AFL Round 17: Gusto got its mojo back


By Helen Dunne


My piece a few weeks ago on the Lack of Gusto in Geelong supporters appeared to fall upon deaf ears.

 As I  looked out the window of my salon late in the afternoon of the Geelong v Melbourne encounter,  it  was sad to see the cars heading home  with not a blue and white scarf  adorning a car window.

If it wasn’t for the radio on K Rock to alert me I would never have known who the winner was that day.

Half an hour later I walked to the corner to meet my friend who had taken my daughter and her son to the game at Kardinia Park and not one, but two cars stopped to ask ‘who won?’

Was that complacency, or sheer disbelief that the Cats had won the game which led the supporters to head home without rejoicing?

Hmm, I don’t know.

But some where between the previous Saturday and four minutes into the final quarter at the G on Saturday the Gusto got its mojo back.

Being one to practise what I preach, I was determined to crank up the Gusto as the Cats were seemingly on track for our third loss in four matches.

So at the four minute mark of the last quarter I screamed into the silence of the crowd just before the ball was bounced in the centre after Hawthorn’s final nail in the coffin goal.

The players led by Joel Selwood heard me shout “GO HARD CATS”- and they did.

I could sense the Geelong supporters around me were suddenly inspired with the thought that there was a flickering chance of an unlikely victory.

As one we all began to barrack hard, taking every opportunity to scream when the team was in earshot, lifting them and letting them know we believed they could win this game.

Several Hawks supporters around me, too, believed the Cats suddenly had a chance as comments about the game being a draw would be an acceptable result were made.

Thank God that didn’t happen!

It was a joyful day to see the supporters cheer the Cats on to victory after being behind all day.

After the game a couple of Geelong supporters admitted considering chucking in the towel at three quarter time and making an early exit from the G.

The bitterly chilling southerly certainly wasn’t a reason to stick around, but something inside their bellies prompted them to stay and it paid off.

You can imagine my delight  to see the players jumping all over each other at the end of the game in celebration of their remarkable comeback  and better still ah  the GUSTO in their ‘We are Geelong, the greatest team of all….   as they linked arms after the game.

I don’t now whether my Lack of Gusto piece the previous week made difference or not.

All l I know is I witnessed a palpable change in attitude from both supporters and the players and I hope it’s here to stay.

 I say thank you to both teams for putting on a classic game and congratulations on a  great team effort from our mighty Cats, thanks for an action packed game right to the very last second.



  1. Helen – you should take a bow. Footy without gusto is, well, rugby….or soccer….pewk.

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