Fitzroy and a New Girlfriend

A new footy season is like getting a new girlfriend: everyone is excited and no one has any idea how it will turn out. The Boys from Old Fitzroy are about to embark on a new season (am I allowed to say ‘girding our lions’?) and I am certainly excited.

We played a practice match today against a team that play in the Essendon District League. The start of any season is like getting a new girlfriend (or boyfriend. I will try not to be sexist Joan) but practice matches are like early dates. You try out a few things, a few new techniques and positions. That’s what happened today.

We played at Gosch’s paddock, down along the Yarra, just before the Punt Road Bridge. It was a hot day with a rather strong breeze, which did not appear to influence the game at all. I arrived during the second quarter of the seconds and all the usual seconds’ things were on display. Numbers 68, 74, 52 and 60 were playing up the north end and we were out numbering them until they bought number 90 on. This change meant they out-weighed us a bit as well!!!!

Sharon was handing out socks, shorts, sun cream etc. Joan was bustling about and everyone had cool looking sun glasses on. I noticed a new player immediately, one Matt Gate, who is seven foot tall. Matt played in the thirds last year but has set himself for a big season. He played in the ones later in the day and ‘did some good things’.

The Tramconductors , especially Matty K’s Dad, would have taken great heart from the umpire in the seconds match. I first noticed he had Fitzroy footy socks on. Then someone pointed out to me he was wearing a Fitzroy footy jumper inside out. The umpire had not turned up and one of our players was filling in.

WE won the Twos rather easily but it was a scrappy game. Bruce has some more work to do to get the silky game style he wants . Bruce thought the better players, in no particular order, were Toby, Speckie, Luke Edwards and Josh Munro.

We had quite a few players not playing. Rory has a slight ‘hammie’, Matty K, Greenie, Won’t he Fenton, Pickers is running laps, to name a few that hopefully be right for round one. There were a few up from last year’s reserves and more about them later.

The first 30 minutes or so were dominated by Danny B who kicked four or five goals, marked everything he went for, and put on a football clinic. Dan spent the last part of the game on the bench. He had enough practice. Max Ellis, who has a new nick name, The General, was controlling the back line and busting a gut, running to provide extra numbers, both out wide and in close. His game reminded me of Glen Jakovich in his prime. Continuing down memory lane, ‘Parko Minor’ played a terrific game in the back pocket, several times winning the ball when in dispute, weaving through traffic, and utilizing his trusty left foot, setting up easy clearances. We haven’t had a small attacking defender since the ‘Eastern Distributor’ (John Clark) retired a few years ago. Parko Minor reminded me of that Hawthorn bloke Brent Guerra, minus the “minus haircut’. Max Oliver, who played only a few senior games last year, impressed me with his attack on the ball.

One thing that sent a thrill down all Fitzroy support’s spine was the dominating presence of our seven foot tall ruckman. Let’ see how he goes.

The match scores were
Fitzroy/ Opposition
6 3 39 2 2 14
10 6 66 5 5 35
13 7 85 6 7 43
17 8 110 9 8 62

After the game Pickers thought it was an ideal hit out. We tried out several new players at a senior level. No one got injured and Picker said our ball usage and spreading from contests was 25 % better than last week. Val and Wendy, who were disporting themselves on the city wing, thought the players were ‘talking to each other’ and were delighted we suffered no injuries.
We have a women’s footy team in the Fitzroy colours this season so my last word: the girls surveyed at the match thought Brown’s little brother, Lauchie, is the best looking new recruit.
Go the Roys

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