Everyone’s getting behind Freo

27 09 2013

It’s the AFL Grand Final tomorrow and for the first time in their 19-year history, the Fremantle Dockers (aka Freo) are one of the contenders. Back in the day my nephew played for them, and I used to be a member and go to all the home games in Perth.

Today — Grand Final eve — I popped into town to do some shopping and pretty much every store was decorated with purple balloons etc. But two decorations took my eye. Coles had done a display of purple and cream potatoes, and the Home Hardware store had decorated two of their garden ornament kangaroos in the opposing team uniforms — there was even a gap for the joey’s head to pop out!





Proud as Punch

16 09 2008

The AFL’s All-Australian Team was announced last night, and for the first time ever my nephew was named in the side. Not in the 40-man squad (which is an honour in itself), but in the 18-man on-field team! Woohoo!

He’s had a stellar year, and this honour is well-deserved. Unfortunately, his Finals season is over as they lost last week and got knocked out. So, the Anzac Medal and an All-Australian. Only the Brownlow and a Grand Final will beat that.


25 04 2008

My nephew got awarded the ANZAC Day Medal in the game-of-the-round between Collingwood and Essendon in front of 90000 people at the MCG this afternoon. And he also got awarded “Best On Ground” by the TV commentators. He gave a terrific speech—short, sweet and to the point. Great game, great haul of 6 goals. I’m as proud as punch!

All over for this year

25 09 2007

<sigh> Collingwood were just *so* close to winning the Preliminary Final against Geelong. Had there been another 30 seconds in the game, it could’ve happened—it was *that* close. Collingwood were scrambling for possession on their 50m line when the siren went… and it was all over. Geelong won by 5 points, and history will show that that’s all that matters. Geelong now play Port Adelaide in the Grand Final this Saturday, and if they win, it’ll break a 44 year drought of not winning a Grand Final.

Now, let’s look at the positives…

  • Our hotel was just a 200m walk from the MCG and on the same side as the entrance gate we had to use. Can’t get much closer than that!
  • Our seats were in the premium seating area just behind the city-end goals, and were very comfy, not like those bone shakers at Subiaco Oval!
  • We sat with the Collingwood ‘family’—parents, siblings, wives, girlfriends, children of the players, plus those in the team who weren’t playing (you can tell who they were by their ‘uniform’ of dark suits and black and white striped ties).
  • The MCG is a FANTASTIC venue! Much shorter and rounder than I expected (compared to Subi which is quite long and oval). Walkways, bars and food areas, toilets, etc. were all neat and clean and well-finished. Unlike Subi which is a grey concrete disgrace.
  • The crowd was officially 98,002 (Mum and I reckoned we were the “2”!).
  • Despite the size of the crowd, the noise didn’t sound any louder than the crowds at Subi. Unlike when the Eagles or Dockers play at Subi, the crowd really wasn’t into any chanting, except sporadically. That was a surprise. However “Coll–ing–wood” is such a hard word to chant, unlike “Freee—oooh!” or “Eeeeaa—gles!”
  • The weather was kind. Friday was patchy cloud for much of the day, with a drop of rain about 2 hours before the game. It was bit chilly at the MCG, but my Dockers scarf and a light coat was sufficient.
  • Because it was the footy, Mum and I indulged in a “Four’n’Twenty” pie each, plus a bucket of chips! “Football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars…” as the song goes!
  • My nephew kicked 3 of Collingwood’s goals and was their equal highest goal scorer. Gotta be happy with that! Two of the goals he kicked put Collingwood in front, and the final one put them within 5 points of victory. But it wasn’t enough…
  • Photos are here…

Was it worth it? Absolutely! Even despite the loss.

 Some of the 98,002 crowd

MCG before the game


19 09 2007

I’m SO excited! Even two days out from the game…

An hour ago I spoke to my nephew – he’s got our tickets sorted for Friday night’s Preliminary Final between Geelong and Collingwood. We just have to pick them up on Friday morning and we’re done.

I asked him if he was nervous and excited – he sure is! He will be playing his biggest game *ever* in front of his biggest crowd ever. Some 90,000+ people are expected at the MCG. The biggest crowd he’s played of before this is around 50,000.

He said that in some ways this was going to be a better game than the Grand Final as the MCG will be filled with supporters from the two Victorian teams, whereas the Grand Final is packed with people who aren’t necessarily supporters of the teams that are playing. He has a point! The roar of the crowd should be deafening. Of course, the Grand Final has all the atmosphere and hype and everything else. And just to play in a Grand Final is a privilege reserved for very few. However, to play in a Preliminary Final is pretty damned good too and we are VERY PROUD of him. Of course, if they win on Friday night, then he *will* be in a Grand Final (if selected…).

I was doing some calculations on this the other day… (yes, I need to get a life!) For round figure purposes, let’s assume there are 20 million people in Australia (I think it’s closer to 21M, but I’m not counting!). Only 16 teams are in the AFL. Each team has a squad of 50-70 young men. Of those 50-70, about 22 get named in their playing side any one week, and only 18 are on the ground at once. So for your standard weekend footy games during the season, only some 300 (round figures) guys are playing at the highest level – out of a total population of 20 million. To even be one of the chosen ones in an AFL team during the season, you’ve got a 0.0000144% chance! Now, by the time you get to the preliminary finals (the week before the Grand Final), only 4 teams remain – some 72 players. To be one of the final 72 in the Preliminary Finals, the chance is now 0.0000036%, and by the Grand Final, only 36 are left – 0.0000018%. Infinitesimal!!!

This will probably be my last post until it’s all over and we’re back home. I pick up Mum tomorrow morning and we drive to Perth to catch the flight to Melbourne. We’re not home until early Saturday evening. Bounce down is at 7:50pm Melbourne time, Friday night. Can’t wait!!!

And yes, Suzanne, this is the same nephew we all saw playing in Launceston 18 months ago. The drive from Hobart may have just been worth it! 😉

Turning on a dime

16 09 2007

My Mum and I are off to Melbourne on Thursday to go to the AFL preliminary Final between Collingwood and Geelong!!! It won’t be the Grand Final (which is on my ‘must do once in my lifetime’ list) but is as near as it gets!!! Some 90,000 people are expected to be at the game on Friday night. We’ve got flights, accommodation really close to the hallowed MCG, and rental car all booked!

Talk about spur of the moment! I’ve actually got a 2-day training course I was meant to attend in Bunbury on Thurs/Friday this week, then a quilt workshop on Saturday. All have to be cancelled/postponed. It’s not every day that someone in your family gets to play in such a game.

Oh, and we’ll have tickets too!

Even more excitement!

15 09 2007

Collingwood beat West Coast Eagles last night at Subiaco Oval in an absolute nail-biter. I was only watching it on TV and I was on the edge of my seat! At full time, the scores were level. So for only the second time in AFL history (according to the commentators), a final went in to extra time—a six minute break, followed by two 5 minute ‘halves’ with a 2 minute break between halves when the coaches weren’t allowed on the field.

Collingwood kicked three goals in that short time to win by 19 points, so they’re in to the Preliminary Final against Geelong at the MCG in Melbourne next Friday night. I’ve been checking the airfares… If they win that game, they’re in the Grand Final. Who’d’a thought???