Footy: Geelong v Geelong … it doesn’t get any better

By Alex Wadelton

When I first heard that the mighty Cats were coming to my adopted home of Sydney for an intraclub match, I giggled like a schoolgirl being attacked by a feather duster. Because living in Sydney and following Geelong is a lot like being one of Paris Hilton’s brain cells…  lonely.

So, having taken the day off work, my wife Sheridan and son Roarke joined me on the long trip to Greystanes… the excitement palpable in me, the dream of sleep, milk and a full to the brim nappy front of mind for the others.

My sense of excitement lay in trying to ensure my four and half month old son barracks for Geelong and not the evil Collingwood my wife supports. He was, after all, born less than thirty-six hours after Paul Chapman sunk the Saints in the 2009 decider. My other mission was trying to snaffle Chappy and Bomber’s autograph on a photo my uncle David took of That Goal.

To take this photo, which I personally think is the best photo taken in the history of the world ever, David was sitting in the seat I relinquished when I found out Roarke was due in late September. But that’s another story.

The match was due to start at 11, but given the appalling state of Sydney road signs, which habitually sign post major roads after the turn-off has already been and gone, we only managed to arrive just before half-time.

Within three minutes I’d taken a mark behind the goals, towering over forty or so ten-year-old school kids like Aaron Sandilands towers over forty or so fifteen-year-olds kids.

It was unbelievably hot out there, thirty-five degrees plus, and the players were rotating off and on like Tiger Woods’ mistresses.

Steve Johnson looked superb, fluid, free of injury. The great two-legged giraffe Mark Blake was super impressive in his ruck work.  Mind you, Ottens was sitting on the sidelines doing his Easter Island impersonation.

Mr G. Ablett also sat it out, Tim Watson would have been most disappointed with this selfish display.

Hawkins looks in great nick, took some strong marks, looked very fit. Up close, he was bereft of hair on his legs Hawthorn Football Club style, which is worrying.

Dinga was suitably hot and bothered in the sun, his red hair flowing in the breeze like so much shredded carrot.

Andrew Mackie, Scarlo, Dasher et al looked good. No surprise there.

Josh Hunt had a fall late in the third, was a bit worried he’d re-injured himself, but he got up and jogged away looking okay. Nice earring in the ear, and shirt collar was popped afterwards so he looked like a candidate for cruising for the ladies later that night with his boat shoes on preppy style.

Harry Taylor looked like he’s put on a stack of muscle in preparation for being named “All Australian for when it’s wet and the other team’s superstar has an off day and is injured because he’s an over rated spud”. Looked in very good nick indeed.

Travis Varcoe showed a bit in glimpses I thought. Maybe he’s due to take the next step towards belonging in the famous, revered No.5, following in the footsteps of Gary Malarkey and a couple of other blokes I can’t quite recall at this stage.

Joel Selwood is massive and could likely chop down trees with his bare hands. But he wouldn’t have to, as they’d just fall down after one look from him.

And what about our mature age rookie, James Podsiadly? All I’ll say is Pods by name, massive Pods by nature. Upgrade the man!

At half-time Bomber starts wandering around the ground signing autographs and having a chat.

Target, Locked and Loaded.

I get up to him and ask for his autograph on The Photo and he is so impressed by it, he later drags Chappy over to see it! And Chappy loves it so much he later asks for me to send him the file so he can print off copies of it!! I’m sure it’ll be going straight to the pool room!!!! MY GOD I AM SO EXCITED I CAN’T STOP USING EXCLAMATION MARKS AND TYPING IN CAPITAL LETTERS!!!!

To top it all off, both Bomber and Chappy posed with my son in photos that will hopefully push him towards The Greatest Team Of All and will definitely embarrass him at his eighteenth.

Could a day be any better?

Give me two million bucks, and I’ll tell you.


  1. Alex,

    Gareth Andrews?

  2. Alex – it doesn’t get any better than that. By the way another bloke called Gary Ablett wore number 5. He went OK. Perhaps you were being mischievous?

    There are a few other blokes I’d like to ask you about. How did Hogan, Laidley and Ben Johnson go?

    Any chance I get a copy of the photo too?

    Go Cats. Lets’ go again in 2010.

  3. Peter Flynn says

    Nice one.

    Phil Evans wore 5 briefly in the early 70’s.
    David Barkley wore 5 in the early-mid 70’s.
    Gary Malarkey then took it over.
    Malarkey then wore 6 with G Ablett Snr on the scene.
    Polly was 5 in the 60’s.
    I thought Gareth Andrews wore 6.
    In fact, I reckon Rex Hunt (who was 5 at Richmond) became 6 at Geelong after swapping with Andrews in 1974.

  4. Richard Naco says

    I saw this superb report on the Geelong Boards at BigFooty, so it’s reassuring to see it here as well – especially with the wonderful additions (which start with “At half time Bomber … “).

    Despite also being a Sydney Cat (well, Sutherland Shire regards itself as almost Sydney :lol:), I was completely unable to get to the scrimmage (and am utterly jealous of you for doing so).

    The Photo has also been seconded as the background on my PC, although I’ll bet that means somewhat less to you (or him) than Chappy wanting to stick it on his pool room wall.

    I must also say that with some players having shown a considerable lack of enthusiasm to mix it with the fans during the family day in Geelong recently, it was great to see Mark Thompson get among the faithful who were so dedicated in coming out on that truly unpleasantly hot (western) Sydney day.

    Did a certain former Cat captain/ current Sydney resident manage to get out there as well?

  5. Alex Wadelton says

    Hi everyone,

    It certainly was a genius day. Here’s a link to the most awesome photo ever:

    Every view of it gets my blood pumping!

    Didn’t see Tom Harley out there, but he may have left before I arrived. Or maybe his wife didn’t let him go (hee hee).

    And I have vague recollections of this bloke named Gary Ablett. Went alright if I recall…


  6. Ouch, bit harsh on poor Harry! ;-p His shoudlers are looking massive at the moment, should be in for a good year. St Nick;s injury is quite suss – took them four weeks to come up with adductor strain (I think that’s what I heard), and is contradicted by his numerous unhampered, unsuccessful attempted screamers. And he ran all day. Didn’t leave the ground once. Adductor strain my butt.

    Can’t wait to see a forward line of J. Podsiadly, C. Mooney and T. Hawkins in Round One … all these years where our forward line has been our weakness, now FINALLY we look threatening. Absolutely loved Pods in the VFL last year, and the misfortunes of others (Brown and Stokes) are looking like blessings in disguise for the former Pie/Bomber/Tiger (Werribee Tiger, that is).

    Am curious about this photo now … your uncle must be really proud!

  7. Josh Barnstable says

    Geelong may have recruited a gem in Podsiadly, but they are still no chance against North Melbourne on sunday.

    Good article too, Alex.

  8. I’ll remind you of that comment when we beat your mob by 20 goals on Sunday Josh ;-p

    No, honestly, I’m hoping for a good contest. Best of luck.

  9. Sydney Malakellis says

    Hi everyone, thanks for the replies!

    Here is a link to The Photo.

    No idea how he was so calm to take it! Amazing shot.

    Didn’t see Tom Harley… perhaps his wife didn’t allow him to go (tee hee) ?

    Love Harry Taylor- twas a tongue in cheek jibe at all the Saints fans who didn’t give him any credit for destroying Riewoldt. Norm Smith for mine, but then Chappy kicked the goal of a thousand dreams.

    Yes, I think I can recall Gary Ablett slotting the odd goal back in the day in number 5, now you mention it. Not a bad player I think ;)

    Not sure, but I think Hogan crash landed just before half time. Was down for a bit, but think he got up okay.

    All things considered, how good is it to have the footy back?

    PS Yes, I’m sure the cats are trembling at the thought of Daniel Wells doing whatever it is North supporters rave about…

    – Alex

  10. Good to hear that Stevie J is looking good as well. As Andrew Mackie said, a little bit suss that all throughout the preseason slog Johnson had a suspect hip, but the first practise match comes up and BAM! – he’s good as gold.

  11. That’s an awesome photo!

    *Phew*, glad to hear the Harry thing was tongue in cheek – I’m sick of hearing the Saints fans ragging on him, and a couple of Geelong people giving him a hard time … my brother and I thought he was a cert for Norm Smith, but obviously didn’t begrudge Chappy getting it after that goal.

  12. Sydney Malakellis says

    Sorry for the double post!!

  13. Flynny,

    I thought Gareth Andrews wore 5 at Geelong and 6 at Richmond, but sadly I think you’re right. It was the other way around.

    A joke tends to fall flat when you get the basic fact wrong.

Leave a Comment