This month's non-fiction book for theEdge of the Crowd's Book Club isFooty Bannersby Leigh Meyrick and Matthew Hagias.
As January hits, football clubs across Australia are returning, as players begin preseason training, whether at a professional level or Under 10s.
Boys, girls, men and women will all lace up the boots, and on game day, will take part in one of the most unique traditions in Australian football - running through the banner and out onto the field.
As Meyrick describes, the footy banner is synonymous with a dedication to the game by the non-players. It's cheerleaders (at the professional level) and parents and friends (at the local level) who tirelessly prepare the banner each week.
They work all week to painstakingly build a banner, often with a witty line or celebration of an achievement, only for it to be ripped to shreds as the players enter onto the field.
Meyrick has chosen it as the title story for a collection of acknowledgements to the great traditions of the game and pays homage to it.
The banner, at full stance, moments before the Sydney Swans run through it during the 2019 AFL season. Image: Dan Coppel
Footy Bannerswas an apt choice asthe AFLW season begins, and as players around the nation prepare for another season.
It serves as a reminder of all the reasons to love the game, and for people new to the game, why they should fall in love with it.
The book was released in late 2021 and is available in bookstores across Australia.
To see our Fiction book for January,click here.