Pokemon Footy

About 10 years ago, when I was a happy little prep, before school I would wake up extra early just so I could watch Pokémon on Cheez TV. Ah those were the days! I also remember running around with my ‘Gameboy Color’, and playing Pokémon Blue, trying to ‘catch them all!’ But one of my fondest memories from what I like to call the famous ‘Pokémon craze’ was collecting and sharing the trading cards. I used to imagine my ‘Bulbasaur’ and my ‘Pikachu’, would jump out of the page and start battling it out right in front of me. Pokémon could ignite my imagination like nothing else.

As the years went by and I started gaining more and more interest in footy, there was a small period where my love for footy and Pokémon combined. A stage when my imagination of fighting Pokémon and contesting footy teams rolled into one.

Like many others I learnt the footy teams through their mascots. Boo Lions! Boo Tigers! Boo Hawks! Boo Cats! And GO SWANS! So whenever Sydney played Adelaide, I would imagine a real swan battle head-to-head against a crow.

10 years later the team of the Sydney Swans really did go up against Adelaide Crows at AAMI Stadium on a Saturday night. I watched the game from the comfort of my couch on FoxSports with Dad.

Dad and I were both nervous going into this game. Recent poor form and a bad record against Adelaide meant that we both knew it was going to be a tough night. Despite this we were pretty confident the swans would pull through.

Our first look of AAMI stadium was a dull one. The rain fell down and turned the football into a bar of soap.

The umpires gifted Kurt Tippett and free kick, and with that he drew first blood for the crows. But from then on, Sydney controlled the game well for the first quarter. Jetta scored a good goal. And Goodes, who was looking strong, also dribbled one through. Young Daniel Hannebery was back into his rising-star award form, and Craig Bird joined in and kicked truly. Another charity goal was awarded to Ian Callihan for an abysmal holding-the-man decision. So despite dominating the first quarter, Swans were up by only a goal.

So as the rain fell down in the second term, both teams continued to throw themselves courageously at the ball. Ryan O’Keefe continued his great form this year and kicked an impressive long-range goal which put the swans further in front. Adelaide took advantage of a few missed opportunities and Jared Petrenko delivered with a clever banana snap after he was forced to play on from a mark inside fifty. The wet conditions perfectly suited Jude Bolton. This year Bolton has been in All-Australian form, regularly scoring over 100 Supercoach points, and laying an unprecedented amount of tackles each week. Patrick Dangerfield had found some much needed form during the first half. Adelaide had dominated the last half of this second term, but had failed to stamp their authority on the board. The swans lead by 7 points leading into the main break.

With neither side having a big main permanent full forward goal kicker, Kurt Tippett stepped in and kicked an easy goal from a good contested mark. The crows seemed to be playing in front this quarter, which was probably the reason for their domination. Swans on the other hand were turning the ball over way to easily. Their clangers made them look like another team that what we have seen in the past. The swans were missing easy goals and sometimes not even scoring, despite them having a majority of the ball in their attacking half. It seemed as though the swans couldn’t even buy a goal. Sure enough, Adelaide realised this, and were lucky to lead by a point going into three quarter time.

A long stalemate had been broken early in the fourth quarter when Nathan van Berlo snapped around the corner, to bring the crowd into the game. It was still very wet at AAMI and this meant that there were a lot of hard contested possessions. A newfound energy from the crows sparked a desire and determination from Adelaide that we have not seen this year. Graham Johncock was finding plenty of the ball and absolutely dominated in the crows defence. His rebounding fifties and pressure in the back half caused the swans to miss opportunities for goal and score many rushed behinds. Young Sam Jacobs was also outstanding. Since his transfer we have only seen what is yet to come, as he improves game by game. In typical Swans fashion, Sydney refused to give up. In a pack on the wing, Jetta had the chance to give hands to Goodes who ran and delivered to Paul Bevan who converted. With 5 minutes left Thompson kicked inside fifty to Jacobs who took a mark. He missed the goal, and the scores were level. The crows were desperate to snap their losing streak and when Rory Sloane converted with 3 minutes left, the crows had hit the front. A mark that wasn’t a mark was paid to Tippett, who goaled and secured the game for the crows. A late consolation goal from McGlynn was too little too late and the game was wrapped up.

So in the end, Adelaide proved that a crow is stronger than a swan.

The swans goal kicking was “not very effective” and the crows defence and hunger for the ball was “super effective!”

Oh by the way, this is how my 7 year old brain might have seen the match…

[Video here]




About Jake "Cobba" Stevens

Cobba Stevens works in sports social media and content. A keen middle-distance runner in both the ammos and the pros, he's also one of the youngest 'old bloods' supporters in Melbourne.


  1. david butler says

    As ironic as it may seem Cobba the Swans are no good in the wet. In my view we don’t have the clean handed midfielders necessary to win in difficult conditions.

  2. Jake Stevens says

    Yeah Dave,

    You’re right. Surprising I know. Especially considering that Kennedy, O’Keefe and Bolton are in the AFL’s top 15 ranked in contested possessions. And number 1 in the AFL for tackling.
    Despite this they lost to Cats in the wet and Adelaide too!
    That’s sad :'( hahaha
    oh well

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