Crio’s Q: Horror Away Trips

North will limp, winless, back to Melbourne, their fans cussing a draw that has had them twice cross the Continent already this season.

Geelong are unbeaten at Kardinia Park since August, 2007.

Whilst “processes” and “structures” remain the catchcries amongst motivators, sometimes it is impossible to ignore the impact of a horror away trip.

What are some of the worst away fixtures in Sport?

Comments

  1. Any team that have to play Collingwood in their own, not Collingwood’s, home game.

    They have to travel to the MCG.

  2. John Butler says

    As a kid going to the footy, Victoria Park was the only place I have unpleasant memories of. The natives were feral.

  3. John Butler says

    Mind you, not a lot of visiting fans seemed to think that highly of visiting Princes Park.

  4. JB,

    Pig Iron Bob didn’t seem to mind the drive to Princess Park. He didn’t have to get out of the car.

  5. John Butler says

    Phantom, PIB isn’t doing much driving nowadays.

  6. Andrew Fithall says

    JB (#2). I would rather you didn’t talk about my mother like that.

    Crio – Who have Geelong played at Kardinia Park over the last few years? I know I haven’t been there since Collingwood lost in the last round in 1991 and therefore missed the finals. Helen remembers that day fondly. We are trying to plan to get to a game this year for my one Geelong-supporting child.

  7. #6,

    Ah Andrew, I

    so it was your mother, with the angelic smile, sitting forward pocket on the fence at VP, who used to harass my mate poor old Ian Paton with an umbrella and nasty words when he would bend over to get the footy out of the gutter to give to the full back.

    And, Geelong don’t run the league so we are unable to get those who do to come down and play at Pussy Park.

    I think it is something to do with enconomic rationalism rather than fairness to all concerned.

  8. Andrew,
    I figured that they’d play all of the big games elsewhere, but how damning is that for those sides sent down to Corio?

  9. John Butler says

    AF #6, was your mum the one with the tatts and no teeth?

    A lovely lady.

    It was some of the others who worried me.

  10. Any side travelling to play against one coached by Jose Mourinho…

    Between 23 February 2002 and 2 April 2011, Mourinho went 150 home league matches unbeaten: 38 (W36–D2) with Porto, 60 (W46–D14) with Chelsea, 38 (W29–D9) with Internazionale and 14 (W14-D0) with Real Madrid. The run was broken by Sporting de Gijón on 2 April 2011, when they defeated Real Madrid 1–0 at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in La Liga.

    His only prior home league defeat had come when Porto were defeated 3–2 by Beira-Mar on 23 February 2002.

  11. Subi (or Pattersons as anyone who doesn’t follow footy might call it) is always a tough ask. It was especially horrific for the Hawks against the Dockers in the finals last year. Just two weeks after the Hawks had demolished the Docker’s reserves in Lonnie, the Hawks went to Subi and were smacked down without mercy by Freo. Classic case of winning the battle and losing the war.

    Cheers

  12. Kardinia Park in July/August when players are suffering hypothermia would probably be pretty tough. It certainly was in 2004, for Freo.

    Re the Roos and their travel; while two trips to Subi in the first month may seem harsh, they did it Rd 1 and after a bye, so it’s not as if they weren’t fully rested and prepared. They played pretty well yesterday.

  13. It’s totally unfair that teams from Melbourne are expected to travel to Perth.

  14. Hey Les, we’ll play youse lot anywhere, anytime … but as convivial hosts, can you give us 5 goals in when we come to your place?

    Cheers

  15. Playing in Pakistan – back when there was such a thing – was renowned as a tough gig. Local umpires, poor conditions, unfamiliar wickets and Javed Miandad.

  16. Stainless says

    Surely the strip of water where they held the Americas Cup for over a century until 1983 must rate as the toughest “road” trip in sport?

    I don’t rate any away trips in the AFL as particularly tough any more, except perhaps Geelong at Geelong. Most good teams prepare really thoroughly for interstate trips and can win anywhere these days. The venues are all much more uniform than they once were. By way of comparison, Hawthorn and St Kilda went decades without ever winning at Victoria Park and I think Carlton at Princes Park had an enviable record against most teams over nearly a century. Subiaco is today’s toughest interstate venue but visitng teams win pretty regularly there now.

  17. Mulcaster says

    “Carisbrook” Dudedin New Zealand unaffectionately known as “The House of Pain”, thankfully it is no longer used for Test matches but remains the home of the Otago Highlanders. It may not be the hardest away fixture in all sport, but it will make it to the quater finals without dropping a set.

  18. For many horses the transition between clockwise and anti has proven unattainable. Experts have dissected the difficulty once a horse gets “on the wrong leg” around a bend such as Caulfield’s. Others have noted the unfriendly “away” draw – wide gate – that seemed commonplace. There’ve even been stirrers noting, for example, the Smith/Waterhouse disparity of performance when interstate and even Bart’s years back when based in Melbourne, who sensed a “deeper” definition for the “Away” defeats.

  19. Dave Nadel says

    To combine your question with Litza’s excellent piece on Fenway Park – I agree with Stainless (#16) that the uniformity of the venues has destroyed much of the homeground advantage. Australian Football, Baseball and Cricket used to be the only major team sports that did not have uniform sized grounds. While Soccer, Rugby, Hockey etc. may vary their surfaces the grounds in each sport are a unform size.

    Home ground advantage in footy, baseball and cricket wasn’t just based on feral home crowds and travel sickness, it was based on difficult home conditions. Fenway Park, with its close fences (and the huge advantage it gives batters over pitchers)is one of the last of the non-standard baseball parks. Most Major League Clubs have built new grounds in the last couple of decades and they all look similar.

    The AFL now plays all its Melbourne games on two grounds. I don’t think much of Docklands but obviously the MCG is a terrific stadium BUT the old homeground advantage between Melbourne clubs is gone.

    I liked it that few other teams could play on Collingwood’s centre mudpatch on wet Saturdays in the 60s and 70s. I am sure Essendon supporters appreciated that few opposing sides could handle their peculiar conditions when the wind blew at Windy Hill. Glenferrie Ovals small size, Moorabbin’s sandy surface and the angle the wind affected the goals at Western Oval all gave their respective home sides an advantage. It made for a more interesting game.

  20. True, Dave. And it meant home fans always had some hope. It also made certain players better suited on specific grounds and called for alternative game plans. Is it a coincidence that Melbourne’s dominance ceased when they started to share the MCG. Richmond crossed Yarra Park and hit paydirt, Essendon (1993) and the Pies last year others to tweak their games for the Big Dance?

  21. Ian Syson says

    Dave, soccer grounds are not of a uniform size.

  22. Ian,
    I believe that’s known as leaving a sentence “hanging”! Elaborate.

  23. Crio, here you go.

    The field of play is rectangular. The length of the sideline must be longer than the length of the goal line. Measurements are as follows:

    * length ? minimum 90m maximum 120m
    * width ? minimum 45m maximum 90m

    Fields can go from 90 x 45 to 120 x 90 — a difference of 266 per cent if I’m not mistaken. As I said in another thread Stoke has a very narrow ground which is partly explained by the fact that Rory Delap plays for them. He can basically get the ball into the goal box from a throw-in anywhere in the front third of the field. Tranmere Rovers used also to have a narrow ground. South Melbourne narrowed its ground at the request of the Greek national team who were using it as a training ground in 2006 and never reverted. (Paul Mavroudis will correct me if that’s bad history!)

  24. Crio, here you go.

    The field of play is rectangular. The length of the sideline must be longer than the length of the goal line. Measurements are as follows:

    * length ? minimum 90m maximum 120m
    * width ? minimum 45m maximum 90m

    Fields can go from 90 x 45 to 120 x 90 — a difference of 266 per cent if I’m not mistaken. As I said in another thread Stoke has a very narrow ground which is partly explained by the fact that Rory Delap plays for them. He can basically get the ball into the goal box from a throw-in anywhere in the front third of the field. Tranmere Rovers used also to have a narrow ground. South Melbourne narrowed its ground at the request of the Greek national team who were using it as a training ground in 2006 and never reverted. (Paul Mavroudis will correct me if that’s bad history!)

  25. Crio, here you go.

    The field of play is rectangular. The length of the sideline must be longer than the length of the goal line. Measurements are as follows:

    * length ? minimum 90m maximum 120m
    * width ? minimum 45m maximum 90m

    Fields can go from 90 x 45 to 120 x 90 — a difference of 266 per cent if I’m not mistaken. As I said in another thread Stoke has a very narrow ground which is partly explained by the fact that Rory Delap plays for them. He can basically get the ball into the goal box from a throw-in anywhere in the front third of the field. Tranmere Rovers used also to have a narrow ground. South Melbourne narrowed its ground at the request of the Greek national team who were using it as a training ground in 2006 and never reverted. (Paul Mavroudis will correct me if that’s bad history!)

  26. Dave Nadel says

    #23,24,25. I like it so nice, I’ll say it thrice.

    Perhaps I have always assumed that soccer grounds were uniform sizes, I thought that I had actually read that. Thanks for the correction, Ian

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