NAB Cup Questions

The NAB Cup is only 43 days away, not long to go at all. Finally we’ll see some football action instead of the insipid Cricket that’s been on lately. Watching Cricket doesn’t work for me, especially when we’re being toyed with by England. But I’m having trouble with the normal, bubbling enthusiasm I have for the pre-season campaign; I’m a bit skeptical this year. Why?

Two reasons. The new sub rule and the three team division, both introduced for the 2011 NAB Cup with the addition of the Gold Coast Suns and Greater Western Sydney. As we all know, the sub rule is being introduced into the proper season next year, a really bad move in my opinion. It needs to be trialed first; it needs a baptism of fire, the AFL need to find out if it’ll work first. Sure, they’ve used the sub rule for the past couple of years in the NAB Cup, but that’s with an extended bench, and more than one substitute. How does the league know it’ll work in a high-intensity, proper home and away match with shortened benches? I think, and I hope, it’ll fail in the first few rounds, and I predict Andrew Demetriou and co. will revert back to the traditional four-man bench from then on. The earlier, the better. I admit, it is a good rule, but it needs to be tested first. The prospect of bringing on a fresh Brent Harvey or Matt Campbell in the second half of a game is mouthwatering, but so is the prospect of having them for the entire match.

With the three team division, if you aren’t familiar with it, I’ll explain it. On February 11, the Crows and Power will play the traditional pre-season Showdown, but the Demons will also be playing. If that isn’t confusing enough, it works like this. Adelaide will host Melbourne to start things off for the NAB Cup series at 7:15pm (absurdly, NOT on free-to-air), playing two 20 minute halves, so effectively, they’re playing a normal game but only up to halfway through the second quarter. When that game is done, the Crows will leave the ground and pass Port Adelaide on their way out. Port will then play Melbourne, again in two 20 minute quarters. The real winner in this scenario is Melbourne. They keep their legs warm by playing two games in a row, and they finish earlier, while the Crows are the losers, as they play, rest, and then come back onto the field to finish things off against their South Australian nemesis. I can foresee many soft tissue injuries happening during this third match. I have more queries as well. What will happen at the start of the game? Will all three teams run out on the ground into their respective banners? It’ll be a bit of an anti-climax if the third team ran out after the first game had been completed. Also, will they play the theme song of the winning team? That’d feel too much like declaring victory at half time. And lastly, what of the clash jumpers? Pictures this: In the final game of NAB Cup Week One, Geelong hosts North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs down at Skilled Stadium. If things happen as they should, the Roos would wear their Argentina clash strip to avoid any similarities with the Geelong jumper when the two play in the first game of the tri-series. After that, North will play the Bulldogs. What do North do? Do they stay in their current uniform, which might blend with the Doggies jumper, or do they go off the field and change their entire kit? If anyone plays any kind of football on the Almanac, you’d know it’s not the easiest task to slip out of your playing uniform after a game of footy.

It’s going to be a weird feeling coming home from school on February 11 next year, excited at the prospect of the footy finally starting again, then having to scour the internet for a reliable radio source. Even that sounds like an ideal night though. And I very much look forward to travelling down to Geelong with Dad to see the Roos in action against the Cats and Dogs, in what will be my first match at a ground other than Etihad and the MCG, and it definitely won’t be the last.

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.


  1. yayyyyy FOOTY, FOOTY, FOOTY!!! :D

  2. Steve Healy says

    Nice article Josh, Also- who will wear white shorts and who will wear home shorts? I think it might just be the roos in their argentina strip with white shorts, the dogs in their home jumper and shorts and the Cats in their home uniform too.

    Yeah, It’s gonna be hard to get excited about the nab cup with the rubbish round, and the Dees WONT have an advantage cos of our terrible record at AAMI stadium. And the sub rule shouldnt have ever been brought in, Matt Campbell isnt the best example lol

  3. Steve you need to see some pics of Matt Campbell training, he is looking very fine.

  4. Josh
    some fine points you raise re rules. Good luck with the trip to KP. Do your homework before you go as that ground has claimed many a victim who arrived un prepared for the weather, the locals or the old time feel of the place. Kardinia Park Horror Stories would elicit a very long thread….

  5. Thanks Chalkdog,

    I’ll definitely bring a coat! But the summer weather should see me fine in my footy jumper. :P

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