Missing the Granny

We lost to Dookie in the last game of the season and then again in the first week of the finals, but as I entered into the home rooms at Numurkah I could feel an upset coming and my Katunga 3rds boys making it into the big one.

The prelim started the way everyone expected tight and congested for most of the first half although we didn’t use the wind to our advantage in the 2nd quarter and at half time it was Dookie 2.5.17 to Katunga 1.4.10. In the third even though we were going against the wind we started to dominate, then the ball came my way I was beaten to it by their forward pocket and as I was chasing him I got cleaned up in a massive shepherd. I landed on my left arm awkwardly and as I got up I knew it was bad. I ran off in hope it wasn’t as bad as I first thought but as I get the trainer to handball a shiny new sherrin to me as it hits my left hand I hear a crunching sound and I know I won’t be getting back out there. As I sit on the bench holding back the tears with ice on my wrist I watch the boys kick goal after goal. At 3 quarter time Dookie 4.6.30 to Katunga 7.6.48. The final term kicks off and it is apparent Dookie are not just going to give in they end up getting the lead back with 2 minutes to go, but as trustworthy as ever our full forward slots another through and we end up winning Katunga 10.6.66 defeated Dookie 9.9.63. I ran out on the ground with joy high-5-ing and hugging my teammates with my right arm only. I get into the rooms sing the song and then it’s pretty much straight to the hospital to see how bad this is.

Sitting in the hospital with dad we wait about 3 hours before my name finally gets called out, first I get x-rays and scans then I go back to a room and wait, again. A young Australian doctor walks in explains to me that I’ve shattered my wrist and also broken my radius and that I need surgery tonight. I can’t hold back the tears realising that my chances of playing in a Grand Final have gone from slim to no hope at all. As I wake up from surgery the doctors explain what they need to.  I ask if I could play in the Grand Final. As they say no I start crying again. This sucks.

The week leading up to the Granny I still turn up to training. Yet again the club isn’t happy with us but that has happened all year. I get through the week knowing that I was going to run the boys out through the banner and toss the coin as I do every week, then I would be sitting on the bench. It’s better than nothing I guess.

In the car ride there I’m quiet, can’t believe it still we made the big one and I’m not able to play, happy for the boys but devastated at the same time. We get there and I get change into my white jumper with the big red V, red shorts, red and white socks and footy boots and I’m ready to run the boys out. As I walk out of the rooms at Barooga I could feel tears coming but hold them back, I smash through the banner toss the coin and join the coach in the box on top of the bench.

Shepparton East get off to a great start in the first half and kick the first 5 goals before we bounce back with the next 2 before a game changing bump from our CHF knocks an opposition player out cold. That bump stopped the game and an ambulance had to come, it was a fair but brutal bump, a perfect lifter for our boys. We go into half time down 5.4.34 to 3.1.19 but we now have the momentum. The third quarter is tight but we totally dominate in the final term, unfortunately we couldn’t capitalise on that dominance by kicking 2.7 in the last to go down 9.7.61 to 7.8.50. I go out congratulate the boys on an amazing effort before the coach makes a perfect speech saying the best team came second today and that we deserved to win, because we did things just didn’t go our way.

As I sit here not being able to type more than one letter at a time my wrist is still pretty sore and I’ve got some gnarly scars but I don’t care it doesn’t hurt as much as missing and losing a grand final, although I am getting over it slowly and my wrist is starting to get better slowly, all I can think about now is the 2012 footy season. I can’t wait to start pre-season and hopefully make another grand final next year and this time be able to play in it.

About jeffrey paterson

I'm 15 and I live in a little town called Numurkah. I play footy for Katunga under 17s and i play forward and back. I support the mighty Richmond Tigers and my favourite player is Dustin Martin because he wears my number 36 ;).


  1. Pamela Sherpa says

    What an unfortunate time to get injured Jeffrey. The pain of missing out and losing a grand final can become a very strong motivational force for winning one. Good luck next year.

  2. Thanks for the piece Jeff. What rotten luck. I hope that it all heals well and you’re back running round next season. As one who has had ill luck with injuries I sympathise with you.

  3. Waaia 2012 for the win.

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