Local footy: The sad story so far

I know there are plenty of uneducated folk who simply laugh at the zero in the win column for the GWS Giants this season, just as they did for the Suns in 2012 or Fremantle in 2001. But I can assure you up here in Central Queensland we can relate to how the Giants are feeling in terms of their record, even though we have played a few less games. Seven games into the season have resulted in seven defeats for both the Brothers senior and reserves sides in the Capricornia competition, but like the Giants on a few occasions it certainly hasn’t been through a lack of application to the daunting task faced most weeks of the season.

Some losses can be put down to the slow starts and attempting in vain to equalise in three quarters of a game of footy. Other losses can be attributed to a lack of personnel travelling to an opposition home ground (Boyne Tannum Country Club Oval) against the benchmark of the competition. Some defeats however are on a par with North Melbourne’s narrow losses on virtually the last kick of the afternoon. This was the scene against Panthers just under a fortnight ago, in a match where our endeavour and intensity couldn’t be matched for the first half, only for the opposition to rip away momentum after half time. Still late in the last quarter we had a quartet of set shot opportunities that would have at least poked our noses in front. To be fair I wasn’t 100% confident that each of the opportunities would have been certainties, not because of the distance required for the kick to travel or in some part the kicking ability of the players with the opportunities (although some players may not have been the ideal man for the occasion ability wise, which can happen in our parts). It was the pressure of the situation which many of our players had never experienced to any degree that may have caused the chances to slip past. Of course after the last of the four opportunities resulted in behinds,  opposition find a target from the kick-in, execute the fast break, get a little bit of luck from the officiating (which to be honest they had for most of the day across all grades, I did have a front row seat whilst officiating in the Under 13’s with whom they provided for assistance, as grateful as I was for it), and slam home the match winner with the siren sounding as all clear was signalled. I could describe that feeling as mucking around with settings for an automatic door, then as you try to pass through having the sensor fail and the door close slamming through the middle of your body (at least picture it folks, it’s not easy to imagine but that’s the apt description).

Personally my views of the seniors matches this year has been from the bench recording Key Performance Indicators for 6 out of 7 matches, missing the Round 6 battle with Glenmore as I was in Perth running with the pack before watching elite level inadequacy wearing red and blue jumpers. Playing wise it seems that there’s no prospect for me to get into the seniors as yet, although the goal to play the last home game (the annual memorial day) still lingers down the road. It does seem strange though that in full ground training scenarios I have been seemingly always placed down back, yet most weeks I have started forward before having to push back as the troops invariably succumb to physical impediments. Hopefully I can convince someone that I can be of use in the centre (as opposed to on-ball) before the year is out, but frankly my chances of success are as likely as Leon Cameron tapping me on the shoulder to give me a crack against the very best. It’s probably not because of my current physical make up, it probably has more to do with the fact that there aren’t many others in the reserves side that can be used as a swingman. That and the fact that for some reason the kids in our side, fresh off playing a full game in their age group, trust me to get them the pill. I must be getting too old for this!

This weekend it’s off to Yeppoon and their typical dump of a ground to take on the Swans. At least this ground has some good personal memories even though wins have been hard to come by over the years. I know last year in the bog and drizzle I was considered to have played well enough to get rewarded after the match so repeating that performance is a personal challenge this time around. After the game, then it’s off to Brisbane for my next running adventure so recovering after this game for a 7AM start on Sunday adds to another long weekend. It’s a diet of local footy from now until the start of August, then it’s back on the road running circuit and doing the other thing I seem to do well….watch and report on the big league after racking up the frequent flyer points.


PS: The views in this entry are definitely mine and mine alone, and do not reflect those of the club I represent, the loyal servants within the club or the league the club plays in…..always wanted to say that!

About Mick Jeffrey

39 Year Old, 16 year Bulldogs. over 280 combined senior/reserves appearances for Brothers AFC in AFL Capricornia. 26 time Marathon finisher, three time Ultra Marathon finisher and three time Comrades Marathon competitor (though not finisher yet).

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