Round 14 – Western Bulldogs v Collingwood: Floreat Pica Society report


By Jim Kesselschmidt


23 June 2019, 3.20pm
Venue: Docklands Stadium


The Fleabags v the Pies

Footscray v Collingwood,


Jaidyn Stephenson


Let me start by getting the whole Jaidyn Stephenson saga off my chest


  • What was he thinking (of course he wasn’t);
  • WTF;
  • Friggin’ hell;
  • What a goose;
  • Stephenson’s behaviour fits the Jethro Tull Album and song “Thick as a Brick” (1971) indeed the first line is instructive “I really don’t mind if you sit this one out
  • Stephenson’s behaviour fits the Paul Kelly song “I’ve done all the dumb things
  • Stephenson’s application to MENSA has been rejected;
  • To quote Titus O’Reilly: The AFL is furious with Jaidyn Stephenson for placing a bet. “We make money off gambling, not the players


An interesting and pleasing observation of the saga is that there was a conspicuous lack of betting advertising that is synonymous with the AFL generally and this stadium in particular at the match on Sunday afternoon.


Stephenson’s actions may not have just caused him and the rest of us long suffering Pies supporters a flutter but may well have the unintended effect of causing the AFL to reconsider it’s relations with the gambling industry. Jake Niall of the Age made such a reference in the Fairfax media: 24/6/19


I’m hoping that the AFL will use this incident to step way from the lure of the lira, to step away from the sunburnt pleasure of the Australian dollar and cut the umbilical cord of its relationship if not dependence to gambling and greed. I do think the penalty was over the top but that’s another matter. In this way, like the racism debate with footballers of Aboriginal heritage Collingwood again plays a leading and instrumental role* (not of course in a manner I would prefer)





Collingwood and Footscray have played each other on 157 occasions with the Pies winning 109 times there was one draw and 47 loss.


Footscray is an inner-western suburb of Melbourne Australia, 5 km from Melbourne’s Central Business District. Like many places in Australia Footscray has English origins; Indeed, Footscray (previously spelt with a K from the original old Norse) is named after the infamous Kray twins Ronnie and Reggie who both loved their mother. The Kray’s were involved in murder, arson, rackets and assault: Some might say not much has changed in the west and who am I to argue?


Earlier this year in round 4 on 12 April 2019, Collingwood won by 14 points with a spirited performance by Footscray and the Pies killing it off in the last.  The final score then was 11.12.78 to 9.6.74. The Pies only played well in patches: A portend for the season so far and for the match at hand. It was a low scoring affair and at three quarter time Footscray kicked 7.8 to the Pies 6.9. Collingwood added 5.3 to the Doggies 2.2 to restore the natural order of things and the AFL website noted that Collingwood “snatched” victory from the Fleabags.


Some questions might be answered by the end of this match.


  • Will Collingwood miss the presence of Stephenson?
  • Will the players put the saga behind them?
  • Will the surprise selection of Reid work that is playing 3 talls in the forward line (Reid added to Cox and Mihocek)?
  • Will be the players be “on” post the bye week
  • Will Collingwood learn to play more than a quarter of footy over a whole match?
  • Will the behavioural advisors be out in force?



Footscray V Collingwood Round 14,




Dave Nadel, Peter Butler and I ventured to the Docklands on this cold wintry Sunday afternoon. The day started off as a real pea souper with mist, fog and sheer cold for a lot of the day. The only sun I got on Sunday was the 1-minute walk from the station to the ground where a bit of sunshine managed to struggle through the tall ugly buildings that adorn and block out that part of the sky in the concrete jungle of the Marvel stadium wastelands. Thank the lord there wasn’t any wind.


The stadium was bitterly cold with our traditional away seats on level 3, row F on the half forward flank located on the western side of the ground. Not too bad a view of the ground and the contest



First quarter


This quarter was played at breakneck speed mostly by the doggies. Bontempelli, Daniel, Macrae, Hunter and Edwards had 50 possessions between them in this quarter.  It seems that Caleb Daniel was everywhere. I know he is short in stature but that shouldn’t mean he’s allowed to kick the ball less than 15 meters to be called a legitimate kick.  The pies slammed on 4 goals & it looked like how far at one point with the experiment of 3 talls in the forward line working. Footscray’s backline were panicking giving away frees to Cox and Reid. Had the Pies been on consistently the match ought to have been won in the first. When Collingwood played to its potential (highlighted by glimpses of play) they are formidable while Footscray seemed like deer in the headlights.


However, for whatever reason (some but certainly not all of which is related to the pressure by the dogs) the pies were sloppy, disinterested and lacked a I don’t know, a certain je ne sais quoi, a joie de vivre rather a joie de jouer (pretentious, who moi?) where the players take risks and be prepared to make mistakes. Well that turned out to be the problem; the disposals were error laden. Missed handballs and inefficiency in a lot of places. The doggies kicked the last 3 to have a one-point lead at the first break.  Footscray, the sons of the west looked faster and cleaner despite their mistakes; they looked willing. We missed handballs and kicks. The ball rebounded out of our forward line like a trampoline. Perhaps the three talls idea wasn’t working?


Our better players included Phillips, Sidebottom Treloar, Reid and the cousin who isn’t, Roughhead.


Footscray 4.3.27

Collingwood 4.1.25


Second quarter


This quarter was characterized by a lot of the ball being in the Doggies forward line, they were pressuring and had a lot of clean hands. Footscray were pressuring the pies and this quarter and like much of the match it was being played on Footscray’s terms. The Pies made fundamental mistakes; as Buckley said in the press conference we weren’t getting the basics right indeed inept and error laden disposals, not taking the game on and playing reactive static football underlined Bucks’s comments.


Footscray were faster, cleaner and controlled much of the quarter. Collingwood were lucky that currently the Doggies ain’t much good & failed to capitalize on their possession dominance and control of the game. Their better players had the ball in the backline and centreline but couldn’t capitalize on their forward 50 entries and they too were errant going forward.


One goal each might suggest is it was boring but watching it again on replay the match was interesting because it was close and because error laden footy with moments of class was a feature of both teams.  Collingwood’s decision making was about as good as Israel Falou spruiking understanding and inclusiveness in his form of Christianity; It was putting the mental into fundamental in terms of mistakes. Footscray kicked 1.4 this quarter to the Pies 1.1. Footscray entered the their forward 50 on multiple occasions but failed to kick goals. With 9 minutes to go in this quarter Footscray had 10 inside 50’s to the Pies 2. I thought our defence minus the injured Howe really stood up. Yes there were errors: Sidebottom while a brilliant footballer kicked it out on the full at least 3 times in the game and did so in this quarter. However, the quarter cannot be mentioned without reference to the magnificent goal by DeGoey. On radio at the time they were saying what can’t he do? This time he gets the ball on a forward pocket, tight angle  and kicks it to run along the ground deliberately dribbling the ball through the goals.


Better players for the Pies included Sidebottom, Treloar, Sier, Roughhead and Aish. Darcy Moore was quiet playing on the talented Naughton who took a screamer although it was a nil all draw in overall terms between the two.


More than the first quarter the ball rebounded out of our forward line like a trampoline.


Footscray 5.7.37

Collingwood 5.2.32


Third quarter


This quarter was dominated by Grundy; for what he did and didn’t do. Grundy perhaps unfairly was in part responsible for allowing Schache to lead into open territory in the Dogs forward line allowing his opponent to mark and goal. Immediately thereafter it was though it was a wake up for Grundy. He got the tap out, was directly involved in a link of play that allowed DeGoey to use his strength at CHF and kick a ripper of a goal that was so fast that memories of the Schache goal became relegated to distant history. In this quarter too, Grundy simply was too good for young English at a Collingwood forward pocket throw in which saw Grundy grab the ball and kick it through. Magnificent.


Collingwood while not totally polished by any stretch of the imagination were too good. The doggies missed gettable goals and made poor decisions going forward. Bailey Williams, the left footer from Hawthorn and the long-haired and injury plagued Rorschach Smith all missed gettable goals; in so doing they gave the game to the pies.  The doggies style of play demands energy over 4 quarters. They were buggered at times and Collingwood was able to have repeat entries into the forward line.


Sidebottom and Treloar were amassing disposals. At one point in the third quarter the former Port Adelaide player Trengrove kicked the ball poorly. There was a throw up at the half forward line outside on the western side of the ground where Grundy taps the ball to Pendlebury who moves it to Varcoe who dished it off to a fast running Brown who baulks, runs and kicks a pearler on the run on an angle through the goal. I must fess up; I owe Callum Brown an apology. I didn’t think he’s up to it but he’s proven me wrong; he’s become a second half specialist who despite his size is tough and plays his role well: he is kicking goals and deserves his spot in Collingwood’s first 22.


Collingwood kicked 5.2 to the flea bags 2.4


Collingwood applied more pressure this quarter but the ball rebounded less. No trampolines.


Collingwood 10.4.64

Footscray  7.11.53


Last quarter


In the last 30 minutes Footscray had 17 inside 50’s to Collingwood’s eight However, Collingwood kicked 3 goals straight to the doggies 3 goals 2 behinds. To be fair some of the inside 50’s occurred after the match was won after Collingwood kicked goals to essentially take the game away from the doggies.  Grundy again dominated, Sidebottom and Treloar were everywhere. Roughhead was dependable and fits like a hand in a glove in our backline. Crisp played well over the match and got better as the game progressed.  Footscray kicked a goal or so after the match was won.  Roughhead played a ripper.


They say that good teams find a way to win when playing poorly. Against better opposition I don’t believe Collingwood would have won. Collingwood was unable to keep the ball in the forward line for much of the match. While it is tempting to say that the inclusion of three talls is a success I think in overall terms it isn’t if the ball can be run out of our forward line with so much ease. A better team would have made us pay for the lack of defensive pressure in the forward 50. We did miss Stephenson’s pressure both real and perceived that his pace and nous provides.


Final Score


Collingwood 13.4.82

The fleabags 10.13.73


In summary I’m not sure that the match answered the questions in full.

Reid played well and looked dangerous, Cox is always dangerous and Mihocek was the weakest link of all three against the Dogs. However, three talls also means the ball was spirited away far too easily and far to often from our forward line. Mixed results really.


BTW, pleasingly there wasn’t any evidence of security or behaviour wellness advisors at the Marvel Wellness Centre.


My votes:  3. Grundy, 2. Sidebottom, 1. Roughhead.


Go Pies and Floreat Pica.


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  1. John Butler says

    Jim, I’m surprised I haven’t heard about the Krays links to Footscray before. Would seem to suggest they have much more on common with the Pies than we suspected.

  2. george smith says

    Interesting about the Kray boys. There was a review by English celebrities of the lifetime BBC Doco 7 Up, now God help us 63 Up. And some comedian said that his school listed as alumni the Kray brothers and a woman who ran off to become a jihadi bride…

    What did Dougie Hawkins say about Braybrook? What’s not yours could become yours very quickly…

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