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Round 23 – Sydney v St Kilda: Love is in the air!

And with love, comes emotion – and plenty of it!

Oh, how I love my footy team. The players come and go, and still I love them. Love them all, until death do us part!

I was so hoping I could get to Sydney for this game, but, alas, it wasn’t to be. Hoping like hell I could be sitting in my treasured seat in the O’Reilly Stand, surrounded by the red and white faithful, cheering every second of the 120 minutes of our final game this year. Cheering and singing after the siren. Cheering, whilst sobbing tears of joy and pride as our retiring heralded backline for all of those successful years (Heath Grundy, Nick Smith, Jarrad McVeigh and Kieren Jack) – 1048 games between them – were paraded around the SCG to farewell the faithful. To cheer our Buddy in his milestone game. And then, to cheer when one of my very favourite Swans, Hanners (dressed in a very unfamiliar St Kilda uniform), shared with his Blood Brothers in carrying off our champions. That was the moment. The moment the tears swelled and showed no abating.

Tears of love. Tears everywhere. You could see them in Longmire’s face, and Macca’s, and Kizza’s, and Smithy’s, and indeed, Hanners’. No doubt Reg wiped a few away too. I imagine there were plenty in the stands and terraces, as there were at the Riser in South Melbourne, among the diehard Bloods faithful.

As for mine, I just let them flow!


Sydney greeted us with one of its glorious winter days. The Sun shone, 33,722 turned up, and the Swans responded. Our first quarter was pretty special. Six unanswered goals told the story: Paps, our first; Nick Blakey the second; another young gun, Tommy McCartin, the third; Joey (showing what turned out to be a best on ground performance) our fourth; and another of our future young stars, James Rowbottom, our fifth. Buddy, then brought the house down, for his first. What a start on this momentous day: 6.2 to 2.5

The second quarter turned out to be a bit of a hiccup. St Kilda obviously lifted, whilst we became unexpectedly listless: passes went astray, kicks were erratic, and a mere one point was added to the scoreboard for the quarter. The Saints managed 3.4 and scores were level at the main break.

The faces at the Riser were somewhat dismal, wondering whether the unthinkable could possible happen. No way! I thought to myself. There is absolutely no way this team, this Club, our senior leaders, or indeed the young guns, are going to let this one go. It just won’t happen! We need to celebrate at the end, especially given the occasion.

Oh, how right I was! The Bloods spirit came to the fore, and halfway through the third term, our determined and inspirational captain, Joey, kicked truly from 55 metres, to start a 10–minute onslaught. Goals to McCartin (2), Parkes, and Paps have us all on our feet, and the smiles have returned.

With just a lead of 16 points, we’re not home yet.

The highlights of the final term – apart from adding six superb majors – simply have to be the goals to Macca and Kizza. The joy on their faces, the utter pleasure on the faces of their teammates as they surround them, and the happiness amongst all of the red and white faithful, will go down as part of Swans folklore. It was simply priceless!

My mind starts to wander. In a matter of what seems like seconds, I’m thinking of our future. I’m running through the team and imagining all sorts of glorious celebrations in the not too distant future. Celebrations surrounding our myriad of young stars – surely the nucleus of our future successes. James Rowbottom comes to mind, Ollie Florent, Nick Blakey, Tom McCartin, Ben Ronke, Jordan Dawson (what a year he has had!), James Bell, Aliir Aliir, Lewis Melican, Ryley Stoddart, Will Hayward, Darcy Cameron and Zac Foot. To say nothing of the young guys currently playing in the NEAFL. Add to that, the already established young players: Tom Papley, Zac Jones, Colin O’Riordan, George Hewett, Isaac Heeney, Callum Mills, Robbie Fox and Harry Cunningham, and already we have a team to be proud of. But when you add the likes of our more experienced leaders, such as Josh Kennedy, Dane Rampe, Sam Reid, Callum Sinclair, Sam Naismith, Jake Lloyd and the one and only Lance Franklin – Wow! we’ll be going places!!

(Apologies to those players I have left out!)

The seconds have passed quickly, I’m back to reality, and the siren sounds.

The 45–point win is fantastic, but the real celebrations are about to begin.

Those 20–odd minutes will be savoured forever. The emotion will never be forgotten, and the love? Well, love is what matters, and the love for my beloved team will never die.

After all, when you think of love, well, it is always, just always, in the air!

Ps: I can’t wait until 2020, when my Sydney and Melbourne memberships arrive and I can travel to every game once again, to revel in my team’s ongoing journey! Go the Mighty Bloods!


SYDNEY             6.2      6.3        11.4     17.7 (109)
ST KILDA            2.5     5.9        7.12      8.16 (64)


Sydney: Franklin 4, McCartin 3, Kennedy 2, Papley 2, Parker 2, Blakey, Rowbottom, McVeigh, Jack
St Kilda: Bruce 2, Ross 2, Membrey, Long, Steven, Steele


Sydney: Kennedy, Parker, Dawson, Mills, Lloyd, Franklin
St Kilda: Hannebery, Dunstan, Ross, Marshall, Steele, Clarke


Sydney: McCartin (quad)
St Kilda: Nil


Reports: Nil


Umpires: Dalgleish, Findlay, Gianfagna


Official crowd: 33,722 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. Hi Jan,

    Your Swans played harder than my Saints. Your boys were hungrier than my boys.

    Recently retired players would be proud to play for your Swans and to have you as a passionate supporter.

    Well done.


  2. Linda Dickie says

    Love your writing Jan – please continue with this format.
    I was there and it was glorious – definitely filled with love and emotion.
    There is no other team ???? Forever

  3. Well done Jan ! You have very eloquently captured the wonderful moments of Saturdays game …and what a fabulous game it was. The atmosphere at the Riser was electric, one would be forgiven for thinking we were actually playing in a GF,. As,you mentioned the pride for our mighty Club was evident , and yes, there were tears of joy and tears of sadness as we farewelled our greats of the game. A fabulous and memorable day was had by all. Roll on 2020 …. Go Bloods ????

  4. Many thanks Yoshi, Linda and Rhonda
    Your comments and sentiments are really appreciated. Cheer cheer to the Swannies people and When the Saints….. to Yoshi!

  5. Jan, always enjoy reading your articles. Your love for the Bloods is legendary. I firmly believe the Swans are on the right track. I also appreciate Yoshi’s passion for his Saints.

    Over here in South Oz my Crows have been most disappointing. The latest news is that a big review is about to start, something I, and many others, have been advocating for some time.

    Ihope, for the good of the competition, that positive things will emerge, after all sides being continually belted keep the fans away.


  6. Thanks Jan for a season of wonderful memories you’ve brought to us! And to end on such a magnificent high was so deserved.
    I know the Riser was fabulous on Sunday but as I waved my 10 foot long scarf over the edge of the Churchill stand, at the end, crying my eyes out – I thought of you.. love our Bloods ????
    See you next year xx

  7. Lynn Baker says

    Thank you Jan for your wonderful, passionate words , and written with such love of our beloved Bloods .!
    What a wonderful emotional end to the 2019 season for us supporters , coaches ,and our talented and dedicated players Our future looks bright ! . Great farewell to our true Bloods retirees – our club did them proud !
    Hope you have settled into your new home in the Bloods heartland Jan, and your health is improving each passing day !
    Until next season …. Cheer Cheer !! ???????? ???
    Lynn Baker xx

  8. Lynn Baker says

    Jan have know idea how the ? marks got next to Cheer Cheer ! Obviously both of us will be “ cheer cheer ……. “next season !

  9. Hi Fisho, Deb and Lynn
    Again thank you very much for your kind words. Now looking forward to a stress-free September, and no travel!! Onwards to Victory next year! Cheer cheer

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