremony starting at 6.45pm.

It is a huge occasion for the Demons' players who were accused of damaging the club's rebuilt reputation in the 67-point loss to Hawthorn last week.

Melbourne chief executive Peter Jackson said the team had to show improvement.

"We definitely need to bounce back because last week was not what we want to be seen as and we all know that," Jackson said.

Jayden Hunt in action during last year’s Anzac Day eve clash.
Jayden Hunt in action during last year’s Anzac Day eve clash.

"We have worked very hard over the past few years to build what we want this club to look like and it didn't look like that last week and we need to fix that.

"That's the good thing about footy, you get the chance next week to redeem yourself and we are looking forward to that."

The Anzac eve clash last year drew 85,657, surpassing estimates by about 10,000.

"Both clubs have been working at this together and it (annual fixture) is a great outcome and it's happened so quickly," Jackson said.

"We feel it's going to be a great game for many years to come."

Jackson said the pre-game Anzac ceremony was a special occasion on the AFL calendar and complimented the traditional Collingwood-Essendon game on Wednedsay.

"Australian sporting crowds are great in the respect they show for these sort of occasions and it turns out to be a spine-tingling experience and great for everybody," he said.


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