Almanac Footy: The game is not the same!






The cacophony that exists in AFL football today sounds very much like the commencement of the Krakatoa Volcano. In fact, one can say without fear or favour, that it is worse. Each week something controversial develops into a tornado and the last breathe of wind usually comes from the AFL which says ‘little or no disturbance in the near future’.


Last Saturday I went back to the future and saw a wonderful example of Australian Rules football as distinct from the game they describe as ‘AFL football – Our Game’.


The match was between Anglesea (home team) and the visitors Geelong Amateurs, the Collingwood/Port Adelaide, of the Bellarine Football League.


Played at the picturesque ground just out of Anglesea, it was a matchup between second and fourth teams in the competition. The BFL was established in 1971 and has a fine history of exporting players to the VFL/AFL.


The Ammos went into the game as favorites but the bigger and stronger home team outplayed them to win 21-10-136 to 10-7-67. According to the Kangaroos coach Jordon Keras, “it was by far our best performance of the year and the hard work we put in pre-season is showing dividends”.


My highlight of the game, after the picturesque setting, was the left leg of the Roos burly big man Jack Baker whose leg was adorned by the tattoos of Al Capone and Grace Kelly. Like you, I have seen plenty of tatts in my day but never one the obviously paid homage to the gangster and the Princess of Monaco. His leg was so picturesque. Messrs Swan, De Goey, Stewart, Harmes et al take note.


Unfortunately I had to leave the game in the last stanza to get to Kardinia Park.  Why, I don’t know, but I could not get the answer from the man himself who played a pretty good game.


What I loved about the game was that it seemed to turn the clock back after watching only AFL games this season.


No time delays – just get on with the game, although there were advertisements on the you-beaut scoreboard.


No discussions between umpires whether it was touched, hit the post or just missed.


Lttle time delay after a goal was kicked, no advertisments flying in the sky. Not good for the picturesque environment.


The match was just another game of football with no icing on top.  Wonderful to watch and a perfect example why everyone loves country football.


The crowd was more like an annual dog show there were that many there. I confess I took my pooch Chloe along to join in the fun. Not only dogs but Mums and Dads with babies in prams and of course cars surrounding the boundary.


The jumpers of both sides, as you would expect, just plain ordinary football jumpers.  Anglesea in North Melbourne colours and Old Geelong Amateurs in quite the best football jumper I have see Tim Rath. Olive green and bluejumper with a pegasus (flying white horse) logo – it looks magnificent.


The Ammos were formed in 1926 when Geelong College (green) and Geelong Grammar (blue) got together to play in the VAFA but decided after a few years to play back in Geelong. They have won 11 premierships compared with Anglesea’s three.


Of historical interest for Anglesea was the fact that the fathers of two Brownlow Medal winners and two AFL premierships played in the winning 1983 premiership team. Ryan O’Keefe (Swans), Oliver Wines (PA) and Patrick Dangerfield (Adel/Geel). Brian O’Keefe was best on the ground in that match.


I was probably being a bit harsh with calling them the Collingwood/Port Adelaide of the competition.  They were more Bluebaggers!


Must mention the mark of the day by Ammos’ Jack Williams.  He rose above the pack to pull in a screamer.  ‘Just another mark in the BFL’ a spectator told me


What a wonderful day it was but then spoilt by not finding a parking spot within coo-ee of Kardinia Park for the Geelong v GWS encounter. All streets surrounding the ground were roped off as well!  It took me over half an hour to get to the ground and I missed the Tom Hawkins magic moment. Sadly I don’t think there is much more AFL in son-of-Jumping Jack.


The game had everything – score dispute, controversial decisions, two minutes between a goal being scored and the ball-up, ten minutes of warm ups, four field umpires, wrestling (no other word) in the ruck and the biggest controversial thing of all: ‘Holding the man – holding the ball’. It is what we ancient mariners call ‘The Hocking Effect’…and he played with us!


By the way GWS were far more impressive than the Pivots who insisted on chipping the ball to their opponents regularly instead of heading for the big sticks.  Can we return to the glory days of early in the season?  Well there is Richmond this week our regular NEMESIS. We will have to wait and see.


Am I longing for the old days in footy?  You betcha!


Footnote:  Jordon Keras, the Anglesea coach is married to Bethany Dangerfield my granddaughter and they are expecting their second child in mid-July. Bethany has a brother who also plays AFL and started his career with Anglesea.





More stories from Citrus Bob Utber can be read Here.



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About Bob Utber

At 84 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he has always done since growing up on a small farm at Lang Lang. Talking, watching and writing sport and in recent years writing books. He lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny) and a groodle named 'Chloe on Flinders' and can be found at Deakin 27 every day.


  1. Thought you may have been on a furlough CB. Great to read your article and perspectives.
    Very hard to beat fair dinkum, grass root football without the razzamatazz, the commercialism, that has crept into the AFL.
    I wonder if the head honchos at the AFL would instigate a quiet round, back like the old days.
    And allow grass root clubs to play a curtain raiser.

    I recall prior to a Geelong game we would visit Costa’s Covent Garden Fruit and Vegetable store in Moorabool St, get a pie from Timm’s bakery next door, then drive to nearby KP and park in Newtown near the Sawyer Arms Tavern.
    We always watched at least part of the curtain raiser.
    At half time of the Seniors, the Geelong Ladies Highland Pipe Band would perform.

    You mention that parked cars surrounded the oval in the game between Geelong Ammos and Anglesea.
    Did the car horns go off when a goal was scored?
    Anglesea must have been a star studded team in the 80’s with the likes of Brian O’Keefe, John Dangerfield and Olly Wines’s Father.

    Recently we visited our friends at Point Lonsdale who bought a charity house which was auctioned to raise money for Cottage by the Sea. Everything was donated including the land.

    And also saw TGTOA beat Carlton but lose to Melbourne, and the Anzac Cup draw between Carringbush & Bombers all at the MCG.
    I particularly enjoyed watching Tyson Stengle. He and Bobby Williams from Carringbush are sensational like yourself.

  2. Hayden Kelly says

    Got to agree Citrus . I am a coterie member at the Western Bulldogs but I get far more enjoyment watching Keilor on a Saturday afternoon than I do attending Dogs games .
    Local footy is still tribal but most of the banter between the rival tribes these days is good natured and as you say there are no pregnant pauses ,dubious umpiring decisions are discussed for 2 minutes ,not 2 weeks .Dogs are welcome and at some grounds including Keilor almost compulsory . Canteen tucker is hot and filling and beer at $6 a can is not highway robbery . Further at Keilor I get to watch Mick MGaune ply his trade as a coach and I think he would buy and sell a good number of AFL coaches and their assistants . 16 of their 22 on Saturday were locals the majority of whom descended from former players . 27 wins in a row also makes them a good watch .
    I am down at Anglesea with my brothers this weekend and have chosen not to watch Anglesea play away at Ocean Grove instead we are going across to Torquay to watch them play Barwon Heads

  3. Citrus, these days it is local footy for me nearly all of the time.

  4. Citrus Bob says

    JOHN, HAYDEN & SMOKIE – need I say more other than to agree with you wholeheartedly and I see the AFL today (Wednesday) has decided to change the ‘holding the man-holding the ball’ rule after we have had our threepence worth.
    THE (The Hocking Effect) will still exist so we have another 14 weeks to yell “BALL”!

  5. Daryl Schramm says

    I attended my first AFL game for the year on Sunday night. While I enjoyed the big win by my Crows, the general experience left me a bit cold. The loud speakers were one thing. Booing Harley Reid was moronic. At $750 or so for the year for The Oval I’ll be reconsidering next year. A can of Bundy & Cola at half time just south of $16. My experience at Ungarra on the Eyre Peninsula the week before was far superior.

  6. Exceedingly disappointing the last few weeks Citrus. The Cats that is. Their 10 minute spurts are superb but the other 90 minutes are terrible. Missing Joel?

    I really like watching the local footy when I get there. It has more freedom of expression about it. But (shiver down the spine) I recently heard a VAFA coach talking about “role players”.

    The state of the game!

    Shit flows down hill remember.

    Enjoyed the read.

  7. Great read. Much more enjoyable than your infuriating quizzes (do we get an answer one day or do you just keep pretending there was one?)
    Anything about local footy or the Cats losing is great by me.

  8. CITRUS BOB says

    Dips – as well as missing Joel up until last night(including the terrible first half) they have not won a game with PMD out!..Went to another local game yesreday and as a friend said to me this morning” local footy is the heart and beat of your town!”.

    PB- i REFUSE to comment on ground which may incriminate me. The asnwer will arrive soon!

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