NAB Challenge | Carlton v Essendon: Like old times

Ahh, it was just like old times.  A game of footy at Princes Park between two old rivals. Essendon playing  Carlton, in the early afternoon, on a weekend.


The supporters started walking past our place from around 12.30 all decked out in club colours. I noticed one family with three kids all with different coloured Carlton jumpers on. There were definitely more Blue supporters than Don followers and I even noticed a few “mixed marriages”.


I wandered up to the ground about 1.30 and was pretty impressed with the size of the crowd. The old Princes Park footy ground was “chockers”, full of colour and anticipation and excitement.  The sun was shining, in all, not a bad place to be on a Sunday afternoon.


Just before the teams came onto the ground, Carlton Man ran around with a very large blue flag, my word, he has had a very big pre season!!!


The umpires are out on the ground and I watched  Eleni Glouftsis doing her warm up with sprints and circle work. With all the publicity, she must be pretty focused on the job in hand.


Eleni gets the game going with a fairly good bounce leading to a scramble and wrestle for the ball. The game didn’t improve very much as the quarter progressed and I was having trouble working out who the Essendon players were. Different numbers, different hair styles and  lots of different faces.


The first quarter was totally forgettable, but in the second ,The Dons hit their straps and played as a well-organized team, foot skills, hand passing and backing up were all top class, but you must remember, they were playing Carlton, who left a lot to be desired in all facets of the game.


I reckon the second half got even worse for Carlton if that was possible. There were quite a few supporters sitting near me and their groans clearly showed what they thought of their team.  I can’t remember Carlton getting a single centre clearance during the game.  The Dons continued with precision training drills around their hapless opponents and looked pretty good, but I’m not getting carried away.


I wandered back home and listened to the disgruntled Carlton followers as they passed our house, something we haven’t heard in over twenty years and I liked it.


A few of the newer players impressed me with their poise and skill, Jake Long, Darcy Parish, Anthony McDonald and Will Hams were stand outs for me.



So the Dons were far too good, they thumped Carlton by ten goals in front of eighteen thousand on a beautiful day, on one of the great footy grounds in Melbourne, Princes Park Carlton.


FAlmanac banner


  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Watched a few floggings of the Dons by the Blues over many at years at Princes Park so good to get one back!
    Go Bombers!

  2. Hello Rod.

    A solid effort from our ‘VFL’ side. Still too many fundamental skill errors, but it was a start.

    Darcy Parish does indeed look good. I enjoyed seeing Nick Kommer finish the game after an extended run with injuries and the work of Goddard was complemented with the experience and maturity of Simpkin and (I can’t believe I’m saying this) Crowley. Certainly not a top shelf effort from the former Freo tagger, but a pretty good effort first up off an extended spell.

  3. Rod Oaten says

    Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti is the full and correct name, somehow the second part of his family name got lost in my brain cells.

  4. Roddy, beware the Cats at Shepparton next round. A big inclusion in the team is Joe Daniher’s country cousin, Jock Cornell, who threatens to bag a few. Park the ute on the boundary and enjoy a great day of bush footy. The Magpies were impressive last week in their win, and both teams introduced some exciting new talent. At leat our boys were toilet trained.

Leave a Comment