Round 12 – Sydney v GWS: If that’s what we can expect in the near future, I’ll be one very happy Jan!

Let’s face it, no one thought the Swans could win this game against the Giants. Certainly, those in the media were pretty adamant it would be an impossibility, and anyone I’ve spoken to about footy this week, were under the same impression.

In fact, I – a great believer in my beloved team – also had doubts. And I’m sure other Bloods supporters thought similarly.

But what the hell would we know?

We certainly know that our team of young, highly talented kids, have been impressing all year, learning to gel with our more experienced players, and in turn forming the nucleus of a forthcoming successful group. We know that the Bloods culture is all pervasive at the Club, and that the players and coaches will never stop striving. We also know that, as supporters, all we want (especially at this stage of the players’ development and transition) is effort, courage, dedication and commitment.

And didn’t we get that on Thursday night! We got so much more too. A win! A very resounding 41–point win at that!

At 7.50pm not long before the game was about to start, I toyed with the idea of recording it and watching it a bit later – as I often do – (to avoid ads and breaks), but decided against it. At 8pm as the ball was bounced, I noticed Marshall’s head tilting forward, as if asleep. He was.

“Darling, the footy’s on, it’s the Swannies, surely you want to stay awake for this?” I ask, but it could have been interpreted as a demand!

“Yes, of course I do”.

A few minutes in, Paps, Wicks and Rowbottom combine for our first goal. Marshall cheers.

When Zac Foote marks 50 metres out and unselfishly passes onto one of our best long distance kicks, Jordan Dawson, I jump with joy, but Marshall is quiet. He’s asleep again!

“Darling, please wake up, you know what the Geriatrician said about people with dementia sleeping all the time – one of the worst things they can do – please wake up!”

How could he possibly sleep as Rowbottom, again, is involved in our third goal for the term: racing through the midfield and passing beautifully to Jordan Dawson for his second goal, 45 metres out.

This is looking good, but I’m nervous. Way too nervous. “Surely they’ll come back. It’s GWS after all”, I say to my sort-of-awake husband.

To avoid the ads in between quarters, I make a camomile tea, hoping it might calm the nerves, and give Marshall something stronger to keep him awake. It works.

The players continue their dominance in the second quarter, adding two more goals, both from Nick Blakey, while the opposition get their first after a free against Dane Rampe. Ramps was not a happy chappy!

The half time break is frustrating me no end. I decide to record the rest of the game, and switch to a BBC series we’ve recorded, to try and ease the tension. I really can’t stand watching my team on tele – far more nerve-wracking than being at the game itself.

Now Marshall is wide awake. He loves murder–mysteries, and never sleeps whilst watching them, even though he doesn’t remember anything about them afterwards!

“Why don’t we go to bed, and you can watch the rest of the game tomorrow morning”, he suggests.

“Couldn’t possibly”, I reply, ”How could I sleep not knowing the result! Not a good idea”.

So, it’s back to the recorded game and the third quarter. The Giants kick their second goal, again from a free (dubious?!) to Finlayson, and with only an 18–point difference at this stage, my nerves are at it again.

Enter Zac Foote, the 19– year old debutante. He takes a wonderful mark and goals, just at the perfect time. The Giants have been peppering their forward line for most of the quarter, and this goal is crucial.

As the last quarter starts, all I really want to do is watch it going fast forward – to prolong the agony of worrying that the Giants will come back. Even though we have a 23–point lead, four goals is nothing these days for a team to fight back and overrun its opponent. I’m still not confident!

Suddenly the recorded version of the match runs out and the screen says “You are back to the live broadcast” or words to that effect, so I have no choice. I persevere, and delight in the next four goals, thanks to Jackson Thurlow, Will Hayward, Dylan Stephens and James Bell – all achieved as a result of brilliant play from their teammates further downfield.

Unfortunately, the Giants kick another goal just before the siren, after another free (very, very dubious! Boo! Boo! Boo!) thereby equally their lowest ever score since the Club’s inception.

However, that is really the last thing on my mind, as there is far too much to celebrate.

How impressive was our backline. Dane Rampe, Jake Lloyd, Lewis Melican (back to his 2018 best) and Callum Mills repelling most Giants’ advances throughout the night. I was also very pleased to see Colin O’Riordan back in the team.

Equally impressive was Nick Blakey on his return. Being allowed the freedom of the midfield/wing, he showed his true promise, and his two goals were superb.

Jordan Dawson, mostly back into the forward line after weeks of forward play, was inspirational.

Callum Sinclair certainly beat his opponent, and all credit must go to him these past couple of years, so–called filling in for Sam Naismith. He is now our only experienced ruckman, and in tonight’s game, excelled all over the ground.

Harry Cunningham (one of my very favourite players) goes from strength to strength each week.

Paps, as we love to call him, might have missed three chances at goal, but his efforts and contributions to several of our goals cannot be underestimated. Just having him in the side is inspirational.

What a night our young James Rowbottom had! He was superb.

And what more can be said of Luke Parker. Not only in Joey Kennedy’s absence has Luke’s captaincy shone, but his performances have been nothing short of courageous and telling. He thoroughly deserves the Brett Kirk Medal, awarded to the best player in Swans vs Giants games.

And last but by no means least, how about our young guys? We have blooded six players this year, and all at times have shown what talent they have. Bloods supporters can certainly look forward to seeing Dylan Stephens, Matthew Ling, James Bell, Elijah Taylor, Chad Warner, Justin McInerney and Sam Wicks develop even further.

Our other young guys, Will Hayward, Ollie Florent, Tom McCartin and Jackson Thurlow, around for a couple of years now, have been equally impressive and when we get back our injured players, Buddy, Joey Kennedy, Isaac Heeney, Aliir Aliir and George Hewett (five of our very best), who knows what we can achieve in the not too distant future?

At 10.30pm, quite exhausted, but relieved, from my anxiety and nervousness (all unnecessary in retrospect!), we go to bed. Can’t possibly go to sleep, so start playing the 2012 Grand Final.

Marshall, a few minutes behind me, jumps into bed, looks at the screen and says “That must be an old game”.

“Yes, darling, it’s the 2012 Grand Final”.

“Did we go to it?” And “Who won?”

“Oh my God, could you imagine me missing a Swans Grand Final!?” As for ‘who won’, well……..

Half way through the second quarter, I feel the need for sleep. Marshall is already in dreamland.

Nine hours later, at the breakfast table, I want a conversation about our wonderful win the night before. Alas, it was not forthcoming. Marshall had no recollection of the game at all. So, I relived it on my own, knowing only too well that if that’s what Swans people can expect in the near future, I’ll be one very happy Jan!

And let’s hope, somewhere deep down in that brain of his, Marshall would feel the same way!

Go Bloods!


SYDNEY                                               3.1       5.2       6.5       10.6 (66)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY              0.1       1.3       2.6       3.7 (25)


Sydney: Dawson 2, Blakey 2, Rowbottom, Foot, Thurlow, Stephens, Hayward, Bell
Greater Western Sydney: Cameron, Finlayson, Langdon


Sydney: Parker, Rampe, Blakey, Rowbottom, Sinclair, Dawson, Melican
Greater Western Sydney: Kelly, Coniglio, Perryman, Whitfield, Williams


Sydney: Nil
Greater Western Sydney: Nil


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About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016.


  1. polly courtin says

    hey there Jan another great story. you rocking along so taken by the game and keeping Marsh awake… i love it!!! always entertaining sis! go swannies!!

  2. Judy Courtin says

    Tears and sadness
    Belly laughs and smiles.
    Post Covid
    Don’t ya just love this life of ours.
    Onya Jan. Keep writing and telling us stories – stories that dip in and out of all of the above.
    Jude xxx

  3. Judy Courtin says

    Oh…. and go the Mighty Bloods!

  4. Craig White says

    Nice piece Jan.
    For mine, it is pleasing to see a game ending with no major injury issues with either team.

  5. Julie Cattlin says

    Another good story, Jan.
    I reckon Marshall has the best idea – truly living in the moment. Not worrying about the past or future!! Just wanting to sleep and dream.
    Go Marshall!! (I do realise, though, that it’s not good for him to sleep all day!)

    Very pleased for you all with the win.
    Julie. Xx

  6. June Ferguson says

    Well written, Jan, as usual, great sense of humour! I usually have a feeling when I think we will win that
    particular game, usually hours before, but I definitely thought, as I said to friends via phone, we will
    prob. Get smashed! How wonderful I was soooo wrong! Played as a team, all outstanding, but our
    oldest ? Parker and Ramps were the leaders!! We might not do well this season, but how terrible it
    would be if we made Finals and even the G F. And not be able to see it. horrible!!!!
    SO I’m hanging out for 2021 with Buddy, who I love, plus Heens, Joey, George and Naismith all back
    and fit along with our Debutants who will be more experienced by then and I’ll see you at the Finals Jan, 2021

  7. Shane Reid says

    Thanks Jan, watch a great match report. I think you have a lot to look forward to with these young Swannies.


  8. Many thanks to you all: Polly,. Judy, Craig, Julie and Shane. Much appreciate your Comments. Cheer Cheer!

  9. Tony Courtin says

    Jan,a great win. I wouldn’t have wasted $10 betting on us,but what a lovely surprise. Really enjoying watching them have a go,not least the new young guys.

  10. Keiran Croker says

    Hey Jan, a great win and our kids were all so good. Lots to look forward to. Go Bloods!

  11. Appreciate your Comments Tony and Keiran. Many thanks and Cheer cheer!

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