FEARLESS 2020 Round 12: The end of the Festival of Footy round 1…Now for the Doug Nicholls Round…

Hi all, the festival of footy was a success, judging by the viewing numbers. Twenty days of continuous AFL action featuring thirty-three games…ideal for the couch potato. Not so ideal for family harmony at times…but to be honest, stage 4 Lockdown has taken many activities off families in Victoria for the time being. The AFL will go again with another festival of footy to complete its home and away season. Again, this will coincide with Stage 4 Lockdown in Victoria and if you don’t like the idea, don’t say you weren’t warned! For their role in getting the AFL season to near completion, the state of Queensland should probably host the Grand Final. This became apparent once crowd size at the new Optus Stadium in Perth was going to be at 50% of capacity.


So now we turn to the rare privilege that is Sir Doug Nicholls Round with AFL games at the spiritual home of indigenous football, TIO Stadium in Darwin. This may be a godsend out of the Covid wreckage in Victoria, for it presents a golden opportunity to take the games to the indigenous communities of the Northern Territory. The significance of this can’t be lost on non-indigenous supporters of all AFL clubs. From Sir Doug Nicholls through famous names such as Syd Jackson, Graham Farmer, Barry Cable, Stephen Michael, Maurice Rioli and through to the plethora of modern stars, all eighteen clubs have come a long way in recognising, recruiting and nurturing indigenous talent. All clubs too will have their special indigenous jumpers to tell stories of their players past and of their communities.


That is not to say that everything is great. We still hear of regular instances of racism, especially through the invisibility and reach of social media. Some of our AFL supporters still think that it’s ok to send monkey emojis, for instance. Clubs, players and fans are actively encouraged to take a stand. The individual supporters face sanctions if caught. Personally,  I look at it through the education process. I learned more of Aboriginal history by touring through the Northern Territory and other parts of Australia than from secondary schooling. These days, hopefully, more of Aboriginal history is being incorporated into curricula in schools around the country. Interpersonal relationships, friendships and travel all broaden the reach and serve to educate. This will serve the nation better in this area. The chance to break down and eradicate ignorance on this subject might just be the platform for change that the whole country needs. There are no secrets with this.


Enter the AFL and in particular, Kevin Sheedy with the words of Mal Brown in his ear. Mal said the talent with these indigenous boys is amazing, but it needs to be nurtured and Kevin had just taken over as Essendon coach, after playing with Big Mal at Tigerland. The evolution of the Dreamtime Game concept is well worth its admission into the Game’s Hall of Fame. So too Michael Long’s Long Walk to the G. In 2020, the Dreamtime game comes to Darwin. We can only hope that it’s as big a spectacle as it is at the MCG filled with night lights. The size of the crowd will be radically altered, but the impact should remain the same. A sign that unity is a common goal and the wounds that have divided our past, don’t have to dictate our future!


Cheers PT


2020 FEARLESS RD12: The festival of footy nears the end with this, the final round…


Perth Hub Game Number 10: Stirling Swans hosted the Gosnells Giants in a sort of homecoming* at Optus Stadium some 5 hours flying time from the city of Sydney! The Battle for the Bridge it was, er..the Matagarup Bridge saw the unfancied Swans come out firing. The Giants Ferrari spluttered and conked out in Perth. Victim of the Nullarbor? 28% disposal accuracy won’t get you far. Swans home away e-e-easy!

*The Swans was adopted as the nickname of South Melbourne because of the regular amount of WA players they recruited in the 1930s. There’s also the Swans on Albert Park Lake as the other reason.


Queensland Hub Game Number 38: Gaven Cats host Port Adelaide Power at Metricon Friday Night and it’d be fair to say that the Power got a clinic by the Tomahawk. Not only did big Tom kick 6, he had a hand in just about every other Cats’ goal. In doing so, exposed Port’s defence as majorly undersized. Charlie Dixon was off due to a well drilled Cats defence. Cats by 10 goals. Rohan 3, Cam ‘Homeless’ Guthrie 27.


Queensland Hub Game Number 39: Nerang Roos hosted the Brisbane Lions at Metricon on Saturday with 11 players under 30 games. Whilst Charlie Cameron played hide n seek with the goalpost, the Roos nearly pulled off an upset, going down by 1pt. The Lions looked flat as, but the Roos restored their fighting spirit, aided by wayward Lions forward entries. Shame there was no 7pt furphy for Roo Zurhaar at the end!


Queensland Hub Game Number 40: Maroochydore Demons hosted the Currumbin Magpies at the Gabba on Saturday twilight. Showtime for the Demons whose recent form had been solid but needed to claim a big scalp to enhance cred. An injury-riddled Magpies outfit represented a bigger scalp than bottom teams. In the context the Dees passed with ex-Roo Preuss filling in nicely for Gawn. Spargo 3, Demons by 56pts.


Perth Hub Game Number 11: Fremantle Dockers hosted the Crawley Blues at Optus Stadium on a wet Saturday Night. A game of two halves with Freo holding momentum in the 1st half and the Blues grabbing it in the 2nd half, but not knowing how to control it. Nothing like leaving it until the last kick. Newnes perfect kick for goal silenced the purple army. Carlton at the death by 4pts. Taberner 3, Curnow 33.


Queensland Hub Game Number 41:  Worongary Bulldogs host the Adelaide Crows at Metricon on Sunday. The Dogs’ inconsistency had been irritating Bevo all year and leaving punters unsure of their worth. By half time, the Dogs looked in control and Smith, Bont and Hunter led the way. Naughton kicked 6 and the Dogs did what most expected and continued the Crows’ losing streak. Dogs home by 57pts..


Queensland Hub Game Number 42: Sunshine Coast Saints host the Eagleby Bombers at the Gabba on  Sunday. Like a true finals’ contender, the Saints took last week’s shellacking and returned serve this time against the injury-depleted Bombers. A 35pt win by the Saints had Coach Ratts back on track but the coaching of Woosha-Truck only had more questions. King 3, Membrey 2. Dons Parish and Shiel 29 each.


Perth Hub Game Number 12: West Coast Eagles hosted the Hamilton Hill Hawks at Optus on Sunday and to be honest the game probably played out as most expected. Only problem for the Hawks was the suspected ACL to key defender Sicily to cause more headaches for Clarko. Eagles by 32pts. Mitchell 34, Gaff 33. Media has potted Hawks players for smiling on ground…a bit harsh given the current situation.


Queensland Hub Game Number 34: Red Hill Tigers host the Gold Coast Suns Gabba on Monday Night in the Lynch-Prestia-Ellis Cup. Sun-Tiger Lynch attracted all the post-match media for gut punches to Suns defender  Collins. Gold Coast led in fact to nearly 3 /4 time when 3 Tigers goals gave them the lead. After the last break, the Tigers maintained structures and defence to claim a 21pt win. Not pretty but job done.



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