“Our Day Will Come”. It’s a song but also a sentiment one long-suffering, rusted-on Perth Glory fan is feeling right now as the WA capital prepares for Sunday’s historic A-League Grand Final.
Dennis Gedling has been a passionate and regular Perth Glory fans for most of his adult life.
He's seen it all. Most of it, not so good, but he's always been there, supporting his side.
Back in the NSL to the A-League, Gedling has never wavered in his support for WA’s flagship football side.
He’s a true believer with Glory in his DNA.
Now, he is on the cusp of the greatest day.
In Glory’s way on Sunday is Sydney FC.
We caught up with a giddy Gedling, one of the hosts of the popular Glory Guerrillas podcast, to gauge his feelings about Sunday’s blockbuster at Optus Stadium and the season to remember in Perth.
First, Dennis, have you recovered from that epic semi final with the Reds? And how do you sum that up?
Getting there with the recovery.
Friday night was exhausting more than anything else in the end.
Like many times this season so much to process mentally.
Are we top of the league? Are we winning games? Are we in a Grand Final?
It's an out of body experience.
As Glory fans, many years of heartache in the A-League (let's not talk Brisbane 2012). So, how does it feel now being Premiership winner and with a home grand final favorites for the Championship double?
When we won the Premiers Plate it was relief more than anything else. It all still feels new and unusual and has not sunk in at all.
The turnaround under the three Tonys (Popovic, Pignata, Sage) has caught the whole league by surprise let alone the long-suffering Glory fans.
There is no real smugness.
I just constantly think of that Ruby and the Romantics song: "Our day will come."
Sum up the season so far?
A blessing. A joy.
A gift for those who have stuck by the club through the constant away losses, the salary cap debacle, signing rejects from other clubs, being under FFA control, Jamie Harnwell and Adrian Webster punching on with each other on the pitch after a game, Steve McMahon (both Sr and Jr), Brisbane 2012...
Glory has been part of my DNA really.
I met some of my closest friends through the club.
Copped many, 'Why do you bother anymore' from some Eurosnob football mates.
I just feel happy for so many people I know who have suffered along as the league went gangbusters at times over east.
The club this season have also hit the spot with fan interaction and making the whole experience enjoyable for all.
Professional from head to toe.
Optus Stadium to host GF. Good idea or would HGF Park give you more of an advantage? Thoughts?
Tony Pignata, the Glory CEO, joked with us at the start of the season that he'd see us at Optus for the Grand Final so they always had it in mind.
We had our three NSL home Grand Finals at Subi so it's not like it hasn't been done before.
While Subi was a relic, Optus is a state of the art stadium and after being there for a rugby event last year it's not that bad for rectangle sports.
It's for events like this that the thing was built and the Grand Final has to be maximised for the sake of the league.
Look at United for their Grand Final in 2016 and Wanderers in 2013.
It's a shame we'll lose our advantage a little by moving from our spiritual home but it's not like we're having to play at the local park.
Poppa would have mindful of this situation a while ago and will (hopefully) have a contingency plan.
We also played Chelsea there in the pre-season.
How will you, as fans, approach this week? And give us a flavour of the city's sentiment towards Glory?
First priority will be tickets and then the inevitable complaints about the venue. Glory fans still love a whinge.
I think by the weekend everyone will be well and truly at fever pitch.
With no AFL in Perth on Saturday or Sunday, the clear air in the press will also have many chomping at the bit.
Can the fans fill the new stadium? What's your attendance tip?
West Australians love a good bandwagon so it's more than doable. It all depends on the ticket price. $35 for the semi was surprisingly excellent.
Looks like it won't be a massive hike so they'll get at least 50,000.
An Asian adventure in 2020 with Glory in the Champions League? Glory versus the best of the J-League, China, Korea, midweek games at HBF Park... your thoughts?
Can't wait. With the struggles of the ACL in Australia Glory are being proactive by selling 3-game deals for members at $60 for the lot, which is great.
Many of us are also waiting for the draw so the away trip can be made for our first big OS adventure.
It's history and we know our coach has done alright in this competition.
The likes of Castro and Fornaroli against some of Asia's best will be a joy to watch.
Given the number of re-signings, are we about to witness the (apologies for the hackneyed phrase) Glory Years of the A-League?
As we know with the A-League, player movements can fluctuate.
The likes of Davidson, Castro, and Keogh re-signing shows that the culture at the club under Pignata and Popovic is the strongest it's ever been.
A strong culture goes a long way in this league. Look at Melbourne Victory. The issue will perhaps be holding on to players who will chase further money OS.
To hold on to Ikonomidis for another would be a bonus.
What do you remember about the last time Glory hosted a national men's final back in the NSL days at Subiaco?
Well, I was just out of uni and enjoying my youth back then so like many memories in those days it's a bit hazy.
Because of the two previous losses [in 2000 and 2002] we were a little wounded and were a little more subdued in the pre-game knowing what was at stake.
The Harnwell goal settled us and Scotty Miller's run down the left and the dribbling goal from Damien Mori lifted the roof off [a 2-0 win over Olympic Sharks in 2003].
It was like all 40,000 there exhaled at the same time.
Those eight minutes or so where we celebrated before full time knowing we had it was something I'll never forget.
Justification for loving this team. After the game back at the pub people who I had shared at least one Glory moment with over the years came in one by one.
Hugs all-round. A common purpose and goal attained.
To cap it off the cover band playing in the car park section of the pub requested people do not urinate behind the stage as it was damaging their equipment.
They then belted out a great Neil Young cover.
One word: Tony Popovic
One word: Tony Sage
Finally, if Glory wins the Grand Final, how will you celebrate?
Not wanting to curse us but all I know is I have had a cigar since 2007 that I said I'd only smoke when we won the big one.
Came with me to Brisbane and will hopefully getting unwrapped and cut come Sunday night.
There also might be a bit of a tipple too. Just hope there's enough energy to celebrate.
Everyone was drained last Friday night from the drama.