AFL Round 14: Big Saints game from the sands of the Gold Coast

by Anne Fedorowytch

 

Last Sunday I found myself in a rather unusual position. I was searching for a TV that was showing the St. Kilda v Geelong game amongst the high-rises and the sandy shores of the Gold Coast.

 

You won’t usually find me searching for televisions on the popular sunshine strip; in fact I’m from the much chillier Adelaide and was up in Queensland to watch the Crows game the night before.

 

Some pre-footy trip research found that the Southport Sharks Football Club would be broadcasting the blockbuster battle. I was intrigued to travel there as I had heard only positive things about the Club, especially as it where Crows’ key forward, Kurt Tippett, hails from.

 

In order to get out to Southport I had catch the 709 bus from Ferny Avenue in Surfer’s Paradise. The trip took almost an hour due to a large traffic jam on the Gold Coast Highway as the marathon had only finished an hour or so ago.

 

As I arrived at the Club and the two glass sliding doors opened, I was immediately impressed. In the foyer alone, there were two large aquariums including one that was aptly filled with various varieties of small sharks.

 

After signing in I settled on watching the game in Mackenzie Sports Bar rather then the considerably crowded Cocktail Room. It was a smallish Sports Bar, mostly filled with thirty-something year old men, which had one huge plasma screen above the bar with two smaller ones beside it.

 

I had managed to find a seat near the back of the room but found as the telecast began that I would need something taller to sit on to compete with the sea of bar stools in front of me.

 

I stood for the first few moments of the game and intriguingly observed the crowd of robust men. They were from all walks in life but all had one thing in common, they just wanted to kick back, relax with their mates and watch the footy.

 

I tried to gauge which side had the most support in the room and St. Kilda seemed to have the majority early, with loud cheers reverberating around the blokey bar whenever they kicked a goal. 

 

At half time I took some time to explore the history-painted wall of the adjoining poolroom. I particularly scanned the premiership team photos for any familiar faces and came across Nick Riewoldt, Kurt and Joel Tippett and Dayne Beams in my search.

 

After the break and by the time I had managed to nab my own bar stool to sit on, Geelong began to slowly teeter their way back into the game. The crowd support then gradually started to shift towards the Cats, who I was supporting in hope of getting my footy tips back on track for the season.

 

Then, enter Michael Gardiner. As soon as he rose above that pack to have the match winning shot on goal the Mackenzie Sports Bar erupted into a hoard of cheers. I for one, remained in my seat with my arms crossed and thought, ‘Yeah, good one Michael. There go my tips’

 

Despite my slight disappointment in the outcome of the game, there was nothing like a 40-minute, and rather cold, wait for the bus back to Surfers. In the end I had what had an interesting and insightful afternoon down at Southport. That shark tank was pretty darn cool

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