Round 12 – Melbourne v Collingwood: Years of black and white, all with a pen in hand


In 2009 at seventeen years old I first started writing for The Almanac.


I was in year eleven and ready to start making some big decisions going into my final year of school.


There were a lot of things that I was unsure about, but the one thing I did know was that I loved to write.


I started sending in pieces and slowly was encouraged by the stream of comments that followed.


Then in the blink of an eye it was 2010, Collingwood had won a premiership under Mick Malthouse, I had successfully completed my exams and was on my way to meet with one of the careers advisers before sending off my preferences for university.


A year and a half into a psychology degree I transferred into the journalism degree. As I had already been completing journalism subjects instead of psychology electives it was an easy switch as I had already completed a year of the journalism degree without being fully enrolled.


After graduation, as predicted I couldn’t find a job in journalism, so I started working on the floor in a pharmacy. My delegated section was fragrances and cosmetics, there wasn’t a lipstick I couldn’t sell. All the workers were around the same age, so it was a great environment, but the pay was slim, and I was on my feet for about eight hours so that wasn’t fun.


I eventually upgraded to working as a receptionist at a GP clinic where I worked my way up as the senior receptionist and pretty much managed the clinic. It was a desk job which I wanted but long hours and I hated the phone ringing through lunch.


By now my writing was at its lowest. I hadn’t written in years. I was always too tired, too cranky from a bad day at work and too head-achy from trying to keep the constantly complaining patients happy. I remember parking my car in front of the clinic in the mornings and just sitting there not wanting to go down, just wanting to turn the car on and drive back home. Like every human I had good days and bad days.


Life flashed through a couple more phases and I got engaged to my best friend. In November 2018 we had what I’d say was the wedding of the year (not biased at all). Both of us being Collingwood fanatics we incorporated our beloved Magpies into our wedding as much as we could. We had merchandise on our preparation tables that morning, we had the bridal party do a photoshoot in their team scarves and we even played the theme song at the reception.





We flew off to our honeymoon in a frenzy of excitement. Being brought up in a strict household I had never been able to travel overseas with friends, so my husband made sure it was the trip of a lifetime.


We first spent a week in Rome, Italy. (I never thought I could love a place so much and ate my body weight in ice-cream every day up until waiting in line to board the plane.)


Then a week in Paris, France. (Our balcony had an Eiffel Tower view and I can now say Disney Land Paris and Versailles Palace have my heart forever.)



Then a week in Berlin, Germany. (Berlin is the Melbourne of Europe except for the fact that it was minus 3 degrees and I ordered beer.)


Finally, we finished our trip with endless poolside resort cocktails and sun in Dubai. (I got sent away from the roof top hotel pool party by security for wearing bathers and my hotel robe…who knew pool party meant wearing high heels with party clothes standing around the pool.)


On this trip I had bought a special travel diary and I made sure to write an entry every day about all the landmarks and food and culture we had experienced. I even stored entry tickets and brochures from the places we went to. I wanted to make sure that no matter when I read it, I would be reminded of the beauty and awe I had experienced overseas. Now when we wear our specific perfumes that we used on that trip, we get nostalgic. “You smell like Rome!”, we always say to each other, then we get all upset about not being there.


When we came back to start our normal lives, as the honeymoon was over, 2019 had begun. We wanted to experience being Club Members, so we signed up to Collingwood’s Legends Membership and religiously went to every MCG game. We met up with supporters who we had only known online through Twitter who were nice enough to save us seats in the cheer squad. This was an experience because we all know how much sh*t the Collingwood cheer squad cops from everyone. Amongst a few tattoos and missing teeth from a few kids we met some of the nicest people. The feral stereotype flew well and truly out the window. There was no foul language or in crowd fighting or brawling. I even had to leave the cheer squad area if I wanted to have a glass of wine; it’s a very safe fun and alcohol-free place to watch the game.


Our Collingwood boys were travelling well, and finals were approaching. Our social media started sharing an Arabic song about Collingwood and the chorus of “De Goey, De Goey – Mihocek” was so damn catchy my sister in law and I thought we’d have a laugh and record ourselves Lebanese dancing to it.


We made a last-minute decision to change out of our pajamas just incase it would be funny enough to share on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We quickly got dressed into some Collingwood gear, I grabbed my scarf and Vanessa grabbed a flag and my husband reluctantly acted as camera man.


The outcome was pretty damn funny, so we uploaded it and IT BLEW UP! Suddenly this video was being shared and retweeted and liked everywhere. Once our views had hit 500, we were laughing but it KEPT GOING INTO 1000s! People were lapping it up and through all the platforms together we hit over 50 something thousand views. It was hilarious but all we wanted to know was what the boys thought of it and if they had seen it.


I was starting to get recognised at work and at the footy! “Are you the girl from that De Goey video?!” they asked. I was literally in shock how far this video had gone and even more shocked when I was asked for a photo at a game. Who knew something we did just for a laugh could get so much hype?


Months and months passed and just as I thought it had died down the AFL social media department contacted me asking if they can use the video for the 2020 AFL ad campaign. Somedays I’ll be sitting on the couch eating toast and I look up from my phone and there’s us in the middle of some enthusiastic hip shaking and arm waving on Channel 7, bloody hilarious.


We keep getting asked when part 2 of the video will come out. There will only be a part 2 when Collingwood wins the premiership. In fact, we will personally do a live performance of the dance on Grand Final day, we just need to have De Goey and Mihocek as back-up dancers and it will go off!


So now I come to 2020.


It’s been a rough year with coronavirus ruining a lot of things.


At one point when the footy season was thrown aside, I felt like I had nothing. That’s when I slowly started to write again.


I felt like suddenly I had time on my hands that I never had so I started to do some research and started jotting down ideas.


I have always wanted to write my own book, I just don’t know if I have the perseverance to stick at it and get it done. A few chapters deep (about 8 chapters) and the laptop with the USB I had been working on accidentally had a hard knock. By hard I knock I mean it was shattered to pieces. I was completely distraught. I had just felt my need and want to write again. I had just started to really get into it. The headache of knowing I’d lost that amount of writing and knowing there was no way I’d be able to word it as perfectly as I had was so upsetting.  I still haven’t had the heart to go back and try to salvage what did get saved. I hope I get the urge to get back into it one day because I’ll never know if I can get a book off the ground if I never finish it.


Late last night I felt that writing urge again. I wasn’t ready to drive back into trying to fix my chapters, but more so a lighter writing urge. A no-pressure, just relax and type what you feel kind of urge. Suddenly I realised how much I missed writing for the Almanac.


This website had long ago been a place where I let off steam, wrote about my love for all things black and white stripes and had the ultimate freedom of creativity. Here was the first place I publicly found my writing voice and it’s only natural to want to come back and find that voice again.


I want to be Nathan Buckley’s patience, determined like a Brayden Maynard tackle, focused as a Brodie Grundy run in, as woke as Scott Pendlebury’s awareness, provoking like a Jordan De Goey tattoo and strong like a Darcy Moore mark in the backline.


With De Goey, Howe, Kelly, Quaynor, Treloar and Sier all injured there’s some interesting times ahead for Collingwood. The Injury Gods have never been kind to us but we just keep scrapping away. When I feel disheartened, I look to Maynard, Moore, Grundy and think how easily they rank as some of the best players in the AFL. I look at a young newbie like Trey Ruscoe and how his spunk reminds me of a young Alex Fasolo.


I can try to hold on to and linger on the positives as much as I like, but there is no getting past the fact that our game against the Dees last night was atrocious.


To my surprise we had the upper hand with the clearances, something that we struggled with last week. This gave me hope early but then we outed ourselves with our bad delivery inside 50 and lack of attack at goal.


The Demons had scored three goals to none down to the last 35 seconds in which we finally got our first through Ben Reid.


We started the second quarter with a Callum Brown goal but things went south quickly when Mihocek literally got knocked into next week after bravely running back into a contest. Great, just what we needed – more injuries. Seeing him leave the ground in a neck brace was heartbreaking. How much longer can the boys hold on watching their teammates wipe out around them?


We lost all control at this point and the Dees were kicking them from everywhere. A few sh*ty umpire decisions later and a normally calm Nathan Buckley was ripping up the railing covers up in the box. I don’t blame him, I would have started my demolition before half time.


With no railing covers for me to pull apart I take my anger out with some couch bashing. In the background my mother-in-law rushes around trying to time the chicken to be out of the oven on the final siren, dashing across the TV, away from us moody lot in the lounge.


Just when you think it couldn’t get worse, we lose Ben Reid to a hammy. At this rate our injury list is longer than my fake eyelashes and I won’t have a bar of that. In the last few minutes we accept our defeat, leaving the TV behind and following the smell of chicken, garlic and potatoes to the dining room table.


Digging into the delicious meal I think of all the problems Bucks is going to have to deal with going into our next game. I also remember that Carlton is playing tonight and cross my fingers for a Freo win. Can someone please pass the potatoes?



MELBOURNE            3.3      10.4    12.4    16.4 (100)

COLLINGWOOD        1.1      5.2      6.6      6.8 (44)



Melbourne: Spargo 3, Fritsch 2, Langdon 2, Melksham 2, Weideman 2, Brayshaw, McDonald, Petracca, Pickett, Sparrow

Collingwood: Reid 2, Adams, Brown, Elliott, Hoskin-Elliott



Melbourne: Oliver, Langdon, Petracca, Brayshaw, Hibberd, May, Spargo

Collingwood: Sidebottom, Adams, Grundy, Daicos 



Melbourne: Nil

Collingwood: Mihocek (concussion), Reid (hamstring)



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About Danielle Hakim

A passionate 28 year old Collingwood supporter who fangirls like a 16 year old at heart. Chased down and yelled "I love you" at a startled Brodie Grundy in 2018 after the Semi-final loss. Danced down the stairs with a Collingwood scarf one time to a De Goey song and the video went viral.


  1. Luke Reynolds says

    Danni, magnificent to see your writing back on the Almanac, it’s been too long!

    Enjoyed the summation of what you have been up to. Hope you can get that book back on track.

    Most of all, hope to run into you again in the Ponsford Stand in 2021. Go Pies!

  2. Danielle Hakim says

    Thanks Luke! I agree it was way too long with life getting in the way.

    Haha yes keep your eyes peeled, ill be the one in the Maynard jumper.

    Go Pies!

  3. Your experience of the Collingwood cheer squad must have been different to mine. Remember clearly a few years ago which tickets to a Port v Colly game at Footy park in Adelaide were in short supply. Somehow or other, I got a ticket at the southern end among the aforesaid mob. Thought I had seen it all at port games over the years, but this mob were next level. By the end of the first quarter 2 of them had been thrown out by the Police for fighting among themselves!! One of the very rare times I have shifted seats at the football.

    But love your writing, Danielle, keep it up, you are a good story teller. In the best sense of that word.

  4. Danielle Hakim says

    Sorry that you had that experience Bucko and i don’t blame you for changing seats.

    That’s why i thought it important enough to mention my experience there, people need to know its being run very differently these days.
    One of the members who we are great friends with now, invited a few of us for home made pizza, its a family friendly vibe at Magpie Land.

    Thanks for the support and stay tuned for more pieces :)

  5. Shane Reid says

    I’m newish to the Alamanac, Danielle. I loved reading this and look forward to more!

  6. Danielle Hakim says

    Thanks for the kind words Shane, always nice to meet new Almanackers!

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