Season Highlights 2015 – Hawthorn: Round 16, Sydney Swans v Hawthorn: For Tim

 

This post originally appeared on the Almanac on July 16, 2015, and was contributed by Joe Moore.

 

The Hawks of Hawthorn and the Swans of Sydney have become the fiercest of rivals. Recent history includes two Grand Finals, at least one final in each of the past four seasons, and of course Lance Franklin’s defection just two summers ago. Throughout it all, I have enjoyed some of the most effervescent and buoyant repartee, with an incredibly inspiriting character.

I am one of the lucky ones that had the privilege of meeting Tim Young. My wife’s cousin, and a friend to a throng of admirers, he can only be described as an inspirational and infectious spirit. Martin Flanagan once said that what people see in Michael Long is a luminous sincerity. The same can most certainly be said of Tim.

As a child, Tim was diagnosed with an incredibly rare illness known as Craniopharyngioma. This meant a rare brain tumour – literally a one in a million diagnosis – robbed an effervescent young boy of the type of childhood known by most. A couple of months ago, and at just 21-years-of-age, Tim lost his battle with the disease, however his spirit will live on forever. He was dealt the worst of hands, but lived with a grace and character that left all who knew him, all the better for it. Tonight, my thoughts are well and truly of this loveable lad, who had an insatiable love of all things Brown & Gold.

Tim personified to me everything that is great about footy. He loved his Hawks, and he freely expressed that fact to all and sundry. When just a toddler, his boyish charm and cheeky persona was on full display when perusing the supermarket aisles with his father. When an elderly lady took a liking to the young fella, she asked him his name. The little man puffed out his chest, and with a glint in his eye, replied: ‘I’m Jason Dunstall’.

When Tim was a little older, some of his beloved Hawks players paid a visit to his family’s Hobart home. Ben Dixon was fielding most of the questions, and no doubt, suggestions on how his then-struggling outfit could improve their game. A visit supposed to be cut short by other official commitments, lasted hours as the young Hawks would not be let out of Tim’s sight until his game plan was heard!

Tonight’s match signifies another high-stakes hit out between our two sides. I know he’ll be watching. I begin the match full of confidence in my boys, emboldened in the way Tim would be about his. Unfortunately for me, this did not last long. The Hawks have hit top-gear in recent weeks and have swooped on my unsuspecting Swans in a first term which saw us held goalless while they piled on six majors of their own. A stunned home crowd is eerily silent.

For us Swannies, last year’s decider has meant a deep-seeded fear of a flogging is simmering beneath the surface of our Red & White cladded torsos each time we now face this team. The second term performance of the Bloods allays some of this fear tonight, and as Buddy boots three goals in three minutes, a comeback is surely on the cards tonight. Teddy’s misguided bump finds S. Mitchell’s cranium as the physicality stakes are raised in an attempt to wrestle back momentum. The Hawks are an immovable object tonight though, and all I can find to ease my racing mind is: thank god for Buddy.

When news emerged that Buddy had traded Glenferrie for Bondi, I received a phone call. On the other end of the phone, was a very concerned Tim. Like a protective father, he wanted to know that my team’s intentions were pure. I assured him that I was beaming with excitement to have the big guy on board, and this seemed to ease his mind somewhat. ‘You’ll enjoy having him on your team’, he said.

The second half is a procession. A Brown & Gold procession. Roughead’s comeback has been admirable, Rioli’s added to his ever-growing highlight reel and the old-firm of Hodge, Mitchell & Lewis have done the damage again. Deja vu anybody? Make no mistake, this is a great team. My Bloods have been completely outplayed and by a way. Premiership expectations have been well and truly tempered tonight, as sobering thoughts of a widening gap enter my mind. However, no matter how disappointing my team has been, I’m happy for our happy Hawk, watching proudly from above.

A sporting gentleman was Tim, and true to his nature, he even called to discuss the 2012 Grand Final, which I know would not have been easy for him. Even more sporting, he compassionately refrained in claiming his well-earned bragging rights after last year’s decider. Despite the rivalry, Tim’s always good-humoured and wholehearted banter was forever accompanied by his famous bellowing chuckle that could warm any heart. Talking footy with Tim was energising. Knowing him was even more so.

The footy’s over, a game’s been won and lost, but there’s clearly something missing here. Perspective takes hold and I remember a courageous and noble soul. Tim, I’m sure that thrashing was just for you and I hope you enjoyed it, mate. I’m sure you did.

 

Sydney Swans  7.15 (57)

Hawthorn 23.8 (146)

Goals:

Sydney: Franklin 3, McVeigh, Parker, K.Jack, Kennedy

Hawthorn: Roughead 5, Gunston 4, Rioli 3, Breust 2, McEvoy 2, Hale, Smith, Litherland, Schoenmakers, Shiels, Puopolo, Suckling

Best:

Sydney: Kennedy, Goodes, Parker, Hannebery

Hawthorn: Rioli, Hodge, Birchall, Roughead, Gunston, Mitchell

Crowd: 37,369 at ANZ Stadium.

 

 

To read more of Joe’s contributions, click HERE.

 

 

 

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