AFL Round 22: St.Kilda v GWS Giants: Joining the Delusion….We can do this, too

I’ve been hanging around with the Geelong Cat boys too much.  Their mindset is beginning to rub off on me.  I was quite happy hanging in the Saints reality of seeing this year as essentially over and beginning to build up for next year.  But Flynny’s chant of “We can do this” has resonated via Wynyard to Melbourne, from Cats to now this Sainter.  I’m not even basing this on the Saints form, after all, we did play Greater Western Sydney and a depleted side at that.  We were also depleted with no Riewoldt, Kosi, Schneider, Armitage and Fisher.

But I liked what I saw.  I liked the run of the new boys: Saad continuing his idiosyncronitics walk ups to goals, his brave marking and tackling, his speed and intensity. I love Siposs’s long, accurate  pin point kicks and good marks and “I can do this” play.  I like McEvoy’s strength and experience, Ledger’s courage and speed, Newne’s hardness and confidence, Stanley’s speed and marking and goaling, Mileras’s touch and accuracy and footy nouse and three goals, Cripps’s movement and directions and goal kicking and Wilkes tough, more flexible body in our forward line.

I liked Milne’s role as Captain for the “Fans round”, his five good goals, his brilliant unexpected specky in the Saints defensive area and the resulting passes and goal.  I liked Goddard playing in the forward more, being a good accurate passer of the ball and using his stregnth and body in competition.  I liked his three goals too.  I liked Stevens’s 50th game, his speed and his determination.  I always love Lenny, he gives his all until he was subbed off at half time to give our sub and new boy Sebastian Ross a place to find his feet.  I liked Leigh Montagna stepping up yet again with two goals but a brilliant effort in defence, the middle and forward.  I liked Geary’s increased effort and intensity and confidence.  Perhaps something has shifted for him this year as well, he seems to have stepped up a notch.  I love Gilbert’s dramatic attention to opposition, for working hard in defence and pushing the ball forward.  I love Farren Ray’s speed and pressure and commitment.  I love Dempster really finding his place in this group and his skills and courage are growing.  I loved that Del Santo felt more in control and his goal too.  I love Simpkin’s growing stregnth and confidence in defence, and Gwilt regaining confidence and speed.

I like the Saints administration’s attempts to open up to the fans more, though I’d like to give them a few hints on basic organisation…like let us know that when we rock up for a Legends Game at 11.15 on Game Day, we can only use Gate 2 as an entrance.  If it wasn’t for a kind Saints family letting us all know at the other gates, we’d still be sitting there wondering what was going on.  I would have liked the few hundred fans who made that extra effort to get to the ground to be let in before the Legends game kicked off.  I’d like to see more of Shane Warne, because he (along with Max H and Aaron H ) were the few Legends I recognised.

I liked to have that extra little bit of love and attention and pre-thought when they have good ideas.  Like asking Saints members to register to be part of a Saints supporters march onto the Ground for “Thank the Supporter Round”.  I put myself down for it.  I got selected!  We all met at the freezing Gate 4 at 1pm, gathered as the organisers organised themselves, were led onto the ground and down a ramp, there to wait until all the players warming up left the ground, and then to be led, quite boring-ly, along the boundary, through a lame  banner thanking supporters, and down another ramp to find our way back to our seats.  Now, this could have been improved out of sight by one easy suggestion:  get us to sing “Oh When the Saints” as we stood there, really get us to belt it out, and then get us to sing it and lead the stadium to sing it, as we did the few minutes walk.  They could have let this group also stand in line to welcome the boys onto the field to run through their real banner, and made our group extremely happy.  Maybe next year.

I’d organised Rina to have the camera and wore my most identifiable red, white and black knitted beany so I could find myself.  I needn’t have bothered.  It wasn’t covered on the coverage.  Like I said, it was all a bit flat.

I would like it acknowledged that the “Thank You” guernseys were paid for by the members themselves, $250 for the honour of having their name on it.  For that they got the jumper. I just figured a thank you shouldn’t involve a price that the “thanked” person has to pay.  It just seems a little up side down.  We got to buy our hats, t-shirts and scarfs for 2012, and then this…just saying…

I wondered about there being only 17,327 mostly Saints fans at this last home game of the year.  Where was everybody?  I know it was never going to be a spectacular game, but it was our last homey for the season and we did put on a display of goal kicking.  There were 30 goals kicked for the game, 25 of them ours.

I liked there not being big queues for the toilet because of the small crowd, and the ease of getting a train and seat because of the small crowd.

I liked what I saw of Greater Western Sydney.  They have some tough young players.  Callan Ward, Adam Treloar, Toby Green is a tough one, right in the centre of the action, Taylor Adams, Rhys Cooyou.  Poor Nick Haynes was on Goddard.  I liked the run and speed of the game with the young ones.  The baby Saints and the baby Giants.  I loved the Monks, the orange people, who were bright and  cheerful and noisy and visible in colour and noise.  Supporters having fun with their new team and dressing up, and the fact that their colours are new to the AFL competition.  I liked that they kicked two quick goals in the first quarter to show they were there to play.  I liked that they played with confidence, even when being thumped.  Perhaps they are getting used to it and still remaining proud.  I like that a lot.

And then I liked that Amanda was crazy enough and loyal enough to come early with me for the Legends game which was a snore for her, and that Rina came back to my place to continue the party and watch Sydney go down to a very strong Hawthorn, before watching a troubled Collingwood go down to West Coast Eagle, note  Brisbane beating Port in Adelaide, and see the shock of the round with Carlton being downed, convincingly, by Gold Coast Suns.

By then, I’d watched 12 hours of football one way or another, the last few hours in the comfort of my lounge, take-away dinner and dessert eaten, daughter dropped at friends, and left to our own devices until the siren of the Carlton game, when delusion hit home.  We get to play them  (Carlton) next week.  I’d been worried, and now, if Gold Coast can do it with their young-uns, why can’t we?  And if, goes the delusion in its second step, North Melbourne beat Fremantle , and (this is when Rina lost patience with me and decided I needed to turn off the TV and go to bed), Melbourne to beat Adelaide  in Melbourne and then beat Fremantle next week in Western Australia, we are back in the 8 and it’s such a weird year, who knows.  Well, once I got to this point of the evening, it was time to call it quits.  At least when Cats supporters are delusional, there’s some form behind it.

My brand of Saints delusion didn’t even last 24 hours.  By the end of the weekend, Fremantle thumped North leaving them lower in the ladder and shattered in spirits.  Melbourne didn’t pull off a miracle win and Adelaide thumped them as well.  And the mighty Cats…well, the Bulldogs at least looked spirited and their new young man Jong kicked his first goal after a terrific grab. So back to feet up and enjoying the weirdest season I remember, ever.  At least Rina isn’t an “I told you so” kind of friend.  And my delusion only momentary.  And mostly around my beloved Saints.

About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.

Comments

  1. Andrew Fithall says:

    Hi Yvette,

    Your mention of Saad and his walk-in for goal has made me think that he could be the Walter Lindrum of Aussie rules. Under the current rule, a player kicking for goal has 20 seconds by which time they must have commenced their walk/run in to kick for goal. This rule could be exploited. Late in the game, a player after marking the ball, could sprint directly back from their mark in time to commence their walk in to kick for goal within the 20 seconds. That walk-in could be more than 100 metres, and as long as the player does not deviate from the line of the mark, the umpire is powerless to call play-on. An exellent time waster. I predict a change.

    A second point, and this one doesn’t come easily, but I must congratulate the AFL on their extraordinary foresight. When they set the schedule for the round 23 games this weekend, they must have known something about St Kilda and Carlton. Of the six teams scheduled to play this Sunday, none is playing in the finals.

    AF

  2. Hi Andrew, I had to google Walter Lindrum to understand your reference. He does what he says he’ll do, has his set tricks and shots. I know it must be frustrating to the other teams, but it’s been a great diversion for we Sad Sainters! How far will he go back, will he get it, will he smile before he’s kicked it, will a seagull break his concentration, is he planning dinner that night, preparing a shopping list, is he in a zone;, has he always done this. Can he kick a goal without the routine? He’s a great diversion and fun to have out on the park.

    And I don’t this the AFL can take credit for timing, it’s just fallen that way, because at different times of this year, we would have said that Essendon, Richmond, Carlton or the Saints could have had a chance to be there…well, not the Saints really. We’re due to lose this week with our current WIN/LOSS ratio and pattern. I hope not. Its always good to go out on a win. Perhaps Ratten needs it more than the Saints do. He must feel like a voodoo doll at present.

    Yvette

  3. Dips O'Donnell says:

    Yvette – any team without Kosi isn’t depleted.

  4. Look I’m sorry BUT I’m going to have to steal Saad from you Yvette, we need a forward like that…you know that can kick goals.
    :)

  5. Richard Naco says:

    Yvette,

    There’s a lot to like in that little yarn.

    And viewing footy through the ‘glass half full’ half of the spectrum is a far more enjoyable perspective, even for pretend (part time) Catters.

    Would it be correct to surmise that you’ll be riding with the hoops after this next game?

  6. HANDS OFF Danni. Anyone who has had a premiership in the last five years is not allowed to lust after a Saints player. No playing fair!

    As for whether I am supporting the hoops Richard, I hate to say it, but I kind of am…though I don’t know if you want that because any team I kinda like seems to lose. So do you REALLY want my support???? ON the other hand, you guys do need to learn to share!

    Yvette

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