For some, their football journey starts at birth through family ties, for Dr Frank Madill it began at university in the glory days of the Melbourne Demons.
The 1960s were a different time for the Demons and football in general, the AFL's oldest club was a perennial premiership threat under the tutelage of Norm Smith and claimed six flags from 1955-64.
READ MORE: Alastair Clarkson open to Tassie top job
Madill was studying at Melbourne University and at the Alfred Hospital which is where Madill's love of the red and blue began to prosper.
"They used to let you in there for free at three-quarter time and I'd occasionally sneak down and [see] a bit of the game and Melbourne were the glamour side at the time so I got to following them," he said.
"You got to know all the names like big Bob Johnson, [Frank] Bluey Adams, Ron Barassi and of course, Norm Smith who was celebrated as the greatest coach ever."
In the early days, Madill revered the Demons' icons in Johnson and Barassi as they soared to great heights. Nowadays, it is another number 31 which has Madill's attention.
"I've got to give Bayley Fritsch a tick, he's a great small forward, arguably the best in the game at the moment, certainly in the top three," he said.
"I always thought Ron Barassi was one, he was a great player, a great captain and an inspirational player.
"[Currently] Max Gawn is magnificent but there's a lot of young guys that are doing a really wonderful job."
Madill traded the Victorian capital in 1965 for Tasmania but the Demons' whirlwind dominance of the code dissipated to rare finals appearances and even rarer grand finals appearances.
While North Launceston became Madill's club as he served as a club doctor and later a club legend, his ties to the red and blue back in Victoria never left him.
Although, as Madill admitted, that interest may have waned when Melbourne found themselves continuously planted at the foot of the table in the early 2010s.
"You lost a bit of interest in those days ... I had to worry at one point when they were down if they had something culturally wrong, they were getting the first picks, the cream of the newcomers and they'd play them for a little bit and then get rid of them and they'd go to another team and excel," he said.
"They've stuck to Goodwin, which is a good thing I think that's paid off, they haven't ditched the coach, they've given him every chance and he's come good in a big way for them."
After almost a decade in football's wilderness, the Demons have proven to once again be a premiership contender after they claimed the minor premiership title.
All that awaits is a date with the Western Bulldogs in a bid to seal their 13th premiership.
For Madill, and perhaps many long-suffering Melbourne supporters, Saturday could be the panacea to five decades without success.
"This year they've been great to watch and great to follow I feel for Jonesy [Nathan Jones] not being able to be there after 300 games but [Jack] Viney, I saw his father play, there's a lot of family connections in football so I am delighted to see Viney fit and playing in a grand final that's winnable," Madill said.
"It's a great day, a great day, that's going to be a great day for anyone that's ever supported Melbourne."
Do you know someone who is contributing to Northern Tasmanian sport, whether through participating or assisting?
The Examiner's Junior Sports Awards, sponsored by Woolworths, provide acknowledgement of accomplishments by players, coaches, volunteers, teams and clubs across the region.
Nominations are open from Wednesday, April 14, and will close at midnight on October 4.
Entries must include a photograph of the entrant.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.