Big Hits

Joel Dicker has played for the Penguin Football Club all his life; he and his brother Ryan. His mother is in the canteen during the home games and as a family they epitomise the foundations of local footy. Every club in every league has them. No big deal. Its just the way it is.

Joel takes his footy seriously, plays hard, and can be relied on for a comment from both sides of the boundary in the heat of the moment, especially if you can draw his attention; just your usual spirited stuff. We have locked horns on a couple of occasions and the last word has always been highly prized.

Penguin have been cellar dwellers for a few decades but had three teams in the preliminary finals last week. Wynyard beat their unders quite comfortably, their ressies had an arm wrestle but drew away in the last quarter and their seniors were impressive and reached the grand final with plenty to spare.

Although the Dickers have played in the ones they were both in the twos on Saturday. So this week, after about a decade of disappointment they have the opportunity to finally play in a grand final together. Reward for persistence and loyalty. Did I say have? Sorry that should be had.

Joel copped a nasty one in the third quarter. With his head over the ball while on the ground he was hit front on, with considerable force, by a player who collapsed on him. The two knees to the face looked pretty deliberate from where we saw it about eight meters away.

Joel left the ground very dazed. His next stop was hospital and reconstruction of a smashed jaw. Obviously he does not get to play this week. His face will still be swollen and a blacky orange colour and the metal round his teeth will still be protruding.

There was no report, just a free kick so it did not go un-noticed. There rarely is for these sort of hits in our league; brushed aside. Smashed noses, late hits to the head, unconscious or concussed players but the game goes on and some of the officials still wander around wallowing in self gratification because the crowds are up.

They are obviously not the parents who wait in out patients lobbies on Saturday afternoons and nights or arrive to pick up their kids the next day to take them home.

It would only take one report and a season’s suspension to set an example to stop the problem. But that would probably draw media attention and create debate. Better let sleeping dogs lie.

I wonder who will cop one this week in the grand final?




  1. Phantom – sounds like the Diamond Valley Football League in the 70s and 80s. They obviously don’t follow the AFL mantra down there of the head being sacred.

  2. Phantom,
    If that sort of thing is par for the course, I am sure I would not want my sons
    playing in that comp.
    Sounds like it is getting worse ?

  3. Phantom,
    It sounds as though Tassie might have a problem generally. I recall the day after the umpires walked off the ground during at H&A game ( cant remember the league) due to threats made by spectators during the 3/4 time break including a 14yr old boundary umpire. The spectiators were on the ground.The League President denied the incident as he was at the ground and saw the indicent happen and said the umps over reacted. Later offical reported olutlined the exact nature of the threats whcih were proven. Great when the official are as big a thug as the thugs themselves.

    PS If Cartlon get over the Weagles this week I can see a Cats Blues GF looming Bill and Im not on the drink

  4. TR, I’m tipping a Cats Blues GF is highly improbable, given they’ll have to play in the same PF to get there.

  5. Phantom,

    I can picture it well. It’s my most hated thing in footy – a cheap shot from a mug player that leaves the ball player indisposed.

    A long suspension would certainly send a warning.

    And go Penguin! Any club that produces such disparate personalities as Brendon Gale and Russell Robertson must be, as they say, a broad church.

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