Round 13 – Fremantle v Collingwood: A work in progress

I celebrated my 36th birthday on Thursday night. It was made aware to those close to me that visitors weren’t welcome and phone calls wouldn’t be answered after 8pm. Because, of course, the Pies were playing. What more could you want on your birthday?

Michael Walters scores a very early goal for the Dockers. Amazing how that can shake your pre-match optimism. Optimism restored with goals to Broomhead and Adams for the Pies. Our wonderful skipper Pendlebury kicks a third. Clearly has been playing injured for a while now, though still has the capacity to lift the team when required. He plays a cracking first term. We miss a few shots at goal – as we do. Freo get two late goals and our lead at the first break is just 2 points. Loving Collingwood’s attack on the ball.

Sitting in front of the wood heater with my two boys watching the Pies have a real crack. I’m having a couple of birthday Stouts. Mrs R is at work. 2 year old Emily is asleep. We’re yelling and barracking like we are actually at the game. It’s a good thing our neighbours on both sides are a good 400m away.

Collingwood get the first two goals of the 2nd quarter. Through Fasolo and Elliot. The Dockers kick the next three. We kick the next two. This game is a wonderful advertisement for Thursday night footy. Gil and Channel 7 would be thrilled. I’m happy for us to play on a Thursday. Interstate. A Michael Walters goal with 9 seconds left in the quarter brings the margin back to 2 points at the main break. These (very) late quarter goals are really hurting.

I wasn’t comfortable turning 30. Didn’t celebrate it. It’s the first age I started to feel old. You start to realise that you probably won’t play for Collingwood/play cricket for Australia/join the PGA tour/become a rock star/don a cape and cowl and fight crime. Mid thirties is much more enjoyable. Turning 35 was a happy milestone. The Peter Daicos birthday. Ticking off the years is far better than the alternative.

The third quarter goes goal for goal. Scores level at the last change. Collingwood has taken it right up to Fremantle for 3 quarters. Big test for our young players to keep it going. Witts, as he did in the game against GWS and their ruckman Mumford, is taking it right up to Sandilands. He has progressed so much this season. With plenty of upside. Williams and Crisp playing well and giving plenty of run. Swanny being busy, plenty of touches. The silk of the skipper. We can do this.

The year since turning 35 has seen big change. After running my own business for eight years I applied for a job at the brewery/winery/cidery around the corner from where I live. Despite no experience in those fields, somehow I got the job. Obviously mentioning ‘The Footy Almanac’ in your resume helps. Despite helping out with the cider and a very small bit with the wine, it’s as a brewer I’m being trained. There’s much to learn, and they’ve been patient with me. The two guys I mainly work with, Luke, the head brewer, and Hamish, the production manager/cider maker, are both of similar age to me. Both barrack for the Pies. Both are very funny guys. I’m constantly entertained. I’ve never enjoyed working anywhere near as much as I do at this job.

Freo kick the first of the final term and I worry they’ll run over us now. The Shiraz has been brought out. You only turn 36 once. The boys (and my) hero Jamie Elliot kicks his second and the Pies are back within a point. Seedsman, subbed on, sprints around the boundary with fresh legs and kicks another. 400m might be too close for our neighbours given the carry-on in our loungeroom. We quieten down when Barlow and Walters goal and the Dockers lead by 8 points. With 2 minutes and 40 seconds left, Jesse White receives a free 25m out from goal on a slight angle. I really want to like Jesse. But he keeps letting us down when it matters. Hardly been sighted tonight. He misses. Of course. There goes any chance we could have had. The Dockers run down the clock and win.

Like me in the brewery, Collingwood of 2015 is a work in progress. Hopefully good things are to come for us both. Disappointed with the loss, thrilled with the effort. We’re not far off.


FREMANTLE  3.2  7.4  9.6  12.8 80
COLLINGWOOD  3.4  7.6  9.6  11.7 73

FREMANTLE: Walters 4, Hill 2, Fyfe 2, Pearce, Neale, Barlow, Ballantyne
COLLINGWOOD: Fasolo 2, Elliot 2, Broomhead, Adams, Crisp, Blair, Pendlebury, de Goey, Seedsman

FREMANTLE: Fyfe, Neale, Barlow, Hill, Ibbotson, Walters
COLLINGWOOD: Pendlebury, Swan, Adams, Crisp, Brown, Witts, Fasolo

Malarkey Medal Votes:

3. Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)
2. Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)
1. Lachie Neale (Fremantle)


About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    A belated Happy Birthday Luke, pity the Pies didn’t get up.

    At least you are still at an age where you can find a guernsey number to match.

    I’ve left even Shaun Rehn behind; I have to watch the VFA or the SANFL to find my age on someone’s back.

    Next year is a big one for you, Peter ‘Milky’ Vivian.

  2. All the best folk have a June birthday Luke. Sounds like yours was pretty good aside from the Pies’ loss.

    Working in a brewery with funny guys who barrack for the same team? Great stuff. Did you make this up?

    Jessie White’s name was also linked to the Crows when the move was on. I’m not unhappy he didn’t come. We’ve got enough underperforming big forwards already who miss set shots!

    Swish- our boys’ Auskick guernseys this season featured a name and number of their choosing. Having heard about it from his teacher our eldest wanted “googol” (1 followed by 100 zeroes- I know you know this, but some mightn’t). Not the actual number, just the word. I convinced him to stay with the Tex Walker 13 he had last year.

  3. For some reason I always thought you were a school teacher Luke. Assistant brewer is much more interesting.
    Collingwood were brave, but by the end the Dockers bash and crash had broken their run. Like me, every Magpie fan I know said “he’ll miss” as soon as Big Jesse had a set shot straight in front to get the Pies back into the game.
    You get to learn which players execute under pressure (Jack Darling) and which don’t (Scott Selwood).
    Happy birthday from someone your father’s age! Love your passion for life, family and sport.

  4. Peter Fuller says

    Happy Birthday, Luke.
    I concur with Peter B’s final point, and I enjoyed reading about your new job. It does seem like a dream career. Best of luck with it.
    It was a great match and I expect that your resignation with the result is tempered by the fact that the Magpies performed so well, and offered such promise for the future.

    Like Swish, I’m well past the age where footballer numbers work. With your prompt, I decided that I would need two, so it’s Jezza plus either Swan McKay or Kouta.

  5. Neil Anderson says

    Happy Birthday Luke, but you are making the rest of us feel old. You are the same age as my son.
    Mrs A will be pleased her favorite student found his calling working in a brewery with a couple of Collingwood supporting mates and so close to home. You didn’t even need a reference from the many Almanackers who appreciate your work.
    Like the fact that watching the Pies on TV surrounded by the kids was your idea of celebrating the birthday. I suppose you didn’t want to take your work home with you and be bothered with all that sampling.

  6. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Happy Birthday Luke!
    I was encouraged by the contest since Freo flogged us by 13 goals last time around. We are improving, but I think White is definitely not the answer. He is not AFL standard. Witts was brave in the ruck and a few clangers in the last qtr were costly. Some good signs in the VFL with Greenwood, Reid and Young getting plenty of it. I reckon this Friday looms as our most important game in 3 years. Bucks is yet to beat Hawthorn. It’s time.

  7. The Pies were good Luke. Or were Freo off a bit? The Hawks this coming weekend might be a truer measure.

    If your brewing employers ever need their beer market tested, just let the Almanac community know – I’m sure we could muster a fair crowd!

  8. E.regnans says

    “Couple of birthday stouts.” What were they?

    Recently put onto the Three Pines and another from Apollo Bay (I think). Still searching for anything to defeat the Cooper’s Best Extra Stout (Guinness notwithstanding, of course).

    Well played Luke. Happy birthday.
    Saw a great photo on Twitter of you & young Mr Reynolds with P Daicos.

    Dips – preparations underway for the nude sprint..?

  9. Dear Mr E – try Murphy’s. The West Coast of Ireland’s version of Guiness. Outstanding.

    I’ve been running laps in case I need to undertake the sprint. But I’m supremely confident that the trousers will stay on. Mr Kane’s team will do the right thing by me.

  10. just another great story Luke

  11. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Happy Birthday Luke!
    We tried to like Jesse too … We couldn’t.
    I try to like your Pies with very little success. But Thursday night may have been the most I’ve ever felt for them. Even found myself, shock horror, hoping they might get over the line! Very unsettling.

  12. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks Swish. Had to google Peter ‘Milky’ Vivian. Had next year down as the Athas Hrysoulakis birthday previously…

    Mickey- it’s all true!

    Peter B- thanks for your kind words. Yep, no surprise with Jesse’s kick.

    Peter F- thanks for your words too. Good choices for your number combination!

    Thanks Neil. Sorry, I’ll steer away from age references in future!

    Cheers Phil. Totally agree with your J.White comments. Hope Reid plays against the Hawks.

    Dips- the Almanac communtiy always welcome for some beer testing!

    ER- The stouts were Cascade Stout (a long time favourite) and the one we brew at work, Prickly Moses Otway Stout. Do yourself a favour. Cooper’s Best Extra is brilliant. 4 Pines have some really good beers, haven’t tried their Stout yet.
    Meeting the great man was a huge thrill.

    Thanks for reading again Lizzie

    Thanks Mathilde. Haha, I’m sure your Collingwood feelings will return to normal very soon!

  13. Malcolm Ashwood says

    HB Luke you youngster,Swish I might start to memorize some Uni guys numbers re age.The pies were good the late goals in the quarters stopped you from putting score board pressure on the dockers.Grundy being injured hurt the pies,Sandilands height got over a tiring,Witts a dubious free kick to Walters and not surprising ,Jesse White failing in the crunch were vital factors in the end result

  14. Skip of Skipton says

    I have Frankie Raso coming up in September, Luke. There’d have to be a very good one to get past Andrew Tranquilli for the 37, and Athos Hrysoulakis is that!

    I see on the website there are a few outlets in Ballarat stocking your brew, so I shall be sampling some promptly.

    Peter Moore’s son can’t develop quick enough re: Jesse White.

  15. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks Malcolm. Grundy was very much missed, thrilled with Witt’s developement.

    Best wishes for your F.Raso birthday in September Skip. Considered Tranquilli but couldn’t go past Hrysoulakis! Let me know what you think of our beers. We may have to try and crack the Skipton beer market. Play D.Moore, Gault, Abbott, Reid, Karnezis, Reid, anyone but J.White.

  16. Frank Cheeseman says

    Well done Luke, Happy Birthday
    36 – Dane Swan, Rene Kink still up there mate
    Frank, Cheeseman

  17. Awesome report buddy and happy birthday, and good luck with the brewing!!!
    Go Pies,

  18. Dave Nadel says

    Happy Dane Swan day, Luke. I guess I’d have to describe my age as Mick McGuane X2.

    I don’t even try to like Jesse White anymore. Mickey Randall it wasn’t that the Crows were thinking of trading for White, on the contrary, they were telling the Swans that would not accept White as any part of the deal for Tippett and they were right. If Darcy Moore isn’t ready for the firsts yet then The Pies should play Corey Gault. White is a VFL/NEAFL/SANFL player and should not be playing AFL.

  19. Peter Fuller says

    The (mocking) reference to Andrew Tranquilli reminds me that he is coaching successfully in my local comp (Eastern FL 2nd Div). His club Doncaster last week narrowly defeated their main rivals Croydon (my old club). Half way through the season, it seems reasonable to predict that that these two teams will be playing off for the flag and promotion to the 1st Division.

  20. The Dockers were interested in White. Pies were too big and too smart and got him.

  21. Luke Reynolds says

    Frank-thanks. You can add S.Rocca to Kink and Swan as famous 36’s at the Pies.

    Thanks Tim, go pies!

    Thanks Dave, as good as M. McGuane was, you could add A.Toovey to him for a quality double. Agree with your J.White thoughts.

    Thanks Peter, good to hear Tranquilli still involved in footy. Presumably as non playing coach these days? Was at the MCG when he kicked 6 against a very good West Coast team in the mid 1990’s. In long sleeves. Unfortunately didn’t do much after that.

  22. Luke Reynolds says

    Les, Freo can have him at the end of the season. A swap for pick 93 should get the deal done.

  23. David Zampatti says

    Yeah, Les, we dodged that bullet (have been a few we didn’t). I see that Dave Nadel doesn’t even think Jesse’s up to WAFL standard.

    Although I bet the Royals would have him.

  24. Luke Reynolds says

    Does that make the WAFL the second best comp in the country??

  25. Barry McAdam says

    No Luke, 3rd best after the TSL! This Mickey McGuane plus Michael Christian year old enjoyed your story, go pies!!!

  26. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks Barry, must get back down there to see a TSL game again soon.

  27. Raj Singh says

    Great article Luke The Pies are gaining some credibility with their performances. Another big test this Friday. Good luck with the career change/mid life crisis?

  28. Luke Reynolds says

    Cheers Raj. I like to think I’m still a good 10 years away from my mid life crisis…

  29. E.regnans says

    Dips – sourced a few draught cans of yer Murphy’s & enjoyed some quietly this week.
    Thanks for the tip.
    Another uncovered gem has been the stout by Grand Ridge Brewery of Mirboo North.

  30. Luke Reynolds says

    ER – Grand Ridge have some amazing brews, their Pilsner is fantastic. Their stout is about all I haven’t tried, need to rectify that!

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