Crio’s Question: Softly, softly

On some things I am an expert. I have the requisite experience and expertise. No one who saw my sporting career would question my credentials.

When it comes to spotting the soft option, it is intuitive.

Since the sublimely talented Nathan Brown followed Plough to the Tigers my wrath has focused on Daniel Giansiracusa.

Other than shirtfronting Kosi – they both must have mistimed their sidestep – he’s never won me over.

Good bloke. Great trainer. Skilled both sides. A leader in team meetings.

So what? We should have cashed him in years ago when he had some currency.

He’s mastered the little nudge to get an opponent under the ball and then run on to the cheapy “over the back”. Leads hard… and wide. Front and square…  for the high fives.

Gia cheats.

We’ve all got ‘em. Some sides even carry them – rationalizing that they’ll provide the icing after the cooks have done their bit.

Others won’t. I suspect “Bloody” Nick Davis, who thrust the Swannies in to a GF, was judged as such by his peers and discarded. It is not their culture.

Any nominations from your club?


  1. Crio, i can recall mates who barracked for the Bullies, nee Footscray, having similar opinions on Peter Featherby, and Alan Daniels. Alan Stoneham was another wearing the tricolours, who copped their wrath.


  2. cowshedend says

    Glen, they must have stood near me or were related,add Richard Cousins ,Gary Merrington, Mark Cullen and about 3 or 400 others.
    As for Gia,it is long overdue to have have that 4 1/2 nail removed from his name on the magnetic board,that prevents it being removed every week.

  3. Yes cowshedend, you’d know some of these gents; one has contibuted to the Almanac. Mark Cullen was certainly a whipping boy. Gary Merrington was unlucky to be a full back in the era of Hudson, Wade, Mckenna, Jesaulenko, Blethyn, Davis, etc. Nice bloke to, he was a barman for quite a while at the North Fitzroy Arms.


  4. Glen,
    A mate of mine used to refer to the NFA as the North Fitzroy Harms – clearly JTH dispensed wisdom there regularly!
    I reckon GaryMerrington also has done his shifts behind the jump at the (Almanac fav) All Nations – it is a subject for another week…. sports publicans/barmen.

  5. Crio,

    A bit harsh.

    There’s always been “wide receivers” in footy.

    Remember the “mosquito fleet”, they were wide receivers who were also pretty tough and getting fed from half back by the doormat. They were a big part of a golden run at the blues had in the 70’s/80’s. Today they still have them but also have Judd and Murphy doing the grunt work…..they have to hand off to someone who can hopefully run their measure and either goal or drop it on a forwards chest.

    Re: the Dogs, if Cooney had done a hammy in the first quarter, they wouldn’t have scored a goal. Too many receivers and only one grunty player in the midfield and the game has probably passed Gia by now.

    My point is that all teams need the running , receiver type of player but they must get the mix right because you need the tough nuts to farm it out to them and the game has changed ( rules and rule interpretation as well) to suit a running game.

    Oh, and I did see a lot of your “sporting career” and actually will concede remembering getting hit lace out a few times by you…I know I was probably the softest player ever but I still kicked plenty of goals when you “tough nuts” in the middle could put the ball on my chest.

  6. Jock,
    the hard nuts won the footy. I was capable of then very quickly disposing it over a short distance, though hitting you on the chest was quite an anatomical achievement!
    Sheldon, Ashman and co were pretty tough and then ran hard.
    For Carlton, Craig Bradley had plenty of opposition sledgers over his long career.

  7. Crio, one of Mr Merringtons colleagues behind the bar was none other than Anthony, ‘Spud’ , Dullard, who i was last aware was pulling beers @ the Clyde.


  8. Gary and Spud have poured many beers for Almanac functions. Spud was a terrific host at the Clyde when we had some memorable lunches there.

  9. Memorable lunches? A couple of the memorable ones I’ve attended have been that good that I have difficulty remembering them. Second, lunches? Don’t you mean long lunch stretched out into afternoon, twilight, evening, night and beyond? Good though, that’s for sure.

    As for softly, softly players, at Hawthorn Breust could get a bit more dirt on his hands and I suspect it’s the chink in Gunston’s game.

    Back in the day Robert Wiley was a legend in WA but I never took to him because I didn’t think he was hard enough. Also, he had a habit of bouncing the ball just before he was tackled which used to sh*t me.


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