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Round 3 – Carlton v Sydney: Favourite Sons

Carlton v Sydney

1:45PM, Saturday April 6th

Docklands Stadium




The term favourite son is an Americanism that originated in the rough-and-tumble world of eighteenth-century politics. It was used to describe a politician who was popular in his home state but little admired beyond it. Sounds like our entire playing list, doesn’t it? But despite the overtly critical eye cast by the growing band of non-believers, home state or not, we have some beauties among our flock.


Six weeks ago, my splendiferous Swanette and I welcomed our second cygnet, George Sidney Moore into the world. The father-son rule is working wondrously in our house. He’s a most incredible addition to my dream that never dies. Family is all and I’ve had an abundance of fortune in that department – now two favourite sons, forever. Our newest inclusion has already provided many moments of magic for us, and for his brother Ollie, since the day he arrived. Seeing the two of them together is pure bliss.


It’s been said that becoming a father increases your capacity to love – it also increases your level of patience. My love for this new breed of Bloods is ever-increasing and at times my optimism needs to be tempered. However, youth brings inconsistency and I’m extremely grateful for my newfound surge in patience. The beginning of the season has been underwhelming but enough positivity has emerged to remain upbeat.


Today, Isaac Heeney emerged as the Swans’ most recent favourite son. Since witnessing his SCG debut, where four minutes into the match, he introduced himself to 30,000 Sydneysiders by snapping truly on his non-preferred, providing a tantalising taste of what was (and still is) to come. His performances since have never disappointed and he appears to be verging on the spectacular.


Today, he was simply dynamic from the outset. This was a display of surety and confidence. In the tenth minute, his banana-bender from the boundary was a work of art, the perfect marriage of the spontaneous and the meticulous. His two-way run was inspiring, his ball-handling sublime, his marking was magnifique and his ability to stamp his authority on key moments has us all crying out for more of the same.


Personally, my list of favourites compiled over my Swan-supporting years is extensive. We’ve been incredibly fortunate to watch the likes of Lockett, Kelly, Kirk, Bolton, O’Keefe, Hall, O’Loughlin, Franklin, Hannebery, Kennedy…I could go on. But for me, there’s one man that Heeney and the rest are chasing: Mr. Adam Goodes: I can’t surmise any better than this: I’ve watched Adam Goodes play since he first started, and my only reticence to unlock a tirade of love to the man was that he played for Sydney and not North Melbourne. A mix of almost balletic poise and perpetual forward motion, his style brought out in me, as an opposition supporter, a rare mix of dread, anticipation, and awe.”– Tim Rogers (Aussie rock icon and footy tragic).


Zak Jones has taken a little longer to win the masses over. While his effort and enthusiasm have never been in doubt, his growing maturity is ensuring that adoration is headed his way. His game today was simply outstanding and perhaps his best yet. Playing more midfield minutes, his pace and creativity made a discerning difference and in an era where speed is king, his weaponry will be critical to this season’s ambitions. ‘Son of a gun’, Nick Blakey again showed glimpses of what is to come in what will no doubt be a glittering career in the red and white and ‘grandson of two guns’ Tommy Papley is growing in value to this team, each and every week.


While I’m on the subject of favourite sons, it must be noted that while my parents would never admit it, I surely hold that mantle in my family. For starters, my brother is a Carlton supporter. Yep, he’s more Lance Whitnall than Lance Franklin. Unfathomable. He’s also the only member of our clan to have been suspended from backyard sport – as one of our epic Rugby League matches approached its nerve tingling crescendo, the occasion got the better of my six-year-old brother and he unleashed a vicious swinging arm that collected me across the chops, just as Dad had reached the Hills Hoist. Having witnessed the incident, Dad called his very own one-man tribunal and consequently suspended Tully for a week. Again, I could go on…


Mum and Dad’s second favourite son has a ripper as the captain of his club, though and the battle between Patrick Cripps and our own Joey Kennedy was an absolute joy to watch. These two are as ‘coalface’ as it gets in modern football and each possession is hard earned. But despite Captain Blue’s best efforts, our Bloods triumphed in enemy territory once again. Winning in Melbourne is always magnificent.


While this match only represents one win, our Bloods are seeking some consistency as they look to get their campaign back on track. A disappointing showing in both of our first two matches of the year was both uncharacteristic and unwelcome. Leadership is a highly prized commodity at the Swans and questions were raised during the week as to why this quality has been lacking. A swift response is needed and surely normal service will resume. This is our chance to stick it to the ‘experts’ who’ve been blindsided by our resurgence before and have reverted to their regular, predictable rhetoric when assessing our team.


So, where to now? We’re on the board and winning breeds confidence. There is work to do, no doubt, but each week has seen an improved performance. The move of McCartin to defence must be applauded and a burgeoning partnership with Aliir has us all excited. Hayward and McVeigh’s injuries are not ideal but they create opportunities for more young blood. First-year gems James Rowbottom and Justin McInerney continue to impress at the lower level and must be edging closer to a top-level chance. Ryley Stoddart is pressing once again too. New faces make for exciting times. Who will be the next in line for the ‘favourite son’ mantle?



CARLTON     5.4     6.5      8.9     10.14     (74)
SYDNEY       6.1     9.5     11.9     14.9     (93)


Carlton: E.Curnow 4, Cripps, Murphy, Walsh, McGovern, McKay, Fisher
Heeney 4, Franklin 2, Hayward 2, Papley 2, Parker, Blakey, Kennedy, Sinclair


Carlton: Cripps, E.Curnow, Walsh, Murphy, Newman, Fisher, Jones
Heeney, Kennedy, Jones, Sinclair, Lloyd, Papley, Mills


Crowd: 39,290


This piece first appeared on the Sydney Swans website.




About Joe Moore

Learned the art of the drop-punt from Derek Kickett as Jamie Lawson watched on. And thus, a Swan for life. @joedmoore1979


  1. Luke Reynolds says

    Wawrick Capper is not going to be happy when he sees your list of favourite Swans…

    Congratulations on the new arrival Joe!

  2. Joe Moore says

    Thanks Luke. Happy days!

    How could I forget the Wiz! Honourable mention to the great LRT too

  3. John Butler says

    Congratulations Joe, both on family developments, and of course, the win.

    I felt the Swans were getable in this one, but we left our run too late, and didn’t take our chances when we needed to.

    Heeney proved the difference, IMO. Though I still reckon that last free kick was 50/50.


  4. Joe Moore says

    Cheers John. Was a tight one in the end.

    I actually said to my brother straight after, that Heeney & Cripps would be unstoppable on the same team. Serious footballers both. Agree re that last free… many dubious free kicks being dished out during the early rounds.

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