A New Season

A New Season


Another season is about to commence. The desolation of spring, and then a long hot summer without football is finally over. Hibernation is at an end. Blood is flowing through our veins again. We are coming back to life. A new season is upon us. We are all rubbing our hands with anticipation. This year will be our year. Some have waited a long time, too long, for that sweet taste of success; to experience a day of unbridled happiness. Footscray haven’t won a flag since 1954, Melbourne 1964, St. Kilda 1966 and Richmond 1980. Fremantle, who joined the competition in 1995, and the new kids on the block, Gold Coast and Western Sydney who commenced playing in 2011 and 2012, respectively, are yet to win a premiership.

We are all optimistic. Our teams are sitting on top of the ladder, equal first and haven’t lost a game. None of our stars have been suspended. Players who are recovering from last season mishaps or pre season competitions, our clubs assure us, are on the mend, and should be available for most of the season, especially with excellent medical staff looking after their injuries. Even if unavailable for a spell, there is enough talent in the squad, with a crop of new players itching and available to take their place. Don’t worry, clubs assure us, everything is going according to plan. This year is going to be our year.

There is so much to look forward to. We cannot wait for the start of the roller-coaster ride which is the lot of supporters. There will be games where we will swamp all before us, winning by an unbelievable margin; others which are closely contested all the way where right wins out and we are in front at the final siren; or we are robbed in a close one because of a missed opportunity or by an atrocious decision, really any decision, by an umpire which handed the game on a platter to the opposition; and those dreadful games where it is obvious from the first bounce that we will not only lose, but will be thrashed. We stay until the bitter end, put ourselves through hell, because, well, that is what supporters do.


There will be moments when we wish the ground would open up and bury us following a piece of disastrous play, especially by a favourite player. These will be followed by that uncontrollable rush of exhilaration and sheer joy when an individual player or the team combine to produce perfection. We have seen something that has taken our breath away.


We can also look forward to endless and detailed discussion with others, fellow and opposition supporters, of the on-field and off-field dramas that occur as the season unfolds. We can banter and kid each other over the fortunes of our teams. There will be the usual controversies about the game being too physical; reported players of other teams being treated leniently, while our players, none of whom would hurt a fly, the tribunal treats like criminals; umpiring decisions, especially against us, which no-one, not even Solomon, understands; coaches criticising umpires and each other and being criticised when they become tired and emotional after a loss in answering the same questions that have been asked by journalists since 1897; club officials who find ways to upset and antagonise each other and the AFL; the AFL, who mange to upset  anyone and everyone because of being the AFL; media commentators who know less about the game than you, me and my goldfish; and players for doing things they shouldn’t off the field.


Players have a gift which they share with us; and we laud them for it. We buy season tickets, attend away games and fly interstate or even to New Zealand, watch on television, listen to radio, read newspapers and magazines, especially The Footy Record, and click on to the net, especially The Footy Almanac!, eager for news and information about favourite players, team news and other developments. We purchase club merchandise and wear club strips and other paraphernalia in appreciation of players sharing their gift with us.


We closely watch and dissect games, become experts in the mannerisms and idiosyncrasies of our team’s players; knowing better than they, and coaches, what they will do in different situations. We come to know them; we understand, salute and applaud their skill, commitment and courage on behalf of our beloved club. They become a part of our lives; they stay with us forever; we wish them well.


We have a new season to look froward to. Why can’t it be longer? Why can’t the AFL, with all its power and influence, abolish spring and summer, months of irrelevance? Who will it be this year? Maybe, at long last, it is our turn? Let the season begin.



  1. Neil Anderson says

    As I look forward to about season 62 since I started barracking for my team, all I can think of is how lucky we are.
    I’ve gone past thinking ‘this is our year’ to just being grateful that Ive got a team to support here in the lucky country. At the same time there has to be signs of hope for the future and particularly ensuring the gap between the top teams and lower teams is lessening.
    Being a footy fan really is a uniting community force and it’s like there’s nothing to talk about after the last Saturday in September, except recruiting.
    Being part of the Almanac brings it all together and it’s a worry that the crowd-funding appeal is running out of time.
    I really enjoyed your writing about the anticipation of the new season.

  2. Daniel Flesch says

    Very nice work , Braham. Said it all.

  3. Great to put ourselves back in these shoes, Braham.
    The shoes of March 2015.

    The footy year of 2015 was messy for many people.
    Watching Collingwood, I enjoyed D Swan (again), S Pendlebury (again), J Elliott.
    But thinking of 2015, I think of…
    P Walsh and Adelaide just shocking. Shocking.

    The Dogs, Crows, Eagles probably the big surprises for me.
    Enjoyed the attacking, the creating.
    Didn’t enjoy the ongoing dark presence of J Hird, the Carlton, M Malthouse situation.
    Nor the continuing corporatisation of top level footy (match day experience, etc etc).
    The game.
    The game; that’s the part to remember.

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