Round 12 – Sydney v West Coast: If this is a team in transition, then a mighty Cheer Cheer for transition!




This was an almost perfect performance by the Swans. I can’t really remember the last time we played with an such an intensity, such precision, such accuracy and such purpose – for an entire four quarters. And considering three of our players were injured and took no part in the second half, made it even more remarkable. A win for the ages!

It was no surprise to me, I absolutely, categorically, just knew we would win. No idea by how much, but a win, yes. The gut feeling was very strong, all week, so I certainly wasn’t going to miss this game, no matter what.

This type of victory deserves pages devoted to it. Just footy. But, as is usual when I write, I cannot help including other events and how they impact on what is happening at the time.

And this weekend, there was plenty outside of footy. Indeed, this was a very different road trip.

It started on Thursday night. I discovered that my computer had been hacked. All of my files, perhaps 1000 of them. Emails too. I couldn’t access anything. After contacting the IT support people, I was informed “Sorry, madam, you’ve been hacked and all of your files have been encrypted and can’t be retrieved”. No Way! You must be joking! Not possible! I can’t believe it! It just can’t possibly be happening! Surely you can do something?! I can’t believe it! I can’t believe it! The swearing I left until I’d hung up, and there was plenty of it! At 11pm I went to bed, hoping something might miraculously change overnight. I couldn’t sleep and for only the second time in my life forced half a Valium down my throat.

Friday morning, back onto the IT people, and their confirmation was shattering. “We don’t recommend you email them and pay their ransom, as very likely they’ll just take your money and not send you the decryption link”, I was advised.

Two of my sisters arrived for support. One even lent me cash for the weekend, as I’d had to cancel credit cards and change banking details. They were kind, and trying to help, but I was unable to be rational. I’d lost maybe 1000 files, hundreds of spreadsheets (I live by them), not just of my own financials over the years but those I’d created and maintained for my lawyer sister’s legal practice. Files containing all sorts of personal details. I’d lost hundreds upon hundreds of family photographs; short stories and poems I’d written over the years; stuff from my school years and gallery years. Swans stuff, Almanac stuff, my book sales – names and addresses and bookshop details. So much stuff – almost 20 years of my life all gone! A back-up, I hear you say? The hard drive backup had also been encrypted. Nothing could be retrieved!

It felt as if my guts had been ripped out and dragged across burning coals, and then put back in place, only to ripped out again. I cried. I got angry. I screamed. I swore. I threw things around the room. I cried some more. One sister, tying desperately to get my “perspective” juices flowing, said “I’ve been told they’re usually just young kids, living on the streets in so and so countries, who are hungry and just need money”. My glare (assuming you can glare, with tears streaming from the eyes) was pretty obvious: “F… them. I hope they f…… starve to death, while rolling in the gutter in total agony, and they rot in hell forever!” (I can now, perhaps, understand how wars start!)

We set off for Yass two hours after I’d planned, at 1pm. The traffic was horrendous, even on the Hume. Bumper to bumper for kilometres. Then, as it cleared, my anger towards humankind was exacerbated to screaming levels as the idiots of the world drove as road idiots do: sitting in the 110 zone lane on 85 and refusing to budge; braking and slowing down when passing a truck; and zooming in and out of lanes, hooning their way to absolutely nowhere faster than any one else. Aaaagh! The music I usually love to listen to when driving – and I mean actually listen to – didn’t even get a chance to reach one ear before exiting the other. My thoughts were elsewhere.

We arrived in Yass at 9pm. Missed Ash Barty’s semi victory, put the Richmond/Geelong on – boring. Switched to Nadal and Federer, but couldn’t concentrate. Started typing part of this, and went to bed at 11.30, with the other half of the Valium. Not a good night. Tossed and turned every half hour; not enough of the drug; not enough sleep, too many thoughts of spreadsheets, photos, stories, accounts, the two years’ work for my sister’s legal practice; thoughts of the starving kids in so and so countries. I tried desperately for perspective, but it just wouldn’t come.

Up at 6.30, left at 9 for the three hour trip to the dentist in Randwick, then drove over the Sydney Harbour Bridge to visit relatives in the northern suburbs. At 7pm we checked in at our hotel in Mascot. I was buggered, and all the while not even one single thought about my footy team!

I had almost decided to remain in Melbourne after the computer drama, but sitting around just waiting for nothing to happen certainly wasn’t on the cards. And, knowing we were going to win – well I just had to be there.

So, here I am at the SCG, waiting for the boys to run out. The sun is shining and I’m trying very hard just to concentrate on the here and now, and rid my mind of the past few days. The old adage “living in the moment – it’s all we’ve got” is certainly testing me at the moment.

Three hours later, and I’ve hardly thought of a spreadsheet, an old story, history-defining photographs or lost emails. My sister’s records, however, still haunt me.

The game starts well. Buddy goaling in the first minute. McCartin in the next, and James Rose – how good to have him back – adding our third. They’re all playing fast, move-the-ball-at-all-costs footy and hitting their targets. How confident they look! Isaac’s rugby-style tackle of the year can’t go unmentioned. He runs head on into a player twice his size, holds him like dear death and drags him onto the ground. The result: a goal to our Paps. Wonderful stuff.

This is a cracker of a game, but my gut feeling is being tested, with just a five point lead at the break.

The second term starts with Sammy Reid popping one through after Colin O’Riordan has gone off concussed. A West Coast fan, sitting two seats away, finds Colin lying on the ground clearly unable to get up, quite amusing. “Get up your wimp!” he yells. All of my residual anger came to the fore, wanting to whack him, fair and square into his ugly, mean face, but I resisted. Plenty of Swans fans had their say though. His remark brought back memories of the worst of the despicable booing Adam Goodes received over in Perth in his final year. Who will ever forget it!

The remainder of the second quarter sees two consecutive goals to West Coast, one after a very rare blunder from Isaac, and with only one point the difference, we’re under pressure for the first time. We respond, and with two goals to Buddy, two to Sammy, and another to Buddy in typical Buddy-style, 50 metres out on the boundary line, the fans are now chanting. My gut feeling is looking a little more secure with a 21 point lead, but I never get ahead of myself.

Buddy and Papley are certainly creating a formidable relationship and understanding. Several times they combine in the third term, resulting in goals. Georgie Hewitt gets involved with another six-pointer, then another to Paps. Callum Sinclair, after a couple of missed marks, makes up for his disappointment, marking strongly and kicking truly. Then Buddy turns on more of his magic and kicks his fourth from 50 metres. The stands erupt! 41 points ahead, but no celebrations just yet.

The final quarter sees us add a further four goals, a wonderful one to Paps- his fifth, and then, after the siren, our Buddy also, his fifth – again from the boundary almost 50 metres out.

Paps was declared a very well-deserved man of the match, and he is impressing week after week. What a little dynamo he is! They all deserved man of the match awards, I reckon, so good our Bloods were today.

Where to from here? Footy wise, who knows what we could do for the remainder of the year? Computer-hacking wise: well that’s another story. When I get back to Melbourne on Tuesday I’ll make more enquiries. I might be very tempted to pay the crooks their ransom, and hope that if they have even one ounce of human decency, they might just send me a decryption link to give me back my files. If not, well, I’ll just have to work on perspective and start afresh!

Meanwhile, Go the Mighty Bloods!

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. Lynn Baker says

    Dear Jan ,
    Always look forward to your reviews of our beloved Swans games . This one was exceptional for two reasons : (1) writing of our glorious win over the Eagles with such detail only you could express in such a way (2) The reporting of your computer being hacked . I can only imagine how devastating it must be for you – so much lost both business and personal treasures !
    My thoughts are with you Jan and hoping for a miracle regarding your computer hacking and a return of the lost data without you succumbing to the crooks demands !
    Our team has certainly got their Bloods Spirit back – it has been a joy over the last few weeks to watch our young Bloods relating so well with each other , and seeing the smiles on their faces and hugging a team mate when he has kicked a goal , tackled well ,or given a great pass..
    All goes well for our future success !
    Hope your health is improving Jan.
    Best Wishes
    Lynn ( Baker )
    Cheer Cheer ! ?????? ?

  2. Bloody hell Jan, so people are simply despicable. I hope you get your files etc back but if not, you have a good deal of work in front of you reconstruction wise. I know how devastating this must be for you. My closest I came to your predicament was when, a number of years ago, I accidentally deleted the first 40 odd pages of one of my baseball books. Unfortunately I hadn’t backed up the work. However I still had my notes and was able to do a rewrite – boy ,was I half furious.

    For all that I watched most of the Swannies big victory over the Eagles and was most impressed. I admit to always liking the way Sydney plays the game. Thankfully the Crows are now doing likewise. It’s good to see Adelaide’s co-captain back from his WALKERbout.

    Over the many years I have been watching footy, I have always been distressed when the opposition are allowed to run around unchecked. It’s as if they have BO – ie no one wants to stand them.

    Chin up Jan, Heather and my thoughts are with you. Like Lynn we both help your health is on the mend. Best wishes

  3. Congrats on your Swannies Jan. I too was confident all week that they would win. Your record against my Eagles is second to none. And your team seems to have gelled in the last month. Much to look forward to.
    Sorry to hear of your computer disaster. Gut wrenching. I’m sure any payment would only encourage them to double down on their demands. Decency and computer fraud do not go hand in hand.
    Glad we could at least put some smile in your week. (Can we have Sinclair back?)

  4. Lynn, you are too kind! Thank you very much for your thoughts and wishes, and let’s hope our beloved team
    continues to play as they did this weekend. Take good care, love Jan x

    Fisho: Thank you too for your kind wishes. I managed to watch the last half of the Crows/Giants game in our hotel last night. What a 10 minute comeback! Exciting for the winning team’s fans! Thanks again.

    Peter: Thanks to you too. Sinclair has been pretty amazing, “filling in” for Naismith. What would we have done without him this past 12 months? When is Nic Nat returning, I wonder? There’s a superstar! Take care.

  5. Tony Courtin says

    Oh dear,Jan. A bitter sweet few days. Sensational 4 quarter effort by the Bloods. Best game this season. I hope the win softened the blow inflicted by the scum bag hackers.

  6. Julie Cattlin says

    Jan dear.
    Really bloody awful about your computer. I’m always optimistic so I reckon you’ll get it all back. Not sure how. Being brought up Catholic, we were all taught to pray to different saints for different requests – for example St Anthony when one lost something, or St Christopher when one travels. Well – I’ve decided that you need to pray to St Jobs, after all he has died and the computer world could just canonise him! Just as valid, I reckon!!
    And, yes, there are some times when Valium is the only bloody thing. For me, as I said a couple of weeks ago, it was when Labor lost the election.
    Oops!! Nearly forgot to congratulate you on a fabulous win. Who is the saint for the Swans?
    Let’s all get on our knees tonight and pray to St Jobs!!
    With love Julie xxxx

  7. Luke Reynolds says

    What a win for the Swans! Glad you went despite the hacking.
    Hope you get your files back, what a horrible thing to have happen.

  8. Marie Teague says

    Deaf Jan, what an absolute sh..! (Not sure how swearing goes on this site!) At least you had a win. I’m like you – when there’s bad things happening, I need to keep moving. I understand you wanting to go to Sydney and not just sit around. Hopefully, you gave good news. X

  9. Paul Gilchrist says

    It was a terrific effort, and glimpse of the bright future. Speaking of the future, look to the cloud. I keep all my valuable files OFF my computers. Let Google take care of the backups. I’m sure you’ll get your stuff back somehow.

  10. Julie: that is hysterical. I’ll start the praying now!

    Thanks Luke.
    And Marie, I’m sure shit is fine on this site – I used the f word a few times. Thanks

    Paul: Nice to hear from you after a long time! Apart from the cloud, which I know I should have done and will do so in future, any suggestions as to who I should contact for decryption? cheer cheer

  11. Tony – didn’t forget you! Yes hopefully the scumbags won’t be getting my money! Cheer cheer

  12. Keiran Croker says

    Hi Jan, yes, a great four quarter effort. It was vintage Swans – great ball movement, and plenty of goals.

    Any luck with the files? I had a similar incident a few years ago. What operating system do you have? My IT man recovered all the files, as I had installed Windows 10. That system automatically backs up everything! Hope you manage to recover everything.

    Go Bloods!

  13. HI Keiran
    No luck with the files. It’s ransomware issues with encryption. Have spoken to five different experts in IT and not one can decrypt them, and they all assure me that even if I decided to pay the crooks, they won’t sent the decryption link., after keeping their ransom money. I had everything backed up butt because it was still plugged into the desktop, the backup is also encrypted! Currently in a state of disbelief, anger, crying crying, but will just have to get over it. Cheer cheer

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