Sirens sound in unity across the nation to launch the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season

The launch of the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership season was officially marked nation-wide on Wednesday with the iconic sound of the siren echoing in unison from stadiums and local grounds across the country.

As a sign of celebration and togetherness, ‘The First Siren’ of the season was rung for the solidarity that transcended clubs, borders, and rivalries throughout 2020, while symbolising the start of a new season – and with it a renewed sense of hope and anticipation.

From the hallowed turf of the MCG to the top end of TIO Stadium, the siren sounded at all major AFL venues including the Gabba, Metricon Stadium, MCG, Marvel Stadium, GMHBA Stadium, SCG, GIANTS Stadium, TIO Stadium, Adelaide Oval and Optus Stadium, as well as AFL’s Cape York House and NSW’s Ganmain Sportsground (Home of the Ganmain Grong Grong Matong Lions).

Each location sounded their siren at precisely 11:35am AEDST, which was live streamed onto the stadium’s big screens to showcase the moment in unison.

Representatives from the football community were invited to officially ring the siren at each location, featuring volunteers, junior footy representatives, NAB AFL Auskick participants, SES & CFA volunteers, AFL Club legends and charity partners.

AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan said it was a monumental occasion to be welcoming fans back into all stadiums around Australia following the challenges of 2020.

“The first siren of the season is more than a sound, it’s symbolic to our game and the essence of what footy is all about – bringing people together.

“Having the siren sound in unity today isn’t just a celebration of the return of the elite men’s competition, but of our connection and unbreakable community spirit.”

“To see the return of fans to stadiums across the country in a safe manner, which started with the NAB AFL Women’s Competition and AAMI Community Series has been rewarding for the football industry. I am thrilled to know there will be close to 50,000 footy fans back here tomorrow night as we begin our 2021 campaign.

“This new season brings renewed promise, optimism and hope. Our 18 clubs are all at the starting line and we are eager and excited to see the stories that will unfold in 2021 once the ball is bounced on Thursday night at the ‘G.”

The first game of the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership season will kick-off on Thursday 18 March at the MCG when Richmond and Carlton go head-to-head in front of a COVID-19 safe capacity crowd of some 50,000 fans.

About the Siren Sounders at each stadium:

  • GABBA: Charles Tibbitts has been the President of the Everton Wolves Junior Football Club for the last three years. Everton is a proud Toyota Good For Footy Club, with its U15 Girls team announced as the proud recipient of the Toyota Good For Footy Gear grant, which helped fund brand-new uniforms designed specifically for female players. 


  • METRICON STADIUM: Eight-year-old local player Natasha King became a member of the Gold Coast SUNS before she was born. Today, Natasha is the face of the 2021 Gold Coast SUNS Memberships Campaign.


  • AFL CAPE YORK HOUSE: Located in Far North Queensland, AFL Cape York House Eagles is a football team playing in the AFL Cairns Juniors competition. AFL Cape York House Program Mentor Luana Healey represented the club as the official siren sounder to welcome the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.


  • MCG: Sandy Faoro has been an SES volunteer for 39 years with the VIC SES Essendon Unit where she is the Ex-controller. Sandy was deployed to Orbost last summer to support the bushfire efforts and has also led the coordination of a number of local emergency responses to flooding and storms.


  • MARVEL STADIUM: Liz Brockbank has worked at Marvel Stadium for over 15 years. Liz’s passion and dedication for her role at Marvel Stadium has seen her progress through the business and is now the Senior Stadium events manager.


  • GIANTS STADIUM: Flynn Deighton is a patient at Ronald McDonald House, with his family currently staying at Westmead Hospital. The Ronald McDonald House is a charity partner of the GWS Giants Football Club.


  • SCG: Darren McLanders and Naomi Mason proudly represented the Breakaways Football Club, which is a local community league in the AFL Sydney competition.


  • GMBHA Stadium: 10-year-old Geelong local Henry Baum, was named as the Round 20 nominee for the 2019 NAB AFL Auskicker of the Year competition. After overcoming perthes disease, Henry has returned to local football to play with the Lara Football Club Under 10s team this season.


  • TIO STADIUM: Natalie Althouse was recognised for her contribution to football with the 2020 National AFL Diversity Volunteer of the Year Award. Natalie has been involved with the Darwin Buffaloes Football Club since 2012 in various roles including player, coach, official and volunteer.


  • OPTUS STADIUM: Young NAB AFL Auskickers James McAllen, Hunter Eyre and Savannah Parkinson from the Carine Junior Football Club Auskick Centre represent our youngest footballers to welcome the new AFL season at Optus Stadium.


  • ADELAIDE OVAL: Goodwin Saints Football Club’s Kym Laube has been dedicating his time to community football for many years. His contribution to the club’s coaching program has seen him acknowledged as the 2020 National Junior Coach of the Year.


  • GANMAIN SPORTSGROUND: James Blanchard represented the club as the official siren sounder to welcome the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season. Ganmain Sportsground is home to the Ganmain Grong Grong Matong Lions who currently play in the Riverina Football Netball League in Southern NSW.

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