LINK: Michael Gleeson’s Cakewalk

Those of us lucky enough to attend the last Almanac lunch at the All Nation’s Hotel were thoroughly entertained by Michael Gleeson and Shane Morwood’s recollections of the breaking of Colliwobbles in 1990. Cakewalk has now been published, and you can read an excerpt from it here: http://www.smh.com.au/afl/afl-news/history-in-the-making-20100608-xtnn.html And please remember the next Almanac lunch [Read more]

FIFA World Cup Preview: Part 7 of 8

GROUP G (‘The Group of Death”) Brazil: The giants of this group of death will go into the tournament, like always, as favourites. And with a good reason too, as they produce magnificent players left, right and centre. Coach Dunga, has opted for a steady game that Brazil have not been known for. A mixture [Read more]

Link: Sometimes the best ones are right in front of you

The speaker at the next Almanac lunch is Melbourne footy identity Bernie Sheehy, who’s coached premiership teams in the Amateurs and the VFL as well as coaching Essendon and Fitzroy reserves. He was also Neale Daniher’s right-hand man at Melbourne. The always interesting Bernie was quoted extensively by Almanacker Peter Hanlon in this article in [Read more]

LINK: Ajax’s Player Factory

Dutch club Ajax’s junior soccer academy is not called De Toekomst — The Future for nothing. In fact, it makes our attempts at player development seem positively half baked. This extensive New York Times article explores an institution which has become a virtual player factory. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/magazine/06Soccer-t.html?pagewanted=1&ref=global-home&adxnnlx=1275490919-Cyaxrq7Cvoe2eKBiQsfTjg

FIFA World Cup Preview: Part 6 of 8

GROUP F Italy: Many have doubted the reigning champion’s odds of going back to back. Saying their old and too defensive has brought up queries in the Italian team. Of all, Marcello Lippi knows that his side are not affected by outside talk. That they talked them down in 2006, and you all know what [Read more]

Book Launch: Cheryl Critchley’s Our Footy

Cheryl Critchley launches her book Our Footy: Real Fans vs Big Bucks at the London Tavern Hotel on Thursday, 17th of June. Kevin Sheedy will be feature speaker. Our Footy press release

LINK: Barney’s Big Coup

70 year-old trainer Barney Curley has taken the British bookies to the cleaners in one of the biggest betting coups in a long, long time. But, says Barney, it wasn’t all about the money. Punters who dare to dream (isn’t that all of you?) should read on… http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/barney-curley-nobody-will-win-as-much-on-horse-racing-in-100-years-1988728.html

How we tried to lose the unlosable game.

By John Ramsdale What a ridiculous time to play football; marginally better than a Monday, but still ridiculous. The only advantage is that it puts off thought s of returning to work or school for a couple of hours. I hate this ground: its location, its surface, we do not seem to play well there, [Read more]

2010 FIFA World Cup Preview: Part 5 of 8

GROUP E Netherlands: Highly fancied to win the tournament, the classy Dutch team boasts incredible skill and talent. Solid at the back and fluent through the midfield, players like Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder will look to both assist and score goals.  The only superpower in the group and should advance with no troubles. Player [Read more]

Poetry: A Lament To Kings All

By Tim Pekin A LAMENT TO KINGS ALL It’s as if some kings have never been not Attracting the strong, the poor, the traditional hero’s lot Unearthing dreams on a quest for the Holy Grail Performing epic deeds for the populace to hail They lead their men into battle, at the fore Mercurial imposing figures, [Read more]

Swans win the proverbial drought breaker

By Neil Jackson SWANS VS ESSENDON 6TH June 2010 The headlines for this game will probably read: “An arm-wrestle on a raining afternoon”. From a Sydney Swans fan’s prospective it should read: “From the dark clouds comes the bright light-finally a close and important win. ‘ Swans-Bombers games have for eight years honoured the “Marngrook” [Read more]

2010 FIFA World Cup Preview: Part 4 of 8

GROUP D Germany: One of the powerhouses of international football. They boast experience, speed and class in a well balanced team that is picked out mostly from the German Bundes Liga. However, the omission of Captain Michael Ballack through injury is a big loss. A man that is the heart of soul of German football [Read more]

Link: Cricket in the USA

What would be more fun than playing a game of cricket in Central Park? With a growing Indian expatriate community in the USA, there are attempts to revive the great colonial game. A cricket ground has even been built in Florida. The Guardian’s Spin blog casts an eye over developments. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2010/jun/02/thespin

2010 FIFA World Cup Preview: Part 3 of 8

By Domenic Favata GROUP C England: Warmly backed to have a real crack at this year’s title. Coach Fabio Capello expects big things from his side that boasts the names Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard and so on. There attacking style will see them progress onto the round of 16 and could do some damage there. They [Read more]

2010 FIFA World Cup Preview: Part 2 of 8

By Domenic Favata GROUP B: Argentina: The feisty South Americans hail the world’s best ever player and the current best player. I’m talking about Coach Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. Maradona has had a controversial build up to the World Cup, facing fines, suspensions and hefty flack from the South American media. If they can [Read more]

Link: Junior Players in Demand

The competing interests of local sports clubs and private schools is a long standing issue. Private schools have priorities which often affect the availability of players for their local teams. The recent rise of junior pathways and elite development squads in many sports has added to the confusion. This Age article examines some of the ins and outs of [Read more]

Victory at last for young Tigers

By Domenic Favata If you saw the inner sanctum of the Richmond song at the end of the game, you knew something special had happened. Richmond had finally broken through to their first win of the year, with a 47 point drubbing over lack lustre Port Adelaide. The rain was pelting down and an extreme [Read more]

2010 FIFA World Cup Preview: Part 1 of 8

By Domenic Favata This is the first part of eight of my 2010 FIFA World Cup preview. The biggest sporting event on the planet which kicks off on the 12th of June. Last time it was Italy who took the chocolates and held the title of champions. This time it could be anyone; the field [Read more]

LINK: Mascot Hall of Shame

The Alamanac editors once knew of a St Kilda Ruckle who got into a fully fledged punch-on while still in uniform (although the head fell off during proceedings). But this pales when compared to some mascot misadventures overseas. The Independent has compiled a photo gallery of the Mascot’s Hall of Shame. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/olympics/the-best-and-worst-sporting-mascots-1977011.html?action=Popup&ino=1

LINK: The True Cost of Sporting Festivals

As governments around the world clamour to host the world’s great sporting events, do we ever stop to consider who really wins from these deals? The Guardian Sportblog takes a disturbing look at the social dislocation resulting from New Delhi’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2010/may/25/commonwealth-games-delhi