AFL Round 5 – Essendon v Collingwood (Floreat Pica Society): A day to remember but a performance to forget

By Mark O’Connell


 ANZAC day began with a 3.15 alarm and I sort of bounced out of bed, pleased that it was a reasonably mild morning for this time of year. The day proceeded like clockwork with a 4.30 am meeting with my cousin Noel at a Docklands carpark where we left one car behind and drove to our usual park in Walsh St and then the stroll to the Shrine.

It was immediately obvious by the traffic that the numbers attending were right up this year and we were pleased that we were in plenty of time. We took our position at the Dawn Service right up the front at 5.15 and awaited proceedings.

This is the 12th consecutive year that we have attended the service.

Unfortunately at 5.40 when the opening oration was given something was missing.

We were not to be treated to the magnificent and stirring voice of Tony Charlton who for more than a decade was a such a highlight for us.

His replacement Peter Meehan did a fair job and had obviously modelled his delivery on Charlton but it did serve to highlight what a loss Tony Charlton is.

Crowd estimates at the Dawn Service are hard to make but I would not be surprised if it was a record. At the conclusion making our way out of the area was not too dissimilar to the crush outside the G after the game.

Over the past 12 years I’ve probably implored about 30-40 different people to attend a Dawn Service at some time.

To the best of my knowledge not one of these people ever has.

After a coffee and muffin at the Observatory Café we wandered back across to the Shrine for a stop in at the Vistor Centre and a walk around the whole precinct.

Breakfast was served at 9am at Medici at Docklands where we were greeted by Non game-day Floreat Pican Lennard Hannah and his lovely wife Jan. A sumptuous breakfast was enjoyed by all along with coffees 2 and 3 for the day.

(By now I think you understand why I’m hardly talking about the game and just crapping on about food and coffee!!)

Noel and I then drove back to my place in Point Cook for about an hour or so before enjoying a pre-game ale with Floreat Pican Michael White and his son Stephen at the Baden Powell Hotel.

And finally to the game……

I hated every minute of it

I’m too stuffed to give a full summary so some observations

  • I didn’t like the choice of sub being Goldsack I would have gone for Fasolo.
  • I was so frustrated by our reluctance to take the game on in the first half. We just stuffed around, slowing play down, kicking backwards, kicking sideways and doing anything rather than getting it quickly into our forward line.
  • Speaking of our forward line we were so short of options it wasn’t funny. With Lynch playing quite well up the ground we had Cloke who was reasonably well held and yeah that’s about all. Our small forwards had days to forget. Elliott was probably due for a poor one, Dwyer came back to the field a bit and Sinclair was non-existant.
  • I remarked last week to the aforementioned Len Hannah and another pies supporter at work June Warren that Sinclair is not AFL standard. He backed up my claim beautifully. I struggle to think of any other club who would give him a game.
  • Now Jordan Russell….What a calamity. He was beyond awful. Please send him back over to Malthouse.
  • Clarke had a shocker. I was always a big fan in his first stint and he has just started to look better again but he had a shocker today.
  • Macaffer is a fair way off it but I’m still hopeful.
  • Seedsman is a bit of a worry I must admit but I am actually going to call for him to have an extended run in the side to show us what he can do
  • Fasolo is struggling and is very lazy
  • Swan and Pendlebury had reasonable game without starring. Pendlebury resembled Swan of last year a couple of times with wild speculative handballs. Champion players do get marked harder and Pendlebury did have some purple patches of brilliance
  • Hudson tried hard but will probably miss the next game with Jolly to return
  • I’m too upset to talk about Toovey




3 Ben Reid

2 Steele Sidebottom

1 Alan Toovey


Honourable mentions to Pendlebury, Shaw, Lynch, Swan and super-sub Goldsack


Lest we forget


  1. Bob Emslie says

    Perhaps you should add two words to the above article, namely “about Essendon”.

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