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Round 6 – Carlton v Sydney: A Matter of Trust

In uncertain times, measured advice is most welcome. For those of us of the red and white persuasion, these are indeed uncertain times. Over the past five weeks, much soul searching and answer seeking has taken place and it’s prompted me to reflect on the most treasured words of wisdom that I’ve received over time. My Dad has often been on hand to assist in this area and as I’ve been unable to locate solutions to our early season form, I’ve reverted to some of Dad’s sage advice – never trust a square pie.

 

This season is footy’s equivalent of a square pie. I don’t bloody trust it. At all.

 

As my flight embarks for Melbourne, my playlist appears to be mocking my current distrust and confusion as firstly our club’s iconic anthem blasts through my headphones – immediately restoring faith that a successful weekend is ahead – only to be followed by Johnny Cash’s angst-ridden ballad, Hurt. Johnny completely crushed any of that faith restoration in just two and a half short self-loathing minutes and I’m back to pondering the reliability of certain-shaped meat filled parcels of pastry.

 

Mid-flight, I’ve consoled myself that the coming weekend is in fact a celebration of assurance and there is no need for trepidation. This weekend, for the first time in a long time, me, Dad and my brother Tully are off to the footy – just the three of us. Apart from the fact that my brother is a dyed in the wool Blue, I trust no men more. I believe in our footy club’s ability to climb off the canvas and return to winning ways. Familiarity is a wonderful thing.

 

There’s an undeniable comfort in this company. Lessons of looking after our own were learnt early in our Woy Woy backyard. Most notably, as one of our epic Rugby League matches approached its nerve tingling crescendo, the occasion got the better of my little 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. Despite my own sense of justice being fulfilled, I soon realised that this punishment had left me without a sparring partner for a whole seven days. But Dad had my back.

 

Our Swans have been attempting to navigate their way through the opening weeks of this season and to this point, remain unsuccessful. Cohesion, structure and confidence all appear to be missing from our current play and this is providing headaches for all. However, faith rests with those in charge and normal programming will resume. Though as we take our seats in sport’s most impressive coliseum it quickly becomes apparent that it will not be resuming today.

 

The late omission of KT is concerning for many reasons but for this match it has immediate significant implications. With Naismith already on the injury list, Sinclair is left to ruck with Reidy assisting – removing him from our struggling forward line. Our on ball division has been the most trustworthy in the competition for some time, but this one-time strength is becoming an area of consignation and The Enemy have swooped like an eagle stalking its vulnerable prey – much like the three of us did in our days playing in the Orange Third Grade Pub Darts Competition. At the moment, we can only dream of a bulls eye.

 

Our football has missed the mark again this week and the team seems bereft of ideas as to why. We are down on personnel, but there are promising signs among the cygnets. Isaac Heeney is already proving his reliability and his shake’n bake shimmy on the members’ wing to set up a goal in the third quarter underlined his enormous potential. His return is most welcome and he will add a spark that has been missing thus far. Papley returned to the form that made him a sensation last year and Lloyd, Jones & Mills are now among our most dependable.

 

So, where to from here? Back to the drawing board? A good ol’ fashioned bonding session in one of the Eastern Suburbs’ famous watering holes? A midweek jaunt to the Gold Coast so that Warwick Capper can exert some flamboyance on the group? Who knows? We have a most credible group of coaches who will find the answers. That we can be sure of.

 

Our current predicament is most certainly not enjoyable but watching our Bloods from the stands today has me convinced that it’s not due to a lack of effort. Gary Rohan’s sickening collision came about only due to his attack on the ball. Thankfully our favourite red head is ok. Hanners had run himself to a standstill and the collective exhaustion at the final siren was noticeable. Trust me.

 

The credibility (or lack thereof) of square pies originated in the year that Dad, Tully and I all worked together as the only three employees of a local vineyard. The drive to work each day consisted of a breakfast pie stop on the way. It proved to be a winning formula (or so we thought) just as long as those pies were round. Dodgy pies aren’t. I trusted Dad’s judgment when he banned Monkey Magic from our TV set as my brother was experiencing nightmares brought on by the mythical martial artist spirit fighters. I had faith in his conviction when he grounded us both for ‘borrowing’ from his wallet to purchase our footy cards. I have no reason to waver now.

 

We’ve been spoiled for success over the past twenty years and now it’s time to stay the course. Trust in these Bloods and do not doubt. As the Dalai Lama once said, fear and trust cannot go together.

 

On our way out of the MCG, as we trudged our way past the closed-up bar area of Level 3, we were offered a complimentary pie – it was round.

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

Comments

  1. Les Currie says:

    Keep the faith Joe. Lions thsi week. Capacity crowd!

  2. Keiran Croker says:

    Yep, it’s certainly a square pie season for our Swans so far. Its hard to explain the extent of the fall, as we have coped with injuries and blooded new players in past years, 2013 and 2016 stand out. I think its a combination of losing Mitchell and having McVeigh and K.Jack unfit and so many young or new players in. The key I think is that many of the players who have been around for 4 or so years are not good enough e.g. Towers, Marsh, Cunningham, Laidler, B.Jack. On the other hand I think there is huge upside in Jones, Heeney, Mills, Aliir, Papley, Florent, Hayward and a few of the other new players. We need to get 50 games in to these guys quickly, hence we may stay down for a few years. Am still confident we can play well this year once we get the right mix of old and new players. Keep the faith!

  3. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says:

    Joe, you are the eternal optimist.
    I like your idea of a bit of joy and flamboyance being injected into the week. It looks very dour right now down at Swans Central. Can you imagine how much they must dread going out to play right now? And it shows. And it’s catching if you’re not careful. Gotta look after the spirits of those clever kiddies. Time to smile leadership group!

  4. John Butler says:

    Joe, you’ve had a good run. All good things come to an end. Just ask any Blues fan.

    New challenges await the Swans. Interesting times.

    Cheers

  5. Joe Moore says:

    Les – Always keeping the faith. Here’s hoping we get a win this week!

    KC – Agree with most of that. Hopefully not a few years to reach the top again!

    Mathilde – Optimistic to my detriment perhaps… Spirit of the kiddies must be preserved for our future is in very safe hands.

    John – My brother echoed your sentiments on Saturday. Interesting times indeed.

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