South Melbourne pub rolls in 100 barrels for the Swans faithful

The grand final is a test for any Victorian pub but deep in the heart of South Melbourne, at the Rising Sun, Saturday will be a day like few others – and it’s set to go off.

“We’ve had a delivery of 100 barrels of beer this week,” said publican Hayley Wakefield. “Fifty of them are in my back shed because we could only fit 50 in the cellar.”

Hayley Wakefield at the Rising Sun with Swans supporters Myles Baron-Hat, Tony Jansz, Johan Du Toit, Murray King and Ian Wenham who made the journey from Sydney for the grand final.Credit:Chris Hopkins

“The pub really supports the Sydney Swans. This is the heart and soul of the Swan supporters in Melbourne, and we’ll always get around them.”

The Rising Sun, which nestles on the corner of Raglan Street and Eastern Street, is the closest pub to Lakeside Oval – once home to the South Melbourne Football Club before the team’s move to Sydney.

The pub has maintained its link with fans and players despite the relocation and with Sydney in Saturday’s grand final, Wakefield has been inundated with emails and phone calls from Swans fans keen to secure a booking – and they’re likely to be queuing from the early hours.

“We’ll open the doors at 10 o’clock, but I think they’ll be lining up from 8am to get in,” Wakefield said.

Wakefield and her staff are prepping the pub with hundreds of red and white balloons and have hired security to manage numbers, but she isn’t worried about patrons getting too rowdy.

“Swans supporters have always been extremely gentrified compared to the other AFL teams, so I don’t think there’s going to be any problems,” she said.

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