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Round 17 – Sydney v Carlton: Oh Dear!!

First time in eight years, and we lose to the Blues!

Ten minutes after the final siren, and the other interpretation of the word has taken on a new meaning: blue, unhappy, gloomy, downhearted, glum and morose.

What an absolutely terrible game of footy by the two youngest teams going around. Carlton, however, was able to conjure up relatively good passages of play in every quarter, and our repeated mistakes simply compounded the whole ugly affair. We were soundly beaten, despite several so–called come–backs, but we just weren’t able to go on with it. They were certainly the better team today, in blustery goal–kicking–yips conditions.

In a week when we celebrated John Longmire’s commitment to our young cygnets until 2023, surely, we expected more. I’m sure the players and coaches also expected more. But it wasn’t to be.

Another learning curve, you could call it. Yes, that’s it. A part of the transition that I’m constantly on about. And even though, realistically, I understand the process of that transition, it still hurts when we lose. I wish I could just sit back, relax and be philosophical in such situations, but a lifetime of habit sometimes seems insurmountable! I doubt I’ll change.


I don’t usually admit that I am happy not to have been at a game. Not to have been a part of the Swans faithful, cheering on my team, irrespective of the performance. But, for the second time in a couple of weeks, I’ve now missed my second game at the SCG in 20 years. This time round, it feels different.

Sitting in the warm loungeroom of my sister’s house in St Kilda East, just the thought of being in Sydney as the siren sounded, walking back to Central and the hotel thinking all those horrible thoughts of a loss to Carlton (of all teams!), and imagining a sleepless night ahead, is something I’m pleased I’m not experiencing. At least, here in Melbourne, I can distract my mind onto other things.

I missed this game not from choice. I always choose to be at the footy – no matter where it is, but when the physical body isn’t in sync with the all–too–willing mind, then something has to give.

This week I knew – even as early as Tuesday – that I wouldn’t be well enough to travel. The medicos have told me to slow down for months now, but I haven’t really listened. I rarely listen. Especially when it comes to my footy team.

I didn’t even feel up to going to the Rising Sun in South Melbourne today. Again, I’m quite happy I wasn’t there. Being surrounded by a pub full of “me’s” would have been too hard to bear!

On the positive side, however, I need to return to the learning curve and the transition of this talented young group of players. There will always be ups and downs, and as long as they learn from the mistakes and opportunities missed, and are encouraged by all around them, then the road will become a well–travelled one.

We all just need to be patient, and learn to not be judgemental or critical when the downs present themselves, even if they outweigh the ups.

Obviously, this applies to all teams, perhaps especially Carlton, who, for years now have struggled at the bottom of the ladder, but are certainly now showing their class. For months they have been just so close in their losses, so all credit to them. As an aside, there were times today when I wished Nic Newman was still playing for us. He was excellent, and instrumental in their win.

Despite our loss, there is a positive that comes to mind. Not concerning my team, but news that Marshall and I have now purchased a house in Melbourne and will be moving in within the next month. Couldn’t be in a better place: just 10 minutes’ walk to the beach, and eight minutes’ walk to Albert Park Lake, where every Swans person knows, our beloved spiritual home, Lake Oval, is situated.

To know that I’m back “where I belong”, so close to the personal memories of the past 70 odd years of my beloved team’s history, almost overrides the immediate emotions of today’s loss! And to think that I can walk past the ground and its magnificent heritage–listed Members stand with its red and white roof dominating the current sporting complex of buildings around the lake, is, indeed, a joyous feeling.

South Melbourne’s history will never be forgotten.

Go the mighty Bloods!



SYDNEY         2.5      3.10    5.12    8.14 (62)
CARLTON       2.5      5.8     6.13    9.15 (69)

Parker, Dawson, Jack, Rowbottom, Papley, Heeney, Reid, Lloyd
Carlton: Casboult 2, Walsh, Fisher, Gibbons, Lang, Murphy, Silvagni, McKay

Carlton: Dow (head knock), Goddard (cheekbone)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Nicholls, Hosking, Howorth

Official crowd: 32,570 at the SCG


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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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. John Butler says

    Onya Jan. It wasn’t a pretty game – the blustery conditions contributed to that – but both sides were giving it a real crack.

    Take care on the health front.

    And congratulations on the new digs.


  2. george smith says

    Yes way to ruin an afternoon, after the wonderful heroics of Friday night. I have written about this before, particularly the Showies v Sydney game back in 2011, which was supposed to give us some respite from the royal wedding. Instead those sickening Showponies played above themselves at the SCG and came home with a wet sail. It is now 40 years since 1979, when the Showponies got away with daylight robbery at the MCG – was it in, was it out? And does it matter?

    Sadly, it looks like our 20 years of laughing at Showponies is coming to an end. They will become another contender, like Footscray…

  3. Jan, I have to say I enjoyed the Swans v Blues game much more than the Crows v Suns mismatch. Despite Adelaide thumping Gold Coast, the match was a showpiece for turnovers (from both sides). In fact, i reckon I’ll treat Heather and me an apple turnover for lunch in remembrance of the numerous disasters. The Crows still have a lot more improving to do before they can be taken seriously.

    To top off the stupid decision making and skill errors from both sides, in my opinion, the umpiring left a lot to be desired. Obvious free kicks were ignored whilst ticky touch wood ones were often paid. For all that, it was great to see SIR EDWARD BETTS back amongst the goals.

    Over in Bomber land, that guy with the hyphened name and dread locks is a most exciting player to watch.

    Stick with the Bloods Jan (I know you will) – all is not lost.

  4. Lynn Baker says

    Jan , Yes it was a disappointing game by our Swans . Our young cygnets will improve , and at times this year will excel as they build on their game time . A bright future awaits us !
    Caught up with Sharryne Daly and Kath at the Rising Sun last night – was hoping to catch up with you also .
    Sorry to read you still are not well Jan …. may your recovery be a speedy one .!
    May your move to our beloved “ City of South Melbourne “ be a joyous one .
    Cheer Cheer … Go our Bloods !
    Lynn Baker

  5. Hi one and all! Many thanks for comments.

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