Loose men everywhere

Yvette Wroby shares the gospel with Brendan Goddard

My uncle Bob uttered these words after North Melbourne kicked two quick goals at the Docklands last night and declared their intent; they were there to win.  That’s what it felt like, that in a moment, North possessed the ball, the ground, the universe and the Saints boys were left chasing. Fatigued and aging and looking worse for wear and not at all refreshed after the BYE.   Montagna, our multicultural ambassador and Riewoldt, our captain, steadied the ship with goals, and we gained some momentum, but it wasn’t sustained.

My worry started on Thursday night at selection.  I thought Scotty Watters had fallen into the trap of choosing mostly the 2009 team.  They were back, and in their heyday, these guys were an unbelievable team.  But that was three years ago.  Most have sustained a major injury and recovered, most haven’t been performing at their best consistently, most have looked better because the younger, faster men have re-energised them and have shaken things up a little. All except Lenny seemed to be somewhere else. There was no Simpkin or Cripps, Ledger, Newnes, no Winmar or Siposs. Where were Ray, Polo, Wilkes and Peake?  Ray and Peake are a little old guard but good on their day.

OK, even if we just look at the boys we did have, and how brilliant Lenny Hayes continues to be, and that it was two goals from him, Gram, Montagna, Milne, Armitage that showed some class from the older boys, (with Steven, McEvoy and Milera shining for the newer ones), our game seemed slower, less defensive and certainly less flair that it has been of late.

The Kangaroos kicked us to the curb with their speed, accuracy, energy.  Hansen kicked three, Petrie so strong adding 4, Thomas with three, Adams, Wells with two, and a spread of goal kickers with Bastinac, Swallow, Thomson, Harper, Tarrant, Harvey and one other that I missed charting.

Our back line changes every week with the usual suspects returning from injury, but there’s been so many changes they are not playing like the unit of old.  Scotty Watters says we lost in the midfield, but it was Montagna, Hayes, Steven and Schneider and Armitage that even kept us in the game, with Milne playing closer to the centre and kicking it forward as well.  Stanley showed pace but has done another hamstring injury.  McEvoy is still finding fitness after his.  Jones was out and we don’t know why, but we missed his speed, tagging and determination in the middle.

Kosi vomited throughout the game, Riewoldt is carrying an injury or being well held, poor Blakey has done his ankle and looked in so much pain.  New boys Saad and Milera, as well as so many old boys, just handed it over to the opposition.  There were moments of brightness, but like the rain, the cloud over St.Kilda has set in again.  Flatness pervaded the Saints, supporters and players alike.

I want to know, how do we sustain positivity?  In the players, how do they get their tired, sore bodies up and ready again for a potential smashing against the Bombers, who are always faster than us even on a good Saints day.

And I miss Gwilt’s hair.

When the Gold Coast Suns flew West to play the Eagles this weekend, I imagined the dread in their minds.  What does their coach say to motivate them, to give them something to fly all that way and play for?

What sustains me? Hanging with my uncle Bob, Garry, Rina and Amanda.  Occasionally meeting players like Brendon Goddard at Telstra Elsternwick on Saturday, and handing him an Almanac 2011. Drawing cartoons as expressions of what caught my eye lately.  And of course, my weekly therapy of writing.

Thus sustained, I get back to my everyday life and thank goodness I don’t have to have cold sea baths this morning like our boys are likely to be having.  Now we’re going towards the back end of the season, and the ladder, it’s now time to wonder about the next games….

About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.


  1. Love it Yvette. Really admire your attitude to life. Your range of talents and passions is wonderful.
    Gwilt’s hair – and lair and flair. Wonder if they all go together.

  2. How do you find them Yvette?

    It is obviously not safe for a Saints player to go out alone these days.

    Do you have a “Saint Sniffoutometer” under that beret?

  3. John Harms says

    How do we maintain the positivity? By reading Yvette Wroby.

    What sustains us? Great question. When I feel the soul is a little battered I youtube some great pieces of music. Bach, Baeethoven’s piano concertos, Eva Cassidy, and the music of my high school years. They all make me happpy-sad in that way that feels nourishing. And I try to read. You forget how good the really good writing is.

    …and then there’s the kids. I think they sustain me.

  4. Goddard’s holiday courtesy of the MRP will give him plenty of time to get through that 2011 Almanac, which is nice.

  5. Hi all, Peter B, he hasn’t played as confidently without the hair, and sometimes I don’t recognise him. He had great hair, but they are all getting sheared. Phantom, my mother lives up the road and cut an article out of the paper, so I have a team to help with my tragic-osity. Many ears, eyes and noses out their sniffing the wind for loose Saints everywhere! John, I am reading a 5 volume set of biographies on Ernest Hemingway, at the same time reading his books in order as I go through the biographies. He was a prolific writer and I have never immersed myself in one particular author in this way and it’s fascinating. My kids just shake their head at my madness, but I am showing by example you can be madly obsessed and happy to be alive.

    Re Goddard and the Almanac, he looks so handsome and happy and free not on the ground. On the ground, especially when we’re doing badly, he is the Cookie Monster without the sugar hit (or after he comes down from the sugar hype) or humour or the one who lives in the trash can who is always grouchy. Very grumpy indeed. There’s an interview with an Austrialian golfer (saints supporter) who was there and plays golf with Brendon and Fischer and says Brendons great love and talent lies in his golf. At least there you can smash the ball when frustrated and you don’t get pinged.

    It is my lifes goal to see where I can take the Almanac, to the moon and back.


  6. Hi Yvette,

    In my case it’s planning for the Olympics (I coordinate for our newspaper) and reading Volume 4 of Robert Caro’s masterful biography of LBJ. And playing Scrabble and bowling and golfing and playing with the dogs and going out for fireworks tonight. The Saints can be consuming, but they just stay a part of the total fabric. All the pieces make a whole, and then you always have highs to compensate for lows. The performance Sunday was a bit disheartening, but then I read your report and it restores the balance. Maybe John can give you a new title — Sainter Therapist for the Footy Almanackers. I know I always feel better after our little weekly session.

  7. Kosi, the boy from Brocklesy, what does the future hold for him. Watched the game on TV, heard his name once or twice prior to him leaving the ground. One big enigma. On his day he can be great but those days seem so far and few, where to from here? What do you feel Saint suporters?


  8. Thanks Glenn and Glen for your comments. It is good to read biographies that are extended and you get a real feel for the development and history of that particular person. And I love fireworks. Human magic. As for Kosi, there were games (one or two) where we have seen why they have persisted with him. On a good day, he’s wonderful, steady in marking and kicking, good sitting in the goal square and creating a contest for the little men to pick it up and boot it through. The problem is, the Saints don’t have huge depth, and they have to hang on to him until they have alternatives. Again, maybe the old fellas including Riewoldt need resting every 4 weeks, to refresh them, though the rest this week made everyone play poorer, so my reasoning is faulty!

    Is it just our players or is it when any player is “off”, they are really, really OFF and maybe they don’t even know. Did he not get a good nights sleep with his little one teething? Who knows….but his end is coming even if it last the next season…


  9. David Downer says

    I think it was “jet-lagged stupor” sustaining me on Sunday. Should have stayed home in front of a crackling fire.
    When St Kilda skipped out to that 26 point lead, it wasn’t really reflective of the game itself. North were up and about in a big way. I was never comfortable.

    As you mention, we were flat, and then forced on the back-foot by a pacy in-ya-face opposition.
    Perhaps we were better adjusted to 6-day breaks instead of coming off the bye??
    Kosi has been struggling of recent weeks, but on Sunday he was clearly ill and should not have played in the first place. We basically fielded 17 players when he was on the park. Couldn’t physically move. Beau Wilkes was held over from Sandringham and should have suited up instead. He’ll play against Essendon.
    I think a couple of weeks off for your mate BJ will do him more good than harm.

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