Round 1 – Sydney v Essendon: The juice ran out

I’ve been listening to my mate and regular Almanac poster Dan “Handbag” Hansen (of the Port Adelaide Hansens) talking for ages about doing Almanac posts, so I thought I’d give this lark a go, see if I had any ability at all to write about footy.

I am one of the rare breed of Sydneysiders who was born in Sydney and played and loves to support footy. I’m not one of these interstate interlopers who call Sydney home and are trying to spread the footy gospel.

I’m one of what I call the “Warwick Capper Generation”. That is the 37-43 year-old, Sydney born-and-raised male who was sucked in by The Wiz and who stuck fat with footy in Sydney through the lean years and who is not one of these bandwagon Johnny-come-latelies who only know winning Swans teams.

Anyway being throughly over the snoozefest that was the cricket World Cup I was genuinely looking forward all week to going to the footy, but come gameday I was uming and ahing about going because it had been raining solid for two days. When I got the texts from Handbag and Tim “The Battler” Davies, who confirmed they were going, it was pack the umbrella and out the door.

The trip out to Homebush started badly: I missed the train and had to wait 20 minutes for the next one. When I got on the train I had to stand the whole way out to Olympic Park, and when I got in I had to line up for 20 minutes to get some cash out.

The disgraceful thing was then having to pay $16 for two middies of Hahn. I see that Gillon hasn’t been talking to ANZ Stadium about reducing the price of food and drink in Sydney to improve the “match-day experience”. Also while I’m at it the other thing which I find disgraceful is that a general admission seat in Sydney is $40 compared to $18 in Melbourne. Why such the discrepancy, the product is the same!

At 3/4 time I was trying to convince The Battler to leave. However his Bomber-supporting mate Shonie was in heaven giving it out large to his Canadian Swan-supporting mate Randy, so we weren’t going anywhere.

Up until then the footy had been a rubbish wet-weather slog: plenty of throw-ins, dropped balls and kicks off the ground. The general consensus from Handbag and The Battler was that they must have been doing a lot of touch footy at practice over the summer seeing the amount of times they were pinged for throwing.

Luckily we didn’t leave, and we got the grandstand finish. I remain unconvinced about the Swans based on that performance against an underdone Essendon. Next week against Port Adelaide will be the much bigger test to see whether the Swans have gotten over the humiliation that was last year’s Grand Final.


Sydney          0.1      1.7        3.8         10.12 (72)

Essendon      4.3     5.5        9.6            9.6 (60)



Sydney: Franklin 3, Bird 2, Tippett 2, Heeney, Laidler, Jack

Essendon: Cooney 3, Goddard, Heppell, Daniher, Melksham, Watson, Colyer



To visit the Sydney Swans website click the logo below

Sydney Swans Logo - Positive (1)


About Gavin Ward

One of the rare born and raised Sydney spiders with a passion for AFL footy and all sport in general


  1. I was attracted by your headline and I too thought the “juice” ran out!
    Did the Bombers try to win soft because they were underdone? I didn’t see anyone bust a gut in the final quarter, no one came down with cramp etc. They gave the game momentum to the Swans and were punished.
    The Swans first quarter effort was pathetic and played like rabbits caught in the headlights. Next week will give a better guide. I won’t have the house on them!

  2. Keiran Croker says

    One game fellas! Let’s see how the year unfolds. I expect we will be good enough to win 14 to 18 games, provided we don’t get a bad run of injuries. The crunch will be whether we have improved compared to the Hawks, Port and Dockers!

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