AS TWO Leeton-Whitton sides prepare for their respective grand finals this weekend, there's one excited fan who can't wait to see them run out onto the field.
That man is Tom Thompson, who along with several others including Ron Watts, Pat Lyons and Paul Preston, were among those responsible for the merging of the Leeton Redlegs and Whitton Tigers.
This year actually marks the 25th anniversary of this successful merge and what better way to celebrate than by bringing home to potential premierships in the under 17.5s and first grade.
"It (the merger) was pretty controversial at the time," Thompson said.
"When it did happen, everyone was on deck though. The league Whitton were playing in prior to that was going to 'bust up' and the Redlegs were struggling as well."
Having played many seasons for the Redlegs, Thompson was also the last Redlegs president and the first Leeton-Whitton Crows secretary.
With the grand finals fast approaching and having secured his ticket to attend, Thompson said the excitement was growing, not just for him, but around town.
"It's a very exciting time," he said.
"I'll never forget that first grade premiership win in 2017 (the first for the Leeton-Whitton entity). There were a lot of tears from a lot of grown men and women that day.
"I have full faith in both sides on the weekend. They are great teams and they've all dealt with a lot this season with COVID-19.
"We're all really proud of everyone who is involved on and off the field."