150 GAME MILESTONE STILL MILES AWAY

You may remember last year when I discovered at the Brothers AFC presentation night that I was recognised for playing 146 combined senior and reserve grade matches for the club. Don’t be surprised if you didn’t, I even had to go back to past archives to try to find out if the figure at the end of last season was in fact 147. Turns out it was 146, which as of now is 148 officially without taking into account the possibility of seasons of data being lost through a reason that I am unable to disclose (probably because I simply don’t know).

On to this season so far, and if you are able to recall the last entry was on the famous Tilt Train up to Bundaberg for a pre-season carnival. It was one of those days where the 2 clubs that had traveled the most kilometres to get to the ground were the most prepared (local rival Boyne Island Tannum Sands, or BITS for those who are first timers), whilst a couple of the local clubs (mainly Hervey Bay based club Bay Power, and to a lesser extent the Maryborough Bears) had trouble cobbling together a side for the carnival. As it turned out we had an over subscribed side with a 9 player bench so for a couple of games they sent me amongst a few others to assist the opposition. Obviously those clubs were thinking I was some sort of gun that could play in defence (where I make Karmichael Hunt look like Matthew Scarlett), or midfield (where I hadn’t played for 5 years). The last 2 matches (which I was used by the Roos) were spent either on the ground to get a few touches (kicked a goal against Bundaberg side Brothers Bulldogs), taking photos for Facebook, or even filming what was the virtual final that we lost (my late introduction not enough to save the side).

To the season proper, which was supposed to begin with a home match with Gladstone. Unfortunately the flooding that engulfed our ground in January and subsequent frequent rainfall damaged the ground to such an extent that this match was first postponed, then eventually canceled with points to be shared. Not exactly a good way to start a season, but at least we won’t end the season on a goose egg. More on the ground later, but our season did eventually commence a week later at Swan Park, home ground of the Yeppoon Swans.

Conditions were almost like Harry Doyle’s description of opening day in Cleveland for the movie Major League 2. It was cool and overcast, but not exactly foggy. The name of this game was adjustments, where we had not only failed to properly grasp the intricate nature of the advantage rule alteration (we’re not the only ones), but also where over half the side from the previous year’s premiership Reserves team were gone. Simply speaking we had as much of the general play as anyone could expect, but much like a team in the English Premier League down on form, we simply couldn’t convert. It just so happened that I had 2 half chances for 2 behinds, and we got beaten by 40 points. The seniors also didn’t get their great start to the season, struggling after a series of sharp rain bursts to eventually lose by 21.

Moving along to Round 3 against the Glenmore Bulls, and our home ground was passed fit to play despite a delay in documentation signing until literally seconds before the Under 13’s were due to start. Trust me, the players and an umpire who happens to write this were getting annoyed. Although the ground didn’t look as though it was playable and there were times where club officials from both sides helped to remove some debris from the re-surfacing works, the ball still was able to bounce adequately enough for a reasonable standard of game to be played. At least we showed a reasonable standard for a reserves team, sharing 17 goals amongst 10 goalkickers of which I happened to be the 10th. Not exactly Essendon against the Gold Coast Suns but in this league such a spread is virtually unstoppable. Brothers winning by 79 points after winning every quarter, a goal that we set every single week for every single quarter. After all, winning all the quarters makes it easier to win now doesn’t it?

Well the seniors didn’t quite live up to that, losing to the Bulls by 4 goals, and only their innacuracy in front of goals (they kicked 15.19, and a lot of the 19 were pretty simple shots) kept that margin so low. There was actually some soul searching and a brainstorm in the rooms after the game to identify the problem. The reality is although the performance was sub-par, there is still enough time to turn the season around starting this week at the Rocky Cricket Grounds (being used for the first time this season thanks to cricket still being played on it during April) against arch rival Panthers.

Regrettably I won’t be among our side for this match. This weekend I will be partaking in my first trip away for the AFL season. Whilst the bus trip to Brisbane isn’t exactly luxurious, a plane ride to Canberra and a trip to the famous Manuka Oval for the Bulldogs clash with the Swans hopefully is. Because of this trip, and also a journey a few weeks from now to Subiaco Oval (or whatever it’s called now, I try not to call venues by commercial names if I can avoid it) for the Doggies clash with the Eagles, my 150th game which was scheduled firstly for this weekend, and then for next weekend’s home fixture against BITS (which I am available for), will now take place at Kele Park against Yeppoon on the 28th of May. I wonder if anyone else is going to notice.

About Mick Jeffrey

32 Year Old, Bulldogs Member and tragic. Reserve Grade coach after over 225 combined senior/reserves appearances for Brothers AFC in AFL Capricornia. 11 time Marathon finisher, one time Ultra Marathon finisher and Comrades Marathon competitor 2017.

Leave a Comment

*