VAFA – Fitzroy v Ivanhoe: Life Wasn’t Meant to be Easy

Malcolm Fraser (Prime Minister 1975 to 1983) will be remembered for one thing. He once said something terribly annoying. ‘Life was not meant to be easy’ was his defining sentence. My mother (bless her soul) used to annoy me greatly in one regard. When I could not find something she would ask “where did you leave it?” I hope it’s obvious to all reading that if I knew where I left it I would know where the thing was, so it would not be lost. I made sure that I never annoyed my children the same way.

Of course, life is not meant to be easy and, if I knew where I left, say for example, my phone, I would know where my phone is. It would not be lost. Actually, I never care where my phone is. I hate mobile phones and if you are silly enough to ring my phone, you will get a message informing you that I rarely answer my phone and I never check my messages. Indeed, a few times my mobile phone has rung while I have been at the BSO and, several of the Tramconductors have got so annoyed by my pocket ringing that they have put their hands into my pocket, extracted my phone, and turned it off!

Phones don’t go away if you ignore them, but I have discovered they stop working, if you do not bother to recharge the batteries. Recently a dodgy looking bloke came into my surgery and hung around, discussing making an appointment, and, when the desk was unattended, he stole my mobile phone. He got quite a few phones from offices up and down Donnie Road. This guy is a public benefactor, removing something very annoying from my life i.e. my mobile phone.

Now you all know we lost to Old Ivanhoe so you are probably thinking how annoying it is we lost to the bottom side. Quite true, but, the deeper problem, that is starting to annoy me greatly, is the appalling centre square clearance rates. We won one centre square clearance in the first half. We won one centre square clearance in the last quarter. In the third quarter we won half the centre square clearances. Look up the quarter by quarter scores with the above stats in mind. The centre square has been a central problem all season.

So what is to be done? I think Daniel B has to go into the centre square, for the ball up, more often. This will make it harder for the opposition to man him up. We must identify who are our best centre square players and make sure they are always in the middle when the ball is bounced. We started the last quarter with Won’t-he-Fenton in the forward pocket. Surely our number one rover should have been in the middle at the start of the last quarter. Should we start with an extra player in defence at all centre square bounces?

Yesterday they got fifteen extra kicks by dominating this area of the game. It meant, in reality, they had an extra player on the field. We are still in the four but we will go nowhere until we fix this problem.

As for the game itself, well, it started the way it finished. They had more of the ball, murdering us at every stoppage but we scored on our first two ‘inside fifties’. Roscoe, in for Will Pickering, led well and kicked truly, but already it looked ominous. Their centre half back, number fifteen, was killing us. Their ruckman, and captain, was giving their on-ballers an armchair ride, and this was the history of the game, for three quarters. In the third quarter, we won our share of the clearances and went into the last quarter, a goal up, against the bottom team. Ivanhoe became undisciplined in the third quarter, giving away multiple twenty five metre penalties. Everyone was confident it was in the bag; that the bottom team was there for the taking.

Six centre square clearances to one in the last quarter Ivanhoe’s way. No more need be said.

I am going to the Old Dart next week and will miss the next three matches. I am taking my Fitzroy jumper, scarf, and beanie. I shall get photos of me in them at Lords, The Oval, Headingly, Trent Bridge and Canterbury. I will have to smuggle them into my case as Claire thinks they are daggy beyond belief and would ban them from the luggage but surely I can be annoying sometimes!

Go the Roys

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