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Round 18 – Sydney v Gold Coast: We’re still fourth!


The last thing I want to do after a loss, especially a loss like this one, is to have to write about it.


But putting pen to paper can certainly be cathartic.


At the beginning of the year when Footy Almanac allocated this game to me for the Swans website, From the Outer, I thought to myself “Good, that should be a good win for our boys”.


A couple of days ago, prior to the game, I was so optimistic about the result that I started writing my story. The article was full of joy and happiness, with Cheer Cheer ringing around the ground as the siren sounded.


How foolish and arrogant I was.


I’d even made a comment on the Swans Facebook page during the week, saying: We simply mustn’t take the Suns lightly – or any other team for that matter! Each week brings up unbelievable upsets and we don’t want to be on the end of one of those….!


I have never criticised my footy team. Never, in over 68 years. And I never will. (Sure, I’ve had tantrums and uttered all sorts of profanities over the years, but that’s not criticism). I have never booed my footy team either (unlike some supporters on Saturday). I have expressed extreme happiness and extreme sadness over the years – all par for the course for a devoted fan – and this game against the Suns has left me sad, to say the least.


What on earth went wrong? Thirty minutes of brilliant footy, then nothing!


It simply wasn’t our day.


Maybe the only way to make any sense of this loss is to accept that it was just one of those games that has to now be forgotten; learn from it and move on. That is what good teams do. And we are certainly a good team.


My original footy article about this game started off with a lead-up story. That has been thrown out with the bath water now, and quite inappropriate, given the result. However, as footy is a lifelong commitment, not just a win or a loss, the sentiments in the story still apply – with a little artistic licence thrown in! So I’m relating it nonetheless:


For days, leading up to a game, my mind races from one Swans footy memory to another. Decades of them. And those memories often influence how I write about a match.


Footy, for me, is far more than the current game and the position on the ladder, or future projections. And it’s not purely about my beloved team (although I have to admit I can be a tad biased at times!). When I put pen to paper I like to relate anecdotes and reminiscences of times past, and to incorporate those experiences into the article. Most AFL teams have a long and varied history, and my memory-bank is full to overflowing.


However, walking to the SCG on Saturday, to face the Suns, I’m at a loss to recall my personal involvement in the history between the two teams.


Then, hours later, a memory surfaced. A Suns memory. Not historic really, but red and white-related nevertheless.


It was back in 2015, when we played them at Metricon Stadium. Marshall and I had driven SWANZ (my car) to Queensland for the game, and having not been there since the old Carrara days, I was impressed with the distinctly golden-orangey-reddish-Queensland-sunshine hue of the new stadium. But what impressed me the most were the women’s toilets! They were a stunning red and white. The walls, the ceiling, the doors, the lot! So new and shiny and delightfully red and white. I remember having a big smile on my face.


It doesn’t take much: just the sight of red and white – anywhere – and the smile forms and the heart skips!


The story had stopped there, anticipating more smiles and jolly words as it came to its conclusion. But, alas, those will have to wait for another time.


Despite this loss, one thing is for sure. No matter what, I’ll be jumping into SWANZ again in a few days for another road trip to Melbourne to cheer on my beloved team as they take on Essendon. Isn’t that what true believers are for? Support, no matter what, win or lose!


Go Bloods!


This article first appeared on the Sydney Swans website.

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. Daniel Saunders says

    I have to say, that was a bitterly disappointing loss, wasn’t it? It is great that we still sit fourth, but we have arguably the toughest run home, still probably needing to win two more games. And that’s only to sneak in. If we want to ensure we play in September, this week’s match against the Bombers is a must-win!

    Great article, Jan. Go the Swans!!!!

  2. Disappointing is a mild description, Daniel! It was pretty devastating. As I said in my original article (which was edited), we simply go too far ahead of ourselves, believing that game was a certainty. I’m sure we’ll show that true Bloods spirit and come back against the Bombers. I’d say we’ll need more than two more wins to make the eight. So hard to tell this year, with so many unknowns and teams being so close. All we can do is hope!

    Cheer cheer

  3. Keiran Croker says

    I was one who got ahead of the game, as I went to the MCG to see The Pies v Roos rather than watch our game on tv. I figured the Swans did not need me this week to get over the line against the Suns. How wrong I was!
    The bits I saw were ordinary to say the least .. very flat, no pressure, no run.
    I’m confident we can bounce back this week. I’d get Grundy back in and give Dawson a go. I’d also look at Alex Johnson, it might be time for him to get his chance.
    Go Bloods!

  4. Yes, it was a bad one, Keiran. Hopefully Grundy will be back. I saw the reserves game last week, and he was fine. AJ played well, but doubt he’ll be back yet. The remainder of the games are going to be tough, especially given the injury crisis. Tough on the young guys too, having to keep up with the pressure etc. Time will tell.

    See you at Etihad – our favourite ground this year!

    Cheer cheer

  5. Al Hoban says

    So much talk about the loss – what about the win!

    After 11 straight losses and facing Swans at home, my struggling Suns could have been excused for saving the airfares to Sydney and conceding. That would have at least saved them coins for the end of year player auction.

    But they showed up and played. At quarter time 30 points in the red, they could have ducked out to catch an earlier jetstar home. But they stayed and played competitively and with good composure (holy shit maysey, we’re in front, what do we do now?).

    Did the swans lose it or did the suns win it?

  6. Jarrod_L says

    Say no more Al! I’ve got your back –

    There’s a lot of strong voices from the Swans involved in the Almanac, but it’s good to see a fellow Gold Coast supporter bob up.

  7. Hi Al and Jarrod,

    My original article included a compliment to the Suns and a ps saying: One redeeming feature from the game is that our former coach Stewie Dew is a happy man tonight! Good luck Stewie!, but as my article is as published on the Swans website, there were edits.

    Your question: Did the swans lose it or did the suns win it? In games where the absolute favourite loses, it’s a combination of both; however I think the former far outweighs the latter in this case. But the Suns absolutely made the most of our complacency and obvious lack of respect (even though subconsciously).

    I do have a bit of a soft spot (if that’s possible!) for the Qld teams (especially the Lions), so credit should be given when due. Thanks

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