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Finals Week 2 – Sydney v Adelaide: Bound for Glory

 

 

SYDvADE

 

When Aussie rocker Angry Anderson was magically transported to the middle of Waverley Park in an AFL-branded French blue Batmobile at half-time of the 1991 Grand Final, he had one thing on his mind: Glory. The dramatically out of tune performance of his hit tune, Bound for Glory, didn’t quite go to plan, but lives on in the memory as a soundtrack to September.

 

The business end of the footy season is all about beating the odds. Defying the critics. Stickin’ it right up ‘em. Anderson (christened Gary) lives this. Having grown up on the mean streets of Coburg as a self-confessed sufferer of little man’s syndrome (a big mouth and equally large chip on his shoulder), he carved a career from being volatile, unpredictable and spontaneous – a perfect finals formula.

 

Footballers, other sportsmen and sportswomen across the country can identify with little Gary Anderson when preparing for their very own slice of September glory. I certainly can. This year, following a five-year hiatus, I returned to the hockey fields of Hobart. This was a decision that had my physiotherapist wife feeling skeptical to say the least. Would the old bones hold up? * Was this some type of mid-life crisis seeking a return to the glory days of a youth long gone? **

 

Well, as preparations ramped up for the University of Tasmania Second Grade’s Grand Final ***, the critics were muted – the comeback had been a success. Or had it? With two knees that now creak louder than any of our floorboards, I have been living on a solid three-meal-per-day diet… of voltaren. However, this was our shot at the ultimate prize and as I lathered my weary body in Deep Heat, searing the nostrils in preparation for battle, I channeled my inner-Angry. Glory shall be ours. With at least forty-six fans packing the stands, the pressure was well and truly on.

 

Our Bloods are seeking some angriness tonight as they look to get their campaign back on track. A disappointing showing in our first final of the year was both uncharacteristic and unwelcome. Leadership is a highly prized commodity at the Swans and questions were raised during the week as to why this quality was lacking. A swift response is needed and surely normal service will resume. This is our chance to stick it to the ‘experts’ who’ve been blindsided by our resurgence and have reverted to their regular, predictable rhetoric when assessing our team.

 

After eleven long years, finals football has returned home tonight and the glorious SCG is awash with red and white. Our young cygnets must swell with pride as they burst the banner. Our Swans begin the match like Angry’s souped-up turbocharged Batmobile with the engine reaching full throttle, and they positively roar into action.

 

It’s a Bloods-blitz!

 

A fearsome display of tackling and intense pressure sees our boys take a commanding early lead. Our onballers are leading the charge with Kennedy irrepressible. Heeney is everywhere and the diminutive duo of Papley and McGlynn are snapping at the Enemy’s heels with ferocity and urgency. Buddy is clearly on-song and there is no better sight than that. The goals keep coming and by quarter-time we’ve had the highest scoring opening to any of our eighty-four finals.

 

The first half of our hockey grand final took similar shape. As I entered the arena reeking of soothing pain relief cream, I took comfort in the fact that our wily veterans – Beaker, Brooksy, Wazza and Gags had triumphed many times in the biggest match of the year. My knees might be creaking but the ticker’s pumping. An early goal to the Enemy invokes resolve and as a bobbling pass bounces towards our charismatic centre-forward ****, I envision Steve Johnson (or any of the Giants) and smack a half volley whizzing past the goalie’s ears and into the roof of the net. We head into the break 3-1 up and halfway to glory.

 

An oft-admired trait of the Sydney Swans is the team-first attitude to our game. The camaraderie is warm and real, they see themselves as one. It’s a total buy-in tonight and memories of last week dissipate into a remote expanse. Hannebery, Jack and Parker join in the midfield mayhem and the defensive unit applies a violent compression that constricts the Crows. Revelry reverberates around the world’s greatest ground as the lead extends and the faithful feel like we’re home.

 

The war of attrition sets in as McVeigh and Rohan go down. The Enemy has lost one too. As the Uni Seconds entered the business end of their premiership decider, the troops also began to feel the pinch. The charismatic centre-forward’s creaky knees crept towards requiring total replacement surgery ***** and our fearless leader had busted a knuckle smothering an overhead flick – all in the name of glory! Comparisons between the charismatic centre-forward’s heroics and those of the great Adam Goodes in the 2012 premiership decider began to sweep around the stadium as the University men claimed the ultimate prize, and of course, the glory. We received a little plastic medal to prove it.

 

Isaac Heeney is staking his claim tonight as a genuine superstar. May he take part in many September showdowns. A recent move into a more permanent midfield role has highlighted his supreme talent, class and power. Leave him there please, Horse – we’re better for it. The final term brings a carnival atmosphere as we finish with a flurry. The cygnets belong on this stage and the nucleus will remain for a long time together. They’re chasing their very own September glory and I for one want to come along for the ride.

 

While celebrating our premiership on a teammate’s boat (we rejoice in style down here), it’s abundantly clear that this type of glory is hard-earned******. The Bloods are right there and the whips are now cracking. Adversity abounds, but little Gary Anderson has got the chamois out and is polishing up that baby blue Batmobile. Rev it up, Angry! We’re bound for bloody glory mate.

 

* No.

** Yes.

*** Preparations meaning a poker night, on Grand Final eve.

**** Completely self-proclaimed. Nobody has ever used that adjective to describe him. He’s clearly blowing his own trumpet.

***** In reality, it’s a minor muscular issue that’s been completely exaggerated. Sook.

****** Hardly. I rocked up halfway through the year and joined a team that has won nine out of the last ten premierships.

 

Joe Moore is a devoted Swan who belongs to a large like-minded flock. He lives in Hobart with his wife Kate and their young cygnet, Ollie. He has a man-crush on Isaac Heeney.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Joe Moore

Learned the art of the drop-punt from Derek Kickett as Jamie Lawson watched on. And thus, a Swan for life. @joedmoore1979

Comments

  1. Stuart Hunter says:

    Joe……….love it – you nailed the joy of team sport at an age where we should be long past it. I too joined in the fun and frolics of O45 football (soccer) last year and decided to back up this year. Your comments about creaking bones are oh so true, but as they say, winners are grinners and the losers………….well they can please themselves. I should recover by February next year. We won the (Sydney) Northern Suburbs Div 3 reserves premiership and given it was my first at age 51, the celebrations will continue for a while yet.

    The atmosphere at the game itself was a ripper. I get so caught up in it all I had to watch the replay yesterday as well as all the pre and post game analysis on Fox Sports to make sure I didn’t miss anything!! 4 hours of a wet Sunday well spent!!

    Cheers

    Stuart

  2. Keiran Croker says:

    Joe, I am sure the intensity displayed by your UTas Hockey team matched that shown by our Swans on Sat night. It was a joy to behold for the assembled masses at the Rising Sun.

    I am confident about this week regardless of the team we put out there. Though news on Gaz and Macca is promising, I doubt they’d get up this week. Potentially a selection dilemma for the GF … Millsy, Macca & Gaz returning???

    P.S: Am looking to reinvigorate my Vets cricket career this coming season. I need to get a season in before I hit the pressure cooker environment that is Over 60s Vets!

  3. Thanks Stuart. Funny how the creaking bones feel so much better when you win! I agree, any premiership deserves an appropriate celebration. A very well spent Sunday indeed.

    Keiran, I bet the Riser was pumping! Love watching the footy there. The intensity of our match may have just been triumphed by the boys’ efforts on Saturday night….Just! Selection will be important this week & next if we get through. All sound like a decent chance.

    Get that season in this year to ramp up your prep for the big leagues mate!

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