By Paul Amy
THE Carrum Patterson Lakes players sang the song at ear-splitting volume.
"It's a grand old flag, it's a high flying flag ... "
Supporters squashed shoulder to shoulder in the clubrooms joined in and when it came to "keep your eye on the maroon and blue!" the noise reverberated around Roy Dore Reserve on Saturday.
The players were given cans of beer and had their backs slapped so often they might require braces during the week.
In recess since 1996, the Lions marked their return to senior football with a 31-point victory over a plucky Hallam.
After shaking hands with their opponents, the Carrum Patterson Lakes players bunched and made for the rooms, met all the way by sustained clapping and whistling.
A mighty crowd of locals got down to watch them, thrilled at the last-quarter goals that sealed a first-up, second-coming win.
"Never been more relieved to get a game out of the way!" coach Andrew Lucas said. The reserves had set the scene with a come-from-nowhere victory.
A few old hands helped kick off the new beginning for Carrum Patterson Lakes, with the legendary Norm Stephens tossing the coin, accompanied by Ivan Guy and Ron Stubbs. President Steve Barnes called Stephens "the godfather of Carrum" and people told him he was spot-on.
There were many other stalwarts sprinkled around the ground and some dignitaries too, including local MP Donna Bauer, the No 1 ticket-holder.
In the rooms, Lucas told his players: "You were just great out there today."
He had praise for "Daltsy" (forward Joel Dalton), "Stork" (Shane Gibbs), "Boozer" (captain Daniel Graves) and "Boner" (Preston Shaw-Dennis).
Then came the easiest instruction he will give all season: "Just make sure you hang around and enjoy the night."
The Lions no longer sleep in Carrum and Patterson Lakes.
Original article: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/afl/localfooty/the-lions-roar-as-they-mark-their-return-to-senior-football/story-fn53khk2-1226620935909
Reserves post-match celebrations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LJ38dPAAiU