IT'S been a long journey from playing in red and white stripes on former swampland, to the iconic black and yellow colours they now don on a first class oval.
And Wagga Tigers will celebrate their 134-year history when a history book is launched as the centrepiece of a reunion day for several football and netball premierships when they host Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong at Robertson Oval on Saturday.
Former player, coach and president Doug Priest and John Smith, along with publisher Gary Allen, have joined forces to create the book, while Jacinta Murphy, Bernadette Priest and Kath Flanigan helped chronicle the club's netball history since its inception in 1980.
The club began life as the Federals in 1887, morphed into the Wagga Australian Football Club in 1928 and didn't become the Tigers until 1952, when they adopted Richmond's black with a yellow sash design in 1952.
Priest began his time at the club as the team's mascot aged four, coached the senior side to a premiership in 1975 and was part of two more flags under Col Anderson in 1977-78.
"It's been a great club to be involved in and to see the developments around the ground and club rooms. When I first came here there was nothing but a tin shed out the back of the grandstand," Priest said.
"The idea for the book started when John Lawton was secretary of the club for about 14 years came up to me and said 'I think this club deserves a history book'. I'm not the best writer you've ever seen so John came into the picture to help out."
It's been a long process of nearly three years to put the 340-page book together.
"Marlene Priest and I took it in turns going up to the CSU archives and read every paper looking for Tigers articles," Smith said.
"We've done a general overview of each year, and interesting anecdotes if we've got them. But you can't drill down too far because there's over 130 years there."
Priest said plenty of Tigers alumni had come forward to make contributions to the book.
"We've tried to avoid making it monotonous, put in some different stories and change the format a bit so it's not a drag," Priest said.
Sixteen football and netball premierships will be acknowledged at Saturday's reunion day, including milestones reached over the last three years after COVID forced events to be cancelled the previous two years.
The Tigers face a tough challenge to secure their third win of the season against unbeaten Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong in football, while the first grade netballers are looking for a seventh straight win in the battle between second and third.
The book 'A History of the Wagga Wagga Australian Football and Netball Club' costs $100, with special leather bound books that come with a ten year club membership $1000. It will be launched at an official function from 11am to 2pm at Robertson Oval on Saturday, and books will be on sale on the day.
Anyone wishing to order a book can email email@example.com.
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