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Round 2 – Carlton v Sydney: A win for the ages

The more the years roll on, the more my football memories are ingrained with the experience of my youth. The comfort and ease of travel to the MCG and Etihad on a seasonal basis, mean individual matches are no-where near as deeply ingrained as those when we had to park 2 miles from the fortress that was Victoria Park, stood in torrential rain at Footscray or found ourselves in the midst of a rolling brawl at Moorabbin. I can recall with far more clarity, Swans matches of the 60’s and 70’s than l can those of more recent seasons. Ironic really, given our lack of success during that era.

Perhaps it is because of this, that even now, I approach games against Carlton, Collingwood and Richmond with a degree of trepidation and anxiety. For these were the powerhouses of my younger days and no matter what the respective positions on the ladder, just the sight of their jumpers as they enter the arena can evoke memories of a thumping at Princes Park or being towelled up by the Tigers at the MCG. No such issues with clashes against Brisbane (wearing the Fitzroy colours), Melbourne or North for they were fellow strugglers like ourselves and there was always the prospect of a rare victory.

Similarly, South players who were the custodians of a particular number during my formative footballing years, in my mind, were the original owners. As l watch and admire Dan Haneberry wearing the No.4, and before him Ben Matthews and the magnificent Tony Lockett, in minds eye, it belongs to Keith Baskin, who will never be considered a ‘great’, but who for me, is always number 4. 7 is Graeme John, 11 Peter Bedford and with the greatest of apologies to Paul Kelly, 14 is Skilts. Harry, Laids and young Mills are the lucky recipients.

And so l approach the Round 2 clash with Carlton with that familiar knot in my stomach for the Blues were a team of my youth where a win was a surprise rather than an expectation. Of my 56 years supporting the Swans, only in the last 10 has the phrase, ‘we should win this’ become part of my thought process. Carlton get off to a good start and those old doubts begin to creep in, but these are the days of Jack, Kennedy, Parker, Haneberry, Mitchell et. al and slowly, surely my fears are diminished and eventually evaporate.

By half-time it is clear the Swans are on top and clearly the better side. I allow myself another nostalgic return to the Lake Oval as l reflect on Tom Papley’s one and a half game career.  It is 50 years since grandad Max won South’s B & F; a player my astute father considered to have more natural talent than any other player he had seen at South. Papley the younger is a diamond out of the rough and Ben McGlynn’s rival for that small forward role.  Today, it is Papley’s.

Reports of the Swans demise pre-season has been greatly exaggerated and l marvel once again at my club’s ability to play in the present whilst planning for the future. Read the papers and l would worry about our defence post Richards and Grundy. Look closer at the succession plan and see X (brother of), Allir and Talia in the wings. Like George H, they will be ready when their time comes.

The second half is far from a romp, and the margin increases by degrees rather than a flurry. The 10 goal margin at the end is an accurate reflection of the game. A 10 goal win against Carlton! My 15 year old self would have been ecstatic for he still clearly remembers a 77 point win over the Blues in 1970 – a premiership year for them no less! But those were different days and the fleeting glory of 1970 finals football was followed by seasons of despair, during which my loyalty never waivered, but hope and expectations did. The modern day Swans are the same club of my youth, but with a different mindset. That won’t happen now. The modern day Swans won’t let it.

Votes: Mitchell 3, Tippett 2, Parker 1

 

About

Ross Treverton is a third generation Swans supporter who grew up on family stories about Pratt, Nash and Matthews. He was then fortunate to see Skilton, Bedford, Kelly et al. 3 daughters with no interest in sport means his AFL watching is confined to the television and regular duties at the MCG and Etihad as a police officer.

Comments

  1. Keiran Croker says

    Good summary Ross and reflective of my youth too. I remember that win over the Blues in 1970. I was listening on the radio at my Grandma’s down at Koroit during school holidays. If my memory is accurate Sudholz kicked 7 goals and Bedford 6.

  2. jan courtin says

    Lovely article Ross. Of course, any talk of the old times, revives memories. At about two years of age I was, perhaps, wisely, not taken to the Bloodbath, but it would have been great to have said I’d been there!
    The Bluebaggers are certainly one of our great enemies, and in recent years a team that we actually win against – and win well. Long may it continue!
    Thanks
    Cheer cheer
    Jan

  3. george smith says

    I remember the royal wedding footy game, 29 April 2011, Swans v Carlton at the SCG. After the debacle of lady Di’s funeral in 1997 with the funeral on 4 channels and a spaghetti western on SBS, I was really looking forward to some serious footy to take my mind off those pesky royals. My wife of course was ensconced in our bedroom watching the royals do their thing.

    It was not to be. The Blues played inspired football in the pouring rain to ruin my evening and that of republican Swans and Magpies everywhere.

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