Fitzroy at Central Reserve against “The Oblates of Mary Immaculate”

I have been on holidays up in Darwin. It’s the dry season, so the weather up there was perfect. It got down to nineteen at night, and reached thirty every day, with never a cloud in the sky. Today I went out to Central Reserve, to watch the Redders (Fitzroy) take on Mazenod and, while there was not a cloud in the sky, it turned out to be a dark, chilly day for the Fitzroy faithful (religious theme today). “Jesus umpire,” was heard more than once. The Central Reserve was bathed in sunshine as I arrived half way through the first quarter of the Ressies. If it was fifteen degrees hotter I could imagine I was still on holidays and, let’s face it, most of our team seemed to be on a holiday today.

Did you catch sight of the two Mazenod supporters that were lying down on deck chairs on the back of their ute? One was wearing a daggy sombrero and the other had a New York Jets cap perched on his noggin. Both are ex- players of the “Nodders” and they certainly had a day that they could enjoy.

Saint Mazenod was a French bloke who fled the French revolution but later returned to France and started a new Congregation, “the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.” He is now the Patron Saint of dysfunctional families and today, Fitzroy fans needed to ask the patron saint of dysfunctional football teams to intercede on our behalf. I looked up the Vatican website and I quote “as missionaries in his mould, they fanned out preaching, baptising, caring.” (Note the grammatical errors in this quote. Remember “papal infallibility’ only covers matters of faith and doctrine).

The Mazenod football team did need to fan out. They were hard at it, once again being far too strong in the contest over the ball at Central Reserve.

The second’s game was an odd affair where we had periods where we scored unanswered goals and then we would go to sleep (or more accurately, centre the ball in defense by passing it straight to a Mazenod player who would say “thanks very much” and slot an unearned goal). Mazenod would then score unanswered goal after goal, but we prevailed at the end by a couple of points.

The seniors were absolutely thrashed, going over two quarters of football without scoring a goal. Only Ablett looked remotely likely to win a “one on one contest” in our forward line and this is an issue that I must expand. Given the players we had missing (Pickers, Speckie, Cations and Cuzzie) I thought on my arrival at the ground that we would struggle to kick goals. These above players have been our dominant forwards (Ablett apart) and we certainly struggled to score but the thrashing that we received was a shock to us all.

After the game Michael Pickering brought up the point that in the second quarter we were down to seventeen players (Two Dads was sent off) but during this quarter we competed well, ran hard and kept in touch on the score board. It appeared we were several players short in the second half.

The coaching staff must take some blame for this debacle. The games we have lost in the last two years have something in common. We struggle without Pickers providing a tall target up forward and, before the match I remarked to all and sundry, that we has selected a forward line that was simply too small. Only for about ten minutes in the first quarter when Ablett lead well and took a few contested marks, did it look we could score easily. Michael Lee should have played, allowing a three way rotation of Two Dads, Roscoe and Lee through the full forward position. Matt Brown did not look a centre half forward today but he has looked “the goods” down back so does a straight change with Jimmy O’Reilly sound a possibility to anyone reading this? .

On such a heavy day Polly and Diamond cannot be both in the team. You need big bodies in the mud.

It seemed to me we only had one scoring option or thought: kick it to Ablett and without his first quarter burst we may not have scored at all.

I don’t think any positional change would have mattered. One goal after half time!!!!!!!! No hang on, it was one goal after quarter time. This statistic tells the story. Bruce Gonsalves, out on the wing, was talking about “downhill skiers.” I heard someone saying “flat track bullies” (that was me). We simply could not win a “one on one contest” all day. Several supporters were whinging about the umpires and you know who you are. One lady offered to take the rule book into the umpire’s room at half time. At least I think that was what she was going to offer them. I thought prayers may have been more useful

Something in the last quarter summed up the match. Parko won the ball on the wing, handballed it to Rory, running past. He went long to Josh in the goal square. Unfortunately Josh slipped in the mud, fell over, and his Mazenod opponent took an uncontested chest mark.

What an awful day.


  1. David Downer says

    Crikey Phil, you brought back some Mazenod Year 7 Religious Education shtick there! As taught in the Charlebois house classroom. All the others were French blokes too.

    Go Nodders!

    #mazenodoldboy #blackwhiteandblue


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