Stawell Gift: Why it’s madness to even consider shifting the Gift

By Damian O’Donnell The Victorian Premier, John Brumby, has finally come out and guaranteed that the Stawell Gift will stay in Stawell. Why it was the Premier who made this announcement is puzzling. I would have thought that the Sports Minister, James Merlino, would have been responsible. But this is just one puzzling thing in [Read more]

General Footy Writing: My blueprint to allow better player movement between clubs

By Luke Mother With the Gold Coast and West Sydney about to start in the AFL, discussions about free agency are once again taking place. Some see it as a potential blight on our great game while others, like me, believe it would be a great introduction. The basic idea is that free agency will [Read more]

General Footy Writing: It does get in

By Chris Riordan On my first visit to Scotland I was under instructions to purchase a Celtic top. Naively, I was amazed that a top with sponsors’ logos all over the front should cost more than the “pure shirt”. “Am I paying to be a billboard?” I objected (a Scottish response if you think about [Read more]

General Footy Writing: Demetriou is way overpaid compared to overseas contemporaries

By Clint Youlden Allow me to talk about Andrew Demetriou’s salary. There is not one national sports chief executive or commissioner, not even anyone close, who earns the salary that Demetriou earns in comparison to that competition’s best player. Demetriou was paid $1.6 million last year and the highest paid player in the competition was [Read more]

In the Sheds: Peace returns to Melbourne’s west after umpire ructions

By Paul Daffey ALL Western Region Football League games went ahead at the weekend, which was a relief after the cancellation of all senior matches the previous weekend because of an umpires’ strike, but the rapprochement was not achieved without argy-bargy.

General Footy Writing: That sense of hopeless vulnerability returns for a Collingwood icon

By James Gilchrist My Mum started following Collingwood in 1953. At age twelve she used to go to VFL games by herself to watch the Richards brothers and Ray Gabelich. Gabbo was her idol. She would travel by tram each week and stand on top of empty beer cans in the outer to try to [Read more]

General Footy Writing: I’m celebrating my sixteenth birthday and a bunch of AFL stars walk in

By Danielle Eid I’d like to share with you something that I will never forget, an event in my life that was so captivating I had to write it down. It happened last year when my family took me to the Conservatory in Crown to celebrate my Sweet Sixteenth … We are having a great [Read more]

Andrew Gigacz’s Round 15 Stat. Declaration

THIS IS WHAT I WANTED. BUT IT’S NOT WHAT I WANTED. Regular readers of this column will be aware that I have been lamenting throughout the season the fact that we have had no one-point margins. Well my prayers were answered on Friday night. The one point game finally arrived. BUT DID IT HAVE TO [Read more]

Haiku Bob: AFL Round 15: blur of bodies

hot start the coolness in our play Leon’s blind turn I top up the wine glass without looking surrounded by winter O’Bree works the ball loose unnoticed rolling thunder the ball tumbles from end to end dwindling lead I take everything back in winter’s hold driven only by the goal we need less than a [Read more]

Ireland Correspondent: Gloom lifts over Dublin while sun shines on Cardiff

By Peter Lenaghan Stop writing the eulogies, call off the undertaker, and tell the doctors they can devote themselves to reviving the ailing economy – Gaelic football has taken a turn for the good and its health is improving as the wet Irish summer drags on. The rain was falling on Sunday afternoon when I [Read more]

AFL Round 15: I just love it when Fev cuts loose

By Barbara Smith Saturday’s game at the MCG between Carlton and Richmond was marred by a swirling wind and promised little. Rain threatened all day but did not eventuate. What would you expect in Melbourne? The strong wind was behaving as badly as school children do on a windy day, and there were willy-willies on [Read more]

AFL Round 15: Cats should learn from Demons about how to sing their song

By Josh Barnstable It’s a wonderful Sunday morning, the sun is shining, there is a slight breeze outside and I’m in a BAD mood. It’s the last day of school holidays, and I should probably count myself lucky for having an extra week off after having the flu in the last week of school last [Read more]

Local Footy: Wags blitzes for Renmark with five second-half goals

By Nick Kossatch Renmark’s “yo-yo” season continued after they recorded a 79-point win against bottom-placed Loxton North at Renmark Oval. The hosts held a two-goal lead at half-time but Ben Wagnitz provided them with much-needed spark when he booted five second-half goals in the Rovers’ 14-goals to three blitz in that period. The oval was [Read more]

Local Footy: Rochester should be the Demons for a day

By Rod Gillett The local derby is in my view the essence of Australian football. This is much more pronounced at the grassroots level than at the AFL level, whether it be in the country, the amateurs, the suburbs, and even between schools. It’s particularly poignant in the bush. Training intensifies, supporters start talking about [Read more]

Victoria v All Stars: Strauchanie gets best on ground and rightly so

By Josh Barnstable This is the biggest date on the football calendar. It could shape the competition. Or is just that most of the players are out of shape? Victoria, coached by unsuccessful Fremantle ex-coach Chris Connolly, runs out on the ground with stars Bryan Strauchan, Andy Lee and Captain Glenn Archer. In the other [Read more]

Crio’s Question: What should be the criteria for Goal of the Year?

It may not seem important, but don’t you get annoyed at some of the hyperbole surrounding selection for Goal of the Year? It’s been reignited by this week’s Fev-freak and some commentators’ retrospective criticism of Lloydy’s cute back-tap a couple of seasons ago. Should it be the run-and-carry, the flukey snap, the critical or long [Read more]

VAFA: Ivanhoe try to round up old premiership players

By Don Blackwood Forty years have fluttered by since an Ivanhoe Amateurs senior team has won a flag; the last was in 1969 over De La Salle at Victoria Park by 15 points. The celebration and reunion of that momentous occasion will take place at Ivanhoe Park on Sat 25 July at 12 noon as [Read more]

AFL Round 15: Hard time in old North Melbourne

By Reverend Shinboner First, brunch with Lady Shinboner (Grigons & Orr – good choice). Then, footy at the Limerick Castle Hotel. The Limerick is vintage North Melbourne. Just a few minutes walk from the gentrified island of Errol Street, it takes me to an era before my time. A bustling TAB dominates the atmosphere of [Read more]

AFL Round 15: North should not have lost this one

Hawthorn versus North Melbourne 1.10pm, Sunday, 12 July Aurora Stadium, Launceston Andrew Starkie My mate Dom and I are at the Walk for Harmony at the Carlton Gardens, an event organised in response to recent attacks against Indians in Melbourne.  Its goals are to recognise Victoria’s cultural diversity and promote racial harmony. We are immersed [Read more]

Footy Prediction: 1997 revisited?

  by Sam Steele     It was all set to be the year when one of the AFL’s Cinderellas finally went to the ball.  That was until the heartless, tradition-less Adelaide Crows crashed the party, three times in three weeks.  Is history about to repeat?   In the extraordinary 1997 season, St Kilda, Geelong [Read more]