The Aldinga Football Club experienced the biggest day in the club's history with the attendance of the Channel Nine's The Footy Show team.
Brownlow medallist and Hawthorn premiership player Shane Crawford donned on the Aldinga Sharks’ black and gold jumper, Sam Newman arrived by helicopter and sang the national anthem and Billy Brownless was as social as he seems on television.
After massive losses in the first few rounds of the Southern Football League, Crawford made a promise on national television that he would play for the Sharks and help them be more competitive.
On Saturday, May 24, he honoured that promise and the day lived up to all the hype with a crowd of 5000 people attending and to top off the perfect day, Aldinga won.
Hopefully it has changed the perception of what our club is like, as we are far more professional than what people think.Aldinga Football Club president Danny Wilde
Aldinga won its first game for the season 15.20 to O’Sullivan Beach (OSB)/Lonsdale 11.6. Crawford starred, kicking four goals and figuring in the best players.
To promote the day, Crawford had a training run with the club on Thursday, May 22, and Newman conducted the popular segment 'Street Talk' at nearby Maslins Beach.
There were crosses to Crawford at training on the Thursday screened on The Footy Show.
Crawford also ran an Auskick clinic for 100 youngsters on Friday, May 23, at the club, and on the Saturday night there was a sportsman's night featuring Crawford, Brownless, Warwick Capper and Andrew Jarman.
Port Adelaide premiership player Warren Tredrea kick started the day, introducing Sam Newman as he flew in by helicopter with the match ball and sang the national anthem before the game started.
According to Aldinga Football Club president, Danny Wilde, it will be a day no one will forget.
"It put Aldinga on the map," Danny said.
"There was a good feeling all around the ground, a lot of hype and excitement.
"It was buzzing and we are so appreciative of what Channel Nine did for our football club.
"I have been here for 36 years and to see this happen tor our club makes me so happy.
"Hopefully it has changed the perception of what our club is like, as we are far more professional than what people think.
"Not many clubs could pull this event off."
At one stage he (Crawford) was on the interchange bench, so he started signing autographs and Steve told him to concentrate on the match and get back out on the ground.Aldinga Football Club president Danny Wilde
Danny said there was a lot of pressure on individuals at the club, but was impressed to see the whole community gel and bond by running such a big event.
Danny said the reputation of the club has been enhanced by a former AFL champion, who wore number 99 on the day and gained kicks at will. He said Crawford took the game very seriously and coach Steve Flintham made sure the Brownlow Medallist carried out his instructions.
Crawford played on-ball and in the forward pocket.
"It was great he was playing, but Steve made sure he stuck to the rules," Danny said.
"At one stage he was on the interchange bench, so he started signing autographs and Steve told him to concentrate on the match and get back out on the ground.
"Crawf said he was impressed with some of our players, but one thing is for sure he certainly sparked the Sharks, and we will never forget it."