A new beginning?

Melbourne V Sydney

By Steve Healy

Round 1. It represents a new beginning. But for the Demons, it has so often represented a new ending. Who could forget our disappointing first match in 2007 against St.Kilda, where it would signify the end of the Daniher era? Or 2008, when we were obliterated to our core by a Hawthorn team that would go on to win the premiership. And 2009 and 2010, two bad losses to North and Hawthorn, two teams who would under-achieve in those corresponding years. It was time for a change.

Never had I been so excited for the first match of the season. With hype surrounding the Demons, I couldn’t wait to get to the MCG and experience the vibe of the Red and Blue crowd. However, sometimes it’s hard to get to the footy, money being the obstacle. I’ve got a bank account; and I now have a job, and I have changed my PIN number twice yet the second one still doesn’t even work (Don’t use Bendigo Bank). With that bizarre circumstance, I had to borrow money off my brother to get into the ground. As well as this, just because I woke up early my parents thought I would go to church with them. Well, they were wrong, I believe in God but there is absolutely no reason to go to an uncomfortable building to celebrate Catholicism when God is above us at all times.

With religion aside, it’s time to move on to REAL religion. Footy. Fans surrounded me on the train, including a beautiful girl, who had a Demons scarf and a strange accent. I hurried into the ground to see the sun shining gorgeously, the hype surrounding a new season circulating through each one’s mind, and multiple empty seats in my preferred G.A area. Although the sub rule had haunted me a bit, footy was back. Although Morton, Frawley, Scully and McKenzie were all injured, I felt we were a fantastic chance, having beaten Sydney by 73 points last season at the G.

The first bounce took place, and the concept of being at the footy again seemed surreal. It was time. The Demons, however, just didn’t look the part. We were too slow through the middle and kept missing targets. The Swans got a couple of easy goals to begin. The Dees finally planted a decent forward thrust, ending with a magnificent handball from (The entity that is) Liam Jurrah to Dunn who kicked a superb goal from the pocket. I began to get frustrated as the Swans got further ahead, with second gamer Sam Reid proving a viable forward option. To add to this, Adam Goodes was running amok. Strangely, I had almost conceded that it would be “just another round one loss” for the Dees at that point. But Colin Sylvia had me breathing a sigh of relief as he bombed a goal from inside the centre square. Vintage Sylvia. We trailed by 13 points at the first break.

The second quarter began and it was turning into one of those annoying games, where your team can never get within about a goal and a half, the umpires are against you and you have a couple of idiots (Shane Mumford and Jude Bolton) sledging your team’s players. On the bright side, Jurrah slotted one through perfectly from a set shot, but it was the five consecutive behinds at the end of the term that were truly concerning for us. Meanwhile, the much-hyped Luke Tapscott was playing a really promising debut match. His power at the contest, his ability to win the ball and his sheer muscle and bulk is a sight to behold. And Trengove was playing perhaps the best game of his career; he had such a presence about him that was probably enhanced because of Scully’s absence.

I was frustrated, croaky-voiced and hungry, so I decided to move to the top level to sit with my brother for a quarter and I broke my vowel of not buying food from the footy this season (The prices just keep going up!). It was really nice to have someone to talk to, and a different perspective. But perspective didn’t matter at all; the Swans broke ahead to a 25-point lead. Only their inaccuracy kept us in the match (3.9 for the quarter), and a couple of magnificent goals from Moloney and Bennell, the latter a brilliant burst of speed inside the fifty before snapping truly. 14 points the margin. It was time to move down again.

The final quarter, could we do it? On came Petterd, and on came the Dees. To be honest, it was one of those rare games where I don’t remember much that happened. I could use the internet as an aid on circumstances like these, but it was the emotion that mattered. The Dees trudged on, fatigue was making the players miss shots, but as our newly appointed Captain Brad Green stuck his foot out on the goal line to put us two points in front, the Melbourne crowd erupted. There’s no other feeling like it than to be at home, at the MCG, amongst what sounds like 100,000 people who are your friends, even if you don’t know them. The MCG does that to you. However, there were still a couple minutes left, in which I remember vividly.

When we hit the front, I had a sick feeling that the rest of the game would be played in Sydney’s forward half. And it was. Stoppage after stoppage occurred in Sydney’s forward fifty. Jurrah, God bless him, took the ball over for a behind, a decision which potentially could’ve been a wrong one. Attempts to get the ball out were rebounded back in, I was shaking. We weren’t good at closing out games. O’Keefe, who had 20 possessions in the second half alone, got very loose at a stoppage and snapped a behind. Thank God that didn’t go through. That collective groan of a tied game carried from the stands. We were nowhere near quick enough in moving the ball out of defence. Jetta got loose on the wing, but failed to dodge around his opponent successfully. Siren. A draw. A draw in Round 1. When you witness two draws within a year, it seems like every game is a draw. It was a hard game to fathom- both teams were very inaccurate. So I guess a draw was a fair result, if you can call it that.

Before I over-thought the result, I headed back to my second home.

Melbourne 3.2 5.8 8.12  11.18 (84)
Sydney 5.3 7.5 10.14 11.18 (84)


Melbourne: Green 2, Dunn 2, Jurrah 2, Moloney, Sylvia, Bennell, Jetta, Jones.

Sydney: McGlynn 3, Bolton 3, Goodes 2, Everitt, White, Reid.

My Votes: 3. Jack Trengove (MELB), 2. Brent Moloney (MELB), 1. Heath Grundy (SYD).

Crowd: 33,951 at the MCG

About Steve Healy

Steve Healy is an entity of a Melbourne supporter.


  1. So Steve, has your outlook for the year changed on the basis of Sunday’s match?

    The good news is that Carlton, who were the last side to draw in Round 1 (along with Fitzroy) went on to win the flag after the event.

    Even the Lions only just missed out on the finals that year, so the omens are there for a good, if not great season.

    (On the other hand, Fitzroy was extinct 15 years after that draw…)

  2. Steve – God would understand if you missed church for the footy, after all he was Catholic too.

  3. Phil Dimitriadis says


    it’s good to see that someone has got their religious priorities worked out. Dees will get better. Love how Moloney plays the game. Well done, mate.

  4. Steve Healy says

    Thanks Gigs, from what I can take from that the Melbourne Football club will either go down extinction road or win a premiership before being wooden spooners 3 times in a row in about 22 years.

    Very true Dips

  5. Steve Healy says

    Yes, It’s about time Phil, one can pretend to their parents that footy is less important but only a person knows what they truly believe in. Moloney is a fantastic player who continues to be consistent, and was a potential captain but just outdone by Green.

  6. Ian Syson says

    Dips, if God *was* a catholic, what is he now?

  7. #6. Ian, I heard a rumour that he was seen at a Hillsong session.

  8. Steve, just a note, Bennell’s brilliant goal wasn’t a snap at all.

    Great report though, a taste of what’s to come from you hopefully.

    P.S. Thought O’Keefe was a bit stiff missing out on some online-Malarkey Medal action.

  9. I like going to church, havent been in a while though :(
    Its just annoying that i have to wake up earlier to get all dolled up to go.
    Weird that it was a draw, such an awkward to start the year like that.

  10. Steve Healy says

    Josh, It was a snap, it snapped Sydney’s confidence in half, that’s what I meant obviously ;)

    If O’Keefe kicked that goal he’d be in the votes, having said that if he did kick that goal I probably would’ve been too upset to even do a report. So there you go

  11. #6 – Ian, we could have some fun with this. But in answer to your question I’d say “confused”.

  12. Alovesupreme says

    Given the Dees’ ambitious membership target, surely you should be a member; then the cost of admission is not an issue for a “home game”. As you’re such a valuable contributor to the Almanac site, perhaps we should do a whip around to enable you to join up?
    I’m sure God won’t mind you fulfilling your religious observance at the “G”, but you do need to be wary of uncharitable observations like your references to Mumford and Bolton. “Love your enemies” and all that!

  13. Steve Healy says

    Thanks a lot Alovesupreme, It’s extremely nice of you to even suggest that! And cheers for recognising me as a valuable contributor! made my day. A membership has always been out of my financial reach, even now although I have just started a job. My elder brother does have one, and he isn’t able to see all the games so i will use his sometimes.

    Yes I was hard on Bolton and Mumford although they were really annoying me at the time,Bolton’s such an annoying player when you put him inside 50.

  14. Jake 'Cobba' Stevens says

    Nice work Steve,

    Club member or not, it is clear that you are a true supporter!
    A good heartstopper to start the season with ay?

    P.S You should have grabbed the beautiful girl on the train’s number. (nothing better than footy chicks! ;))

  15. Steve Healy says

    Thanks Cobba! Yes, great game, even though starting the season with a draw is extremely annoying. Yes I should’ve hahaha, I was with my brother though and I think she was with other older people too though, I agree.

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