SANFL: Go Bloods!






West Adelaide supporters are thin on the ground.


So thin, in fact, that their cheer squad at Alberton Oval on Sunday consisted of just one man. One man who cut a forlorn figure waiting to wave five flags.


Not that there was any flag waving going on because the scoreboard read Port 5.6 to West 6 behinds at that stage early in the second quarter. And it was only the beginning of a miserable afternoon which saw the Magpies boot 28.14 to the Bloods 7.12.


‘The wheel turns’ is an old saying in footy but for West (which won the SANFL premiership a mere 20 months ago after a 32-year drought) it has turned rapidly and seemingly spun out of control.


Bernard Whimpress

About Bernard Whimpress

Freelance historian (mainly sport) who has just written his 40th book. Will accept writing commissions with reasonable pay. Among his most recent books are George Giffen: A Biography, The Towns: 100 Years of Glory 1919-2018, Joe Darling: Cricketer, Farmer, Politician and Family Man (with Graeme Ryan) and The MCC Official Ashes Treasures (5th edition).


  1. bernard whimpress says

    Obviously not a West Adelaide supporter on this site either hence the need to comment on one’s own piece..

  2. Bernard,
    This picture does indeed tell a number of stories.
    First of all, what does the future hold for the SANFL ?

  3. Rulebook says

    In reality a very sad and bloody worrying photo

  4. Mark Duffett says

    The age of the bloke worries me as much as his solitude.

  5. All the SANFL clubs are broke, and will need to be bailed out by the AFL in the near future.

  6. Manny Koufalakis says

    thejudge.. that is my fear. Once the AFL provide any assistance they will take over completely and call the shots as the SANFl will have become dependant on them.

  7. Dave Brown says

    Numbers have really dropped off, Bernard, especially for the clubs that had small supporter bases in the first place. It’s worthwhile noting that West are bottom of the ladder without a win. Can completely understand their fans not wanting to travel to Alberton to get flogged by an AFL listed side plus Steven Summerton.

    It’s a really uncertain future the SANFL is moving into, even with the progressive windfall of the sell-off of the Footy Park carpark. Clubs that all depend on substantial pokie revenue to break even in a time of decreasing pokie usage. Even if mergers are off the table at this stage a number of other options need to be explored: shared grounds; reduced paid staff; other ways to dramatically cut expenditure all need to be on the table. Saddens me every week.

  8. bernard whimpress says

    Thanks for the remarks, fellas. Agree with your concern too, Mark, although several in the Port cheer squad would qualify as elderly cits.

  9. Westies have always been broke or close to it. Then they rise out of nowhere to win a flag and sink back into oblivion. Is Doug Thomas still pulling the strings?
    Is the other end of Alberton Oval the Ron Ellaway end?

  10. bernard whimpress says

    Backs obviously don’t rate, Budge. No! the other is the Time Evans end.

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