another game another thumping

But at least it wasn’t pissing down today. Actually it was a pretty good day for footy, sun shining, no real breeze, a big win in the magoos  and the young fella due to run out at half time to Auskick glory. All in all a promising start. And ultimately, a pretty much as expected finish.

Adelaide are very good after all. Brenton Sanderson was the coaching move of the year, for all the circus hoopla around next week’s opponent. They are equal top for a reason.

The trip to the footy this week included my aged parents and my father and step mother in-law. All rugby league followers, except mum who is a cricket tragic. They were along for the Auskick, the main game was a bonus for them.

Mum was quick on the uptake though. “Can you push someone in the back that way when they’re trying to catch the ball?” “no mum, the umpires missed that.” “what was that one for?” “it was a ruck infringement mum, nobody knows what they’re for.” “these Refs have been bought.” “umpires mum”

I think the season is really beginning to take its toll on the young giants. We all thought they’d get stronger and better with every game they played, and for a large part they have been but I reckon the wall is looming.

In the early part of the season we were being smashed early and putting in brave, never surrender, second halves or final quarters. Lately though, it’s our first quarters and first halves that are OK and our second halves fading into not-quite-but-almost embarrassment territory.

For all their obvious talent you have to remember that they are unbelievably young for a league team. Adelaide today had no 18 year olds, one 19 year old and two 20 year olds. We had four 18s, seven 19s & two 20 year olds – Nick Haynes who was 19 until the week before his debut in Round 10 and Adam Kennedy who was nineteen until Thursday.

Steve Clifton was this week’s (31st over all) debut. At 25 he’s been in the VFL and the NEAFL for a while and finally got his well deserved break. I hope to be seeing a bit more of him in the second half of the year.

As good as they are, they are young and running out of steam. My fear is that the second half of the year could end up being like the second half of this game. Today, and for the last couple of weeks including Melbourne, we were over run, and out run.

To her credit, mum cottoned on early to the other problem the Giants have. “They should each take an Adelaide player and stick with them, they’re letting ’em get away. And when they get the ball themselves they need to give it to a team mate, not the other side.”

She’s right. Turnovers are killing us, and our opposition seems to be able to go coast to coast untouched a little to easily lately.

Today we played host to a very good side, who like Hawthorne (who is also good) and Melbourne (who are not) put us to the sword. What I wouldn’t give for a bye this week just to refresh the young bodies (and the old body’s as well) which is to say, everyone.

Instead we travel to Perth, our eleventh venue and tenth road trip in 16 home and away games (on top of 3 road trips in the NAB cup).

So the game ended as expected – another thumping, followed by the time honoured tradition of kick-to-kick on a beautiful late sunday afternoon. You can add a couple of new names to the bandwagon too, my Parramatta supporting step mother in law bought a Giants hat and all four want to go to another game even if young master is not playing at half time.

An Adelaide supporter, walking back to the train station, told me not to despair, that we would be good in a couple of years when we get some pre-seasons and bulk into the boys. “You’ve got some talent running around out there.” I agreed. We’ll get there. You just have to have a little patience and realistic expectations.

Oh, and the Wollondilly Redbacks beat a gallant but outmatched Penrith side by a lot to not much during the half time break. That’s the way it goes I suppose, maybe next time they’ll get up for a win, they are a young side after all.

About steve duffy

is in no particular order....writer, artist, graphic designer, library technician, Giants fan, dad, husband, friend, brother, son, reader, lover of music, resident of Penrith, Canberra boy, Raider fan, Brumbies fan, Cats fan, right handed, white with two (coffee) black with two (tea), left of centre.....


  1. pamela sherpa says

    Despite the losses I’m enjoying watching the young Giants play and develop as footballers. Big losses provide the opportunity for big lessons.

  2. Richard Naco says

    I was there as well, starting with the Members’ Forum at 11 and staying through till stumps. You’re right, it was a drop dead gorgeous day for footy, Skoda never ceases to amaze me, and I do get a very special buzz when I hear opposition supporters inevitably and often saying things to the effect of “Geez, this is really as good a footy ground as they say it is!”

    Speaking of good: the Crows looked very much like Geelong of last year. They swept forward in glorious free running waves, and it may be my being a South Australian in exile who had a hoops fetish right up to Round 1 this season, but watching that felt totally surreal at times.

    The Members’ Forum was exceptional. Dave Matthews and Kevin Sheedy basically brought everybody present (about 150 were invited – after expressions of interest were requested) up to speed on where, when, how & why the club is doing right now. That bit was illuminating. What was exciting was when they actually asked for feedback and agreed to act immediately on several of them.

    The classic was the response to one question: “We don’t actually have a policy on that. We’d like you members to tell us what our policy should be, because it’s the members who own this club”. It is a fact that Giants’ members can access anybody on the staff or the board and engage in discussions with very little effort. Accessibility and accountability are more than catch phrases in GWS. And it really isn’t name dropping when anybody else in the club can do it (right, Pamela?).

    Oh yeah, there was a game, wasn’t there?. It pretty much went to script (Sheeds basically predicted not just the result, but the flow of the game in the Forum). I saw a lot of things to like, and I’ll repeat what I know will make some of those safely ensconsed in the code’s heartland roll their eyes – again – and that is that within the context of the bigger picture, the twenty goal flogging was a win for our club. Some good young players continued to develop, and although an U21 side eventually got worn down & run over by bigger, stronger, smarter and considerably more experienced opponents, more signs of a brilliant future still glimmered occasionally in the wonderful Sydney sunlight.

    I’m no longer a member of the cheer squad, so I parked myself on the bridge over the GWS players’ race and had a brilliant afternoon, chatting away to a bunch of people who I’ll probably never talk to again. It was a wonderful and compelling way to enjoy a Sunday arvo at the footy. “And the future’s so bright that I gotta wear shades!”

    (I’m thinking of getting some of my mates to watch games with me from that outstanding possie – we could call ourselves the GWS Bridge Club!)

  3. Richard,
    The sense of involvement/engagement of which you speak is very important. Some of my friends are dedicated to football clubs well down the food chain from the AFL precisely because they feel that their opinions count for something and that they can have a genuine influence on club policy. It doesn’t stop their having an AFL allegiance, but that is tempered by their all-consuming relationship with the local boys.

    With your various posts describing your links with GWG, you have reminded us of what that feels like. An occasional rant here or on my club’s supporter website is an entirely different order of participation, as I support one of the several clubs with 40,000 plus members and perhaps a couple of hundred thou casual supporters.

  4. pamela sherpa says

    I was interested to hear how the forum went Richard.Would have loved to attend. YI know exactly how you feel about the Giants genuinely involving their members After the first game of the year I wrote to the Giants describing my experience of the night and I got a reply from David Mathews sayong how much he appreciated the feedback from the night Have since spoken to him after Canberra games and he has been is thankful and interested in what fans have to say . They are a fantastic bunch of players ,coaches and administrators which is why I am really loving following them, The kids mat be getting thrashed but I love their endeavour and their attitude. And I did love Izzy’s crocodile roll tackle !!

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