NAB Cup, Round 1: New generation of Swans stands tall

Ever since reading the NAB Cup fixture in the library at school, one game stood out in the second week of the first round. Sydney and Carlton from Blacktown Olympic Park. Time has flown, and finally the day has come.

After a bad loss at tennis, I look forward to resting up my muscles before heading to Melbourne the next day to meet up with my friends from the Almanac at Etihad Stadium during Geelong v North Melbourne. Time slowly ticks by, and finally, it’s evening. I pass the time by watching The Simpsons and Malcolm in the Middle. It is 7.15, and the next 15 minutes was the slowest 15 minutes of my life. How come it was so slow, yet when it’s 15 minutes until I have to catch the bus on a school day, it zips by quicker than Alwyn Davey chasing down a defender strolling out of defence.

I get my first look at the Blacktown oval on TV and it looks good, a lot similar to Gold Coast Stadium without the glitz and glamour. The Swans run out in a clash strip with home shorts while the Blues have ‘MARS’ printed on the back of the guernseys for 2010, which looks terrible.

I eagerly await tonight to see how the Swans will line up. Despite being criticised for being boring and low-scoring, the Swans outfit is young, fresh and rejuvenated. Some of the youngsters making their first appearance tonight are Gary Rohan, Lewis Jetta, Trent Dennis-Lane and Byron Sumner,  and Kane Lucas is the notable debutant for the Blues. I note that Robert Walls has been knocked in the head by a laptop on the plane to Sydney. It’s a great start to my campaign of getting Walls off the commentary team for Channel 10. The creaky old siren sounds, the game is underway from Blacktown. That’ll take some time getting used to.

The first quarter takes a while for a goal to be registered, but it’s worth the wait when Mitch Robinson runs into a goal from a tight angle and snaps the first. Ben McGlynn kicks his first in Red and White, but the Blues reply through Robinson again. Marty Mattner receives on the 50 and boots a Supergoal and the Swans lead. Then the highlight of the match happens. When a train rolls past out the back of the ground and sounds its horn. The umpire stops the play to a halt, and calls siren. The players stand around confused, some go to walk off the ground, but another umpire shouts out that there is still 49 seconds remaining. The umpire soon realizes his mistake and starts play again, but before long the real siren sounds. Sydney leading by two points at the first break, 1.1.2 to 0.2.3.

The second quarter begins and Jarrad McVeigh squeezes through a goal from the goalsquare before young Subiaco forward Trent Dennis-Lane marked and kicked an impressive long goal. Chris Yarran also showed signs of improvement for season 2010 with an uncontested mark and checkside goal. At half time, the Swans lead by two points at half time, 1.3.2 to 0.3.9.

As the half time break is on, I switch over to ABC2 to watch a bit of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ seeing as we are reading the text in Advanced English at school. Before I get too into the movie (I’m currently immersed in the book) I change back to the footy as the Swans go forward. Lucky I changed it back, as old Bloods’ fans would be very impressed with the next quarter. Lewis Jetta has a two bounce run from the wing and kicks a long nine-pointer. Delicious. Andrew Carrazzo replies but the Swans’ first round draft pick Gary Rohan contests a pack and comes out with the ball before snapping it through for his first. Right on cue, my ginger kitten jumps up onto my lap and starts rolling around and looking at me, obviously showing me that she approves of the fellow red-headed Rohan. Jetta replies with another long goal and Brett Kirk converts after a clanger from the kick in by the Blues, the margin is out to a whopping 24 points all of a sudden. The Blues have a good few final minutes though, with Heath Scotland and Lachie Henderson kicking goals to reduce the margin to 17 points at three quarter time, 2.6.8 to 0.6.9.

The final quarter begins and Heath Scotland starts well with the Blues getting within 11 points after Scotland’s second. McGlynn followed up with a mark and goal to stretch it back out to 17 points. The Swans start playing keepings off, but when the ball spills in defence, my most hated Carlton player, Bret Thornton, grabs the ball and snaps a goal out of nowhere to keep things alive. Yarran almost provides a great highlight by executing a dummy and running into goal but missed to the right. Daniel Currie has a few impressive moments late in the match, but the Blues just can’t make anything of their opportunities. The siren that sounds worse than the Waaia siren sounds to signal the end of the match, Sydney winning their first pre-season game under Paul Roos’ tenure. Kirk and Brock McLean shake hands, something that McLean declined before the match, but I would have liked to have seen Kirk keep a bit of a grudge over it.

After tonight’s game, I see the Swans have finally entered a new generation of players. Lewis Jetta, Gary Rohan and Trent Dennis-Lane, get on them now. Put them in your Supercoach teams, put a little bet on them for the NAB Rising Star award, put a dollar on Jetta for the Brownlow, it could happen. For once, I am actually looking forward to a St Kilda v Sydney clash. Oh how the times have changed.

Sydney 1.1.2—1.3.2—2.6.8—

Carlton 0.2.3—0.3.9—0.6.9—


Super goals: Mattner, Jetta

Sydney-McGlynn 2, Jetta, Kirk, Rohan, McVeigh, Dennis-Lane

Carlton-Robinson 2, Scotland 2, Yarran, Carrazzo, Henderson, Thornton


Sydney-McGlynn, Jetta, Kirk, Rohan, Malceski, J. Bolton, McVeigh

Carlton-Judd, Carrazzo, Robinson, Warnock


9,732 at Blacktown Olympic Park


3: Ben McGlynn (SYD)

2: Lewis Jetta (SYD)

1: Brett Kirk (SYD)

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. Richard Naco says

    Good report, Josh.

    The first half was the most boring footy I’ve seen so far this season, with the highlights being the determined refusal of Brock Maclean (sp?) to shake Brett Kirk’s hand before the game (bad luck Brock – Captain Kirk proceeded to absolutely bury him for the entire game) & the wonderful intrusion of the train at the end of the first quarter. As much as I admire Paul Roos as a player and a man, Sydney for a few years now has played the most frustrating and just plain ugly brand of football imaginable. Whether it’s more necessary to do whatever it takes purely in order to win or whether it’s preferable to play an attractive style of football in order to forge a permanent supporter base in the heathen wilderness that is Sydney is a subject for a significant debate, but I am one Sydney resident who, try as I might, can not bring myself to actually go to Swans’ games.

    The third quarter – and indeed, the game – was only made somewhat bearable by the unleashing of Lewis Jetta’s speed & panache upon the contest. This is exactly the kind of flash that makes footy fun, and with the equally impressive Gary Rohan starting to impose his 18yo body on the forward contests, Sydney actually started to look like being fun.

    But these highlights did not make the game any significantly more appealing, and in the end Sydney won playing a very typically Swannies’ brand of footbore. St Kilda are going to just plain slaughter them in the next round.

    And even though both teams were seriously down on personnel, any Carlton team playing as they did is not going to be any sort of threat come the money time of the main season. They, like Sydney, will be reduced very quickly to merely making cooing noises about the potential of their developing young talent to give the 2011 season a fair shake.

    Or the 2012.

    Or the 2013 …

  2. Richard, As a neutral fan I’d unquestionably prefer to see an exciting, attacking game of football, exactly the time of game you never see with Sydney. But if it was my team playing Sydney’s turgid style of footy then I would prefer to play ugly footy and get the four points than succumb to defeat in an aesthetically pleasing, fast, high scoring game.

    Lewis Jetta brought the game to life though, he’s by far the most impressive out of all the Jetta’s. Steve made a comment at the North-Geelong match, he could have had 5 goals, 3 of them supergoals, he reminds me quite a bit of Aaron Davey in looks and Leon Davis in playing style.

    Can’t remember seeing a Swans team with so many indigenous players.

    Oh, and spiffing review Josh. The line about the ginger kitten approving of Rohan is a pearler.

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