We Can Win This.
A phrase coined by John Harms some time last year. I didn’t think he believed it. I thought he said, wrote, published it to stir emotions – for and against Geelong.
Later in the season, I believed he meant it. After Hawkins kicked the winning goals against the Hawks in round 19, I believed him. I still think we should have won it if we turned up 30 minutes earlier against Fremantle in the first final.
It’s 10 minutes into the first quarter of the first round of the NAB Cup. I like what I see. We can win this. I taped the game earlier. I don’t even know if we’ll win this game against West Coast. Or the next truncated game against Freo. But I know we’ll win this year’s Grand Final in September.
We are a good side. And we know how to win. Geelong supporters now enter each season with confidence that we can win it all. We didn’t gain that confidence after 2007. Or even 2009. That came after 2011: a Grand Final that we would have been happy just to make, in a former life. Winning a Grand Final that wasn’t a breakthrough or redemptive, meant that we can enter a season and win them because they are there.
The 2013 Cup is there for grabs. And it’s ours. Sorry Malthouse, I read today that the Blues can win it if the planets and the stars align. Nice caveat, but we don’t need those at Geelong.
I like that we have Josh Caddy in our side. But mostly, I like that he’s a very good young player that’s expected to contribute as a a very good young player. He’s not expected to dominate like a first round draft pick at Melbourne or the Gold Coast.
And I love Jared Rivers. He’s clever. When there’s a smart option, he’ll have taken it before most know it was available. Most of his work this year will go unnoticed.
Billy Smedts played last year. I can’t wait to watch him again this year. He will be something. I don’t know exactly what, (I’m sure he doesn’t know either) but it will be something; like Stevie J would have been something when he started.
Bartel played injured all last year; Varcoe didn’t play all last year injured. Both looked sharp tonight. (Bartel 2007 sharp; Varcoe 2011 sharp.)
NB: This West Coast side is weak. Once again, the sort of side that will fill space in the Top 8/possible Top 4 all year before embarrassing themselves and their fans in a preliminary final. To prove my point, no team with a hipster in defence will ever go on to win a flag. And yet there’s Schofield.
NB: I was enjoying the game. We were dead and buried. Then we won (because we do these days). And we won because our captain was clever enough to call for the footy outside the 50 and skilful enough to thread the goal posts from there off two steps under pressure.
Game Two: Pav’s in the commentary box. It’s all about the structures, says Pav. Lord help us, but specifically, may the Lord help Freo fans, forced to watch a team enthusiastic about the structures. (That’s not the Geelong way.)
Pav just told Gerard Healy he’s keen to play soon in what will be his first game since he cemented his super star status in the first week of the finals last year when he tore Geelong a new A-Hole. (Word just in from Google: Pav also played against Adelaide the following week but did not get a touch – my apologies for an honest mistake.)
Some turkey clad in purple just had a crack at Joel Corey. I don’t know who the player was, but he wasn’t Joel Corey. Joel Corey plays the game as it should be played (unlike Freo).
Into the second half, this game is a lot less enjoyable to watch than the first against West Coast. Geelong certainly looks tired, having played their first 40 minutes of the year in warm conditions, but I blame Ross Lyon and his game plan.
It’s going to be a long year for Freo fans and equally those fans watching their teams against Freo. Congestion in defence is ugly footy, and it won’t be premiership footy for the Dockers.