Crio’s Question: Gold Coast victory – who’s thrilled?

Was anyone genuinely thrilled for the Gold Coast when they won on Saturday dusk – as distinct from the schadenfreude of the Pies’ loss?
Could you truly swallow the romantic guff of an outpost rising to conquer the old guard?
Surely we recognize this as a franchise designed for expansionist economic ambitions? – it is not Tassie.
The Mission Statement – make them succeed at other codes’ cost.
The Method – whatever it takes (start with Ablett and lots of money).
The Outcome – on field success within 5 years.
This is not a fairytale. It is hard nosed Empire building.
How can anyone be pleased?


  1. Good question, Crio. When I saw the result my immediate thought was the Pies and how this ruins their season. Even after their (cough, cough) massive win over Carlton (Bucks, you embarrassed yourself in the press conference saying you were doing well after that win.)
    Not until now did I think, well done Gold Coast. I was just laughing at the Pies.

  2. Peter Flynn says

    I don’t like artificial constructs.

  3. Flynny,
    Not even when it distracts from other sporting nightmares?

  4. Dave Nadel says

    The funny thing is that if that victory had been against any club except the one I barrack for I would have been pleased. First of all Ablett’s game was exceptional. I still don’t understand why Bucks didn’t at least apply a token tag, but I accept that the way little Gazza played on Saturday it wouldn’t have made much difference. You can’t help being impressed by footy played at that level.

    Secondly I am pretty impressed by the way Bluey McKenna and his brains trust are building the Suns. As I have said before, their mixture of old, mid-career and young players was much smarter than GWS’ recruiting and is bringing them success at a faster rate than GWS will achieve. Jaeger O’Meara is an unbackable favourite for the Rising Star and deserves to be.

    Good luck to the Suns and the way they are coming of age…only please….NOT AGAINST MY CLUB!

  5. Peter Flynn says


    A GCS or GWS flag won’t do much for me.

  6. Stainless says

    I think Richmond supporters would have seen this as an unexpected validation of our own performance against the Suns last week. Up until Saturday I’d seen our game in Cairns purely in terms of Richmond v FNQ hoodoo. The opposition was a secondary concern. However, to have beaten the team that beat Collingwood, and in such challenging conditions was a bit of a confidence booster going into yesterday’s testing encounter against Freo. The form line looks pretty good in hindsight!

    But in answer to your question, apart from also validating my pre-season assessment that the Suns are a pretty good side, an invented team doesn’t deserve any success for at least two decades – er, make that 33 years!

  7. Rick Kane says

    When is a team invented and when is it not? West Coast Eagles is an invented team as are others. You know, like Collingwood, Hawthorn, Sydney and so on. The ‘some teams are more authentic than others’ premise has more holes in it than a sieve. Especially in a market driven model. Stripping the sociological context from the game, what was pleasing from a footy fan’s view was the fact that the underdog got up. And that view will continue to drive our interest in sporting contests whatever the business goings on. Cheers

  8. cowshedend says

    As much as it is a pure pleasure to watch Ablett, i find watching both GWS and GC a bit like watching that awful robotic racetrack in the tote.
    As painful as it is to endure generations of failure,surely the romance of a Chicago Cubs,Boston Red Sox or a St Kilda or Footscray pennant is by far the greatest seller of sport

  9. Pamela Sherpa says

    Crio , quite frankly , I think this is a biased, insulting question.

    I was thrilled to see the Suns win . It’s great to see them winning and thrilling their fans, who believe it or not, just like fans from other clubs , enjoy watching , and are entitled to enjoy watching, their team play.

    P Flynn , I had not realised til now that you were living in a cave. I won’t think any less of you if you decide to move into an artificial construct such as a house.

  10. Mark Doyle says

    Another stupid question by a conservative parochial Melbourne person who has never accepted that the elite adult level aussie rules footy competition is now a national competition. An objective analysis of the AFL competition over the last 25 years demonstrates that clubs such as Sydney, West Coast, Brisbane, Adelaide, Fremantle and Port Adelaide have done more for a good competitive competition than garbage clubs such as the extinct clubs South Melbourne and Fitzroy plus current garbage clubs such as Melbourne, Western Bulldogs, St. Kilda and North Melbourne which have all been incredibly badly managed.
    Gold Coast have some excellent young players such as Jaeger O’Meara, Dion Prestia, Tom Hickey, Rory Thompson and others plus the best player in the AFL in Gary Ablett jnr. and will be a top ranked team in a few years. I saw O’Meara at Kardinia Park a few weeks back and was very impressed; he will be a ‘gun’ in a few years. After watching Gary Ablett jnr. at Kardinia Park for 9 years in a good team, his performance with Gold Coast has been exceptional and continues to maintain very high standards.
    West Sydney also have some very promising young players, but the team lacks for quality on-field experienced leaders. West Sydney should look to recruit a couple of experienced A graders who are ‘free agents’ plus promising fringe players from other clubs similar to what Sydney have done in recruiting blokes such as Ted Richards, Shane Mumford, Josh Kennedy, Rhys Shaw and Ben McGlynn.

  11. Doyle, O’Meara is a ‘gun’ now. Your comment shows a lack of knowledge of our indigenous game.
    Your comments regarding the Giants also show a complete lack of originality. I have seen the same comments verbatim from such journalists as Mark Robinson and Jon Ralph of the Herald Sun.
    I suggest that if you plan on continuing posting unimaginative vitriol on this site, you could at the very least balance it with some original analysis. Your comments are boring. The only entertainment in them is that you have become a parody of yourself.
    Good day,

  12. Mark, when you start calling clubs like my footscray garbage I just feel sorry for you. How out of touch you must be to dismiss something that is so dear to so many people in such a callous way.

  13. On Gold Coasts win, I was thrilled. Love seeing the pies getting humbled, and unlike GWS, Gold Coast has real football culture and was primed for a presence in the national comp. Good luck to the suns, and well done to Gary Ablett and co for the great missionary work they’re dong up there.

  14. Love your comments Mark… always enjoy another voice.
    I just posed a Q?
    My answer, for what it is worth (and you recognise it’s value!) is – I don’t care.
    The AFL leave me cold so I try not to worry.

  15. Kath Presdee says

    I’m happy to see that the Suns have beaten Collingwood – a team that’s in the 8 and with a strong following. The next step in their development is to beat the Top 8 side away from home (and Cairns doesn’t count)

    Without wanting to open up the whole issue of GWS’s mini-draft results, one wonders what would have been an acceptable trade in player terms for O’Meara; rather than the high draft pick and one wonders what exactly was offered.

  16. Marcus Holt says

    I loved seeing the Suns win. I also loved seeing Collingwood lose. Both sides of the equation were enjoyable and satisfying. The “Little Traitor” was stunning and now seems a lock for the Brownlow and a double with O’Meara in the Rising Star looks just as certain and perhaps will be the first taste of further success for the Suns.

    Much as die-hard traditionalists may hate it, the VFL is long gone, replaced by a newer, bigger, better National Football Competition. When South moved to Sydney the die was cast and all of the new teams have added to and enhanced our great indigenous game. All bar Freo (and GCS &GWS at this stage) have won flags, and Freo have made Finals and are a real chance for this year’s Grand Final. The non-Victorian clubs have well and truly proved themselves worthy of their place in the AFL. The VFL was in big trouble and would not have survived (or at least thrived) without the expansion clubs and national vision.

    The Giants and Suns are the logical next steps and should be given time and opportunity to grow, develop and succeed. Yes they’ve cost a lot of money. So what? They are pioneering into difficult areas and doing so against multiple challenges from within and without. We admire pioneers in all other fields of human endeavour, surely we can spare a little admiration and support for these fledgling footy teams. Yes they are “artificial constructs” but other than Port Adelaide, so were all the other new teams, not-with-standing the hybrid Lions- Bears and transplanted Swans, but without the VFL/AFL’s money Sydney and South Melbourne would be long gone.

    Heaps of other sporting clubs have tried and failed to crack the Gold Coast market but I suggest that The Suns will be the ones who become established and successful in the long term. Again, yes at a high price. So what. That’s the nature of the competition we are in. Those who don’t like it can choose Amateur footy or some other more “pure” form of sport to follow. I’ll take the AFL, with all its faults, every time.

  17. Mark Doyle says

    Cookie, your comments are patronising, ignorant and ridiculous. Your comment that O’Meara is already a ‘gun’ is absurd and tantamount to suggesting that he is already as good as experienced 100 game midfielders such as Gary Ablett jnr., Dane Swan, Scott Pendlebury, Jobe Watson, Joel Selwood, David Mundy, Sam Mitchell, Jarrad McVeigh and Keiran Jack as well as great players in the twilight of their careers such as Simon Black and Lenny Hayes. One bloke who could become the best midfielder in the AFL when he becomes an experienced 100 game player is Dan Hannerbury. O’Meara was recruited as an exceptionally talented junior footballer and has shown good promise in his 20 odd AFL games, but he has not been outstanding so far. In my opinion both Harley Bennell and Dion Prestia have shown an equivalent amount of promise as young footballers for Gold Coast. I have also heard that another exceptionally talented junior footballer recruited by Gold Coast is a bloke named Jack Martin and some people are predicting that he is as good as O’Meara.
    Your comments about referring to garbage journalists such as Mark Robinson and John Ralph, who both work for the garbage Herald Sun newspaper, as some original authority on West Sydney’s recruiting strategy are also absurd and I did not claim it as an original idea. However, it is an obvious strategy, especially with the introduction of free agency. It is also been demonstrated as a successful strategy by clubs such as Geelong recruiting Brad Ottens, Collingwood recruiting Luke Ball and Darren Jolly, Essendon recruiting Brendan Goddard, Hawthorn recruiting Shaun Burgoyne, Josh Gibson and Brian Lake and Sydney recruiting Rhys Shaw.
    TBone, your comment about me being out of touch concerning the Western Bulldogs are bemusing and suggest support for a football team is an emotional experience. In my opinion this is an immature attitude and reminds me of an English University study done more than 20 years ago, which suggested that support of working class people for their favourite soccer team was a form of escapism from the stresses of their home and work life. The Western Bulldogs have a history of poor management by making poor decisions on appointing and sacking coaches and trading good players such as Bernie Quinlan, Gary Dempsey, Barry Round, Kelvin Templeton, Nathan Brown, Brian Lake, Farren Ray, Jarrod Harbrow and Callan Ward.

  18. Mark,

    Just because my club has underachieved doesn’t mean it is a garbage club. We footscray fans love our club and we have great admiration for the people who have done their best to make it successful. For you to call it garbage because we don’t have a lot of silverware is just plain nasty.

  19. cowshedend says

    Quinlan 10 year rule,Dempsey 10 year rule,Nathan Brown mercinary,Harbrow and Ward, out of contract and offered wads of cash by AFL expansion clubs.
    Yep Barry Round was a poor decision, Kelvin Templetons knee was shot..and Farren Ray….Farren Ray??? well you were clutching at straws when you came up with him.

  20. Mark,
    I’ll cop some of your points but Cowshedend is on the money here – Nathan Brown was a highly talented underachiever. Farren Ray was just an underachiever.
    Dempsey was pretty good though!

  21. “Support for a football team is an emotional experience. ” So is a well-lived life. It is a journey from heart to head and then back to heart again. Most of the things we think we can know, own or understand in our lifetime are just passing follies. Our team loses. We die. So what, so long as we treasure the people on the journey.

    “In my opinion this is an immature attitude and reminds me of an English University study done more than 20 years ago, which suggested that support of working class people for their favourite soccer team was a form of escapism from the stresses of their home and work life.” And the problem is???

    “What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” Oscar Wilde.

  22. Beautifully illustrated Peter

  23. Pamela Sherpa says

    T Bone what on earth do you mean by ‘ unlike GWS, Gold Coast has real football culture?

  24. Dave Nadel says

    Pamela, I know that you are a loyal GWS supporter, but you are resident in Canberra which is where the Giants should be based. There is a strong footy culture in Canberra, where there has been an Australian Rules competition since 1924 (and apparently there were games between branches of the Armed Forces even earlier). Canberra was principally footy territory before the Raiders and later The Brumbies were formed. Canberra was full of transplanted Victorians and some South Australians and Tasmanians in its early years.

    The Gold Coast was also full of retired Southerners. The Gold Coast Australian Football League was founded in 1961. Rugby League may be more popular on the Gold Coast (although ARL/NRL clubs don’t seem to flourish there) but there is a fifty year tradition of support for Aussie Rules on the Gold Coast.

    There is no tradition of Australian Rules in Western Sydney. A couple of Western Sydney clubs competed in the Sydney Football League (most clubs were from inner Sydney) but they were no more significant than Rugby League clubs in Melbourne prior to the NFL. The population of Western Sydney is a mixture of the old Anglo Celtic working class and immigrants from Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia. There are very few Victorians (of any ethnicity) resident in Greater Western Sydney. Not surprisingly Rugby League and Soccer are strong in Western Sydney.

    I think GWS has made their development more difficult by not recruiting the equivalents of Garry Ablett, Cameron Brown, Nathan Bock and Michael Rischitelli but that is a different question. GWS can benefit from a football culture in Canberra, but not in Western Sydney.

  25. Hi Pamela

    I meant no offence, just trying to be pragmatic about the Gold Coast having lots of ex pat Vics etc in its vicinity, whereas GWS does not. I think that mix has given the GC a stronger footbal culture than what you’d find in GWS. Of course, as Dave pointed out, I did not touch upon Canberra’s involvement with your team, and in that Canberra does have a healthy football culture, I guess that makes my remark not entirely correct. But all this aside, Pamela, I wish your team every success, for you’re doing great missionary work for our great game. It’s gonna be a massive job winning hearts and minds in this region, but if your passion is anythinbg to go by, you GWS people will be fighting the good fight.

  26. Pamela Sherpa says

    Dave, every club has and develops it’s own culture , no matter where they are situated. Victorians don’t have to be involved for this to take place! Of course it will take longer for GWS to establish themselves in a new market. From a fan’s perspective I’m enjoying the culture of GWS now. I feel part of it, whether I’m at games in Canberra or Sydney. I belong to a local team and have enjoyed meeting the fans, players and people that form the club. I enjoy watching the team do the best they can each week. I think it’s fantastic that people can attend AFL games in every state and territory of Australia and enjoy the wider football culture.

  27. Pamela, you and people like you are the bedrock from which great clubs are formed. I will be just as thrilled for GSW as I am for Gold Coast when they your team turns the corner. Love your passion for your club.

  28. Pamela Sherpa says

    T Bone , it will be fascinating to see where the Suns and Giants are in five to ten years time, and also what the state of the game will be around the nation. Recently when at the Swans -Giants game at the SCG , I looked around and asked myself what all these people would be doing on a sunny Sunday if this game wasn’t on. I enjoyed witnessing the strong vibe of the mostly Swans crowd too.
    I’m confident support for the Giants will grow. It was also interesting to attend a game at Metricon last year and experience the positive vibe of the Suns supporters.

  29. That’s wonderful to hear. I’m all for the expansion clubs. The way I see it, when GSW and GC take root, we’ll be tapping into oddles of new talent. Between your 2 regions, Aussie rules could harvest dozens and dozens of future champions. It’s gonna be a great day when it all starts to pay dividends.

  30. Mark Doyle says

    Who is this cowsend dickhead who claims that Bernie Quinlan and Gary Dempsey left Footscray under the free agency ‘ten year’ rule? Incorrect! Both these blokes were TRADED to Fitzroy and North Melbourne respectively in the mid to late 1970’s. The ‘ten year’ free agency rule was introduced in either 1972 or 1973 and lasted less than a year. There were only about 5 or 6 players who took advantage of this rule: they include the well known three players who transferred to North Melbourne – Barry Davis (Essendon), John Rantall (South Melbourne) and Doug Wade (Geelong) and I think they were all captains. Other blokes who took advantage of this ‘ten year’ rule were George Bissett who transferred from Footscray to Collingwood and Carl Ditterich who transferred from St.Kilda to Melbourne. There may have been 1 or 2 others, but I have forgotten their names.

  31. Careful there Mark. I love your zest but I do know
    Cowshedend – he, like most of us, is sometimes wrong. Not a dickhead.

  32. Mark, best to have less pepper on your Weeties.

    Please play the ball.

  33. MD simply regurgitates what he reads in the Herald Sun. Could someone please advise which journalist (I imagine it was either Robinson or Ralph) used the term “dickhead” today. I imagine he lifted it from there.

  34. Don’t play the man Cookie!

  35. With what the MRP is doing to Geelong types, I’ll probably get 3 weeks for that trifling incident.

  36. cowshedend says

    Sorry,been a bit busy taking in all the news of the royal bubs, and the announcement
    That Farren Ray has been inducted into the Afl hall of fame

  37. I think Patrick Bowden might have kicked the ton at Balwyn – what were the Dogs thinking?!

  38. I see Jon Ralph has suggested in today’s Hun that the Saints should trade Dal Santo to Essendon. You heard it here first, but don’t be surprised if it’s repeated by a certain someone at a later date.

  39. Peter Schumacher says

    Meanwhile, back to the original question, I found this game and the result to be one of the sporting highlights of the year for me. And why? Because the underdog which has been endlessly slammed and shamed got up and in so doing did it brilliantly. And if you weren’t thrilled by Ablett and O’Meara well then I reckon that you had no sporting soul.

    Have to say too that without being fully aware of any of the background I am a bit disappointed by the tone of some of the contributions on this thread. As a couple of contributors have requested please play the ball not the man.

  40. cowshedend says

    Crio, what about Alby Smedts and Bruce Reid? by my calculations at the current rate of generational improvement, their grandsons will kick the ton win 3 brownlows each, cure cancer and find the person responsible for signing Craig Thomson’s credit card receipts

  41. Peter, regarding the original question.
    My observation was based on a thought that this was not a village in the Vauxhall Conference toppling Man U.
    Glad that the tangents incited some comments.

  42. Mark Doyle,
    I know who Cowshedend is and I respect his opinions, unlike yours.
    Who the hell are you?

  43. Stan the Man says

    Crio – love your work : It is no coincidence that half way through last year “The Messiah” M Blight came off the GCS board to join Bluey McKenna’s Football department. Since that day he has given them the guidance and direction that was needed. They are going to be around the mark in the next couple of seasons – give them a chance.

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