Suns, Demons Roos, we’re all the same

Forgive me Almanackers for I have sinned, it has been 2 months since my last publication. It has been a hectic 2 months as well, but the results have been sadly lacking on the field across the board. From a combined 36 matches across the competitive grades and genders, there have been 3 wins across the club. The Under 15’s managed to win in Round 3 against Panthers, the reserves successfully travelled to Yeppoon in Round 2, and last weekend the girls (known as the sisters….well we are Brothers so it does make sense) were singing in the darkness beating Gladstone at home.

So what has gone wrong on the field so far this season? Not much has gone wrong in the Under 13’s, where many of the numbers comprising our team are new to the game. Hopefully they can understand my umpiring interpretations at the home matches. Perhaps they understood them better than the colleague that assisted me in Round 3 who seemed to lack confidence in how he officiated. But I can’t be too harsh on him either, he was barely older than the players and it was about his first time in the middle with the whistle, compared to this being the 5th season where someone has placed faith in my “skills”.

The Under 17’s issue has generally been numbers on the park. Against the better teams it’s almost impossible to compete undermanned and with a number of Under 15’s backing up from their match. The positive to come from the 17’s is that a number of players have been exposed to the reserves and senior teams this year. Must make mention of the latest of the debutantes, who played his 2nd game in the seconds last weekend. Sometimes players just have one of those days where everything seems to go their way. It’s not every day that he’s a 16 year old kid hanging around the forward line to bag 6 majors, something that many 26 year old professionals struggle to achieve in 22 games. Too bad Jacob Carroll’s bag came out of our tally of 8 straight and we still got pumped.

The senior side has had trouble maintaining a consistent 22, which is no different to previous years. It seems that every game we’ve been smashed in the centre clearances and by turnovers combined with rapid ball movement. Gladstone so far have been the quickest ball movers this season, and they’re only 2nd on the ladder with the perennial ladder leader BITS still leading the pack. What we should be concentrating on is beating the other sides to sneak into the 4 (easier said than done from 0-6), starting this Saturday with the 2nd Yeppoon road trip this year.

Speaking of centre clearances, for some reason the reserves brains trust have often used my services in the middle. To be truthful I cannot remember being a regular part of any midfield rotation since playing in the Ruck a few times in the Under 16’s at the turn of the century. Maybe it’s come with a slight weight reduction to 97kg (down from 122 in January 2011), perhaps it’s the lack of depth caused by injury, possibly it could be that someone has bet on me to get most touches in a game. OK, maybe not the last bit but certainly I have seen more of the footy than I have in previous years.

This week we travel to Yeppoon, who similarly are struggling in the senior grades having beaten our seniors for their only victory, and managing a single win in the reserves. It’s never easy at the best of times to play at Swan Park, given the ground surface which has improved this year, the hostile punters consuming cartons from the caravan park, and the sea breeze which can play havoc for forwards timing leads and making kicking distances. This week is an even bigger personal challenge, for after the reserves it’s straight into the shower before a trip to the airport and onward to Sydney for the Dogs visit to the Harbour City on Sunday. So as well as packing the usual footy gear (boots, socks, mouthguard etc) I also will need to take Laptop, changes of clothing and travel and accommodation documents. Perhaps words of wisdom at Tuesday Night training where I made a rare appearance due to a rostered day off work could inspire, but Jarrod Harbrow only really mentioned something about training hard to the senior group. I’m sure he saved his better material for the juniors anyway, plus I couldn’t afford to drift away from the group to ask him about a certain bleached haired former player whose greatest weapon seems to be his mouth.

At least this time I won’t be seen to be letting the team down, having missed the Round 5 Glenmore Bulls loss as I was in Darwin watching the Dogs and Suns struggle through a game of football (frustratingly for me, backed the Dogs to win by 40-59 after getting knocked out in the 3rd leg of the Brisbane Quaddie. Guess the punt went as well as the local footy that afternoon). It will be the 4th time I’ll see the Dogs live this year, having travelled to Adelaide, Melbourne for the Friday Night clash against Collingwood and Darwin prior to this, so maybe the ledger of matches I’ve personally seen them play in will be squared.

Before I depart special mention this week goes to the Lockyer Valley Demons who play in the Darling Downs league. Born out of the ashes of the Gatton Magpies, the Demons have not tasted success since their entry in 2010……until last weekend when they knocked over the Goondiwindi Hawks on their home turf. I hope the beverages were flowing and consumed responsibly, and at least they can say they’ve scored more wins than a more famous club known as the Demons.

About Mick Jeffrey

32 Year Old, Bulldogs Member and tragic. Reserve Grade coach after over 225 combined senior/reserves appearances for Brothers AFC in AFL Capricornia. 11 time Marathon finisher, one time Ultra Marathon finisher and Comrades Marathon competitor 2017.

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