Good sumps mean good footy

Match 2 Coober Pedy Saints vs Hornridge Football Club 12.30pm Saturday 5th May 2012 Roxby Downs Oval.

by George Laslett


This week has been an insight into the life of a football club committeeman, organiser and run-around man.

After last Saturday’s debacle of the coach going troppo at the boys and the last half fade out the committee met to take action.

That action included me speaking to the coach, outlining the Code of Conduct for Senior Coaches, passing on that the collapse in the last quarter was because of shame and embarrassment not a fitness issue and encouraging him to focus on the strengths and resources of his senior players.

I was to the point. He received it well. He was shocked that the players felt that way. In reality it is probably that 21st Century state of the art, politically correct coaching procedures had caught up with his 1980’s learnt and experienced coach training.

He apologised to the players Tuesday night and the practice moved into free flowing passing drills.

I went home to congratulate myself on some fine negotiating skills and a job well done and to ponder his statement “we’ve got to get those fellas down from Finke to play again or we’ll get smashed; you and your committee better work on it.” Work on it! The committee have quashed any idea of any future Finke players (unless they drop down out of heaven). Born with silky skills, natural agility and ball knowledge, how nice, but how hard to get them here. Finke is 600km from Coober Pedy on the back track short cut. Then there is a 920km round trip to Roxby and back. 2120km of travel for 1 game of footy, plus 3 nights accommodation. The consensus is ‘Let’s recruit from Roxby even if we pay a miner or two’. We’ve got one fella there who other clubs won’t touch because he had a head injury but we play him in a helmet or he acts as runner but he’s off to a wedding.

There’s 16 players at training Tuesday night and 17 Thursday night but some are juniors and we are about to face the giants of Hornridge, the Magpies, hard at the ball at the body players of immense strength and power. Talk about David and Goliath. So Thursday night I advocate with the committee on the Finke question. I know last week the chap that drove up there unauthorised to pick up players did his sump, incurred huge petrol costs and now has a busted gasket and no car leaving him and his 8 children walking and us with huge costs, and he wants payment; but his brother has a 1982 Toyota diesel and he could bring 3 players down.

‘Madness’ say the committee; “we can’t keep on doing this, George”. I advocate that we are the GWS of the comp and that we just need a buffer of 3 players to get us over the hump. It would be absolutely demoralising for these young players to go there with only 17 players and against these man mountains. The committee see the point and guardedly agree.

Friday we ring through the fuel vouchers, agree to meet 6pm at Caltex, with the gear, the 22 seater bus, 1 car to head off to Wirrimmina for the night.

Now we aren’t without skilled players either. This week we have recruited Brenton Crombie, a very useful, onballer, looks like Troy Caser Daly but plays like Ablett; Romano 21year old ex Rostrevor Centre man fresh from a Premiership last 2 years and I advocate with a mining company to release our ruckman (after all, he does work in public relations). We also have Matty, a man mountain in himself but hasn’t played for 5 years.

We get news that the car in Finke is Cactus, so it’s good we didn’t go that way. It’s up to us. We barely have a team, but the coach is focussing on strengths more and there is a good feeling. And we have recruited 2 Aboriginal Miners in Roxby Downs albeit one is transitioning from Rugby to Aussie Rules (that’s a nice way of saying he’s never played before).

Friday consists of checking to see the players are ready, Guernseys etc there, transfer papers all filled out and food; did someone ring Wirraminna to say we were coming!




  1. John Harms says

    Classic George – but you can’t leave us hanging. What happened?

  2. Matt Zurbo says


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