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Round 5 – Sydney v West Coast: SuperTed Returns

2099 days. Think about that for a second. Try and picture what you were doing 2099 days ago. (If you need some help, it was the 25th of July 2010). Difficult right?

 

They were simpler times for AFL fans. Gold Coast Suns? GWS Giants? Who? Collingwood were on top, West Coast were on the bottom. Carlton were in the middle. Thymosin-Beta 4? ASADA? Drug Scandal? What?

 

It was also, the last time that Ted Richards had last kicked a goal on Australian soil. That is, before Saturday’s action. Sure, he dobbed one through the big sticks against the Saints in Wellington in 2013 (a mere 1095 days ago), but that doesn’t really count.

 

Which is why folks, it’s official. The (Coates Hire) Goal of the Year Contest is done.

 

For the uninitiated, Teddy began his footballing life SuperTed – playing largely as an ‘every-man’ for Essendon under the watchful eye of Kevin Sheedy. He drifted across half-back, floated onto the wing, snuck around on the forward flank, hell, he probably lined up at full-forward once or twice. His 33 games for the Dons resulted in 19 goals. Not too shabby a return.

 

Making the move to Sydney, Richards found himself down back. Forays forward have been rare ever since. (Except for 2008 when he exploded for 4 goals across the 24 games). Teddy’s never been one for the spotlight. 257 games have returned a grand total of 7 Brownlow votes. He’s what you would call, a ‘dour’ footballer. He’s toiled away down back, defeating forward after forward. Biding his time.

 

On Saturday however, SuperTed returned.

 

His Spider Senses tingled, he ripped open his shirt and threw away his glasses, charged up his arc reactor, and revealed once again the goal-kicking machine inside of him.

 

It had been a tight tussle in the opening two quarters between the Swans and Eagles. Wet weather ensured the contest was a ‘slog’. There were 7 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter, and the Swans were 3 points up. A frantic contest for the ball saw the Sherrin spill outside 50.

 

Mere mortals may have fumbled in the spur of the moment, the pressure and frenetic pace of the game proving too much.

 

SuperTed didn’t blink.

 

He gathered. Calmly took one step towards goal. Swung the ball sweetly onto his right boot. Goal.

 

Game over.

 

Drop mic.

 

It was a moment six years in the making. No banana, dribble, ‘barrel from 60m out’, snap, weave, or multi-bounce-multi-tackle-evading goal can top that.

 

Give the man the car.

About Sam Laffy

26-year old Essendon supporter. Winning the flag in 2000 when I was 12 was supposed to kick off a dynasty I could boast about for years. Still waiting for that 17th flag.....

Comments

  1. jan courtin says

    Couldn’t agree more Sam!

    It was even better being there. As I said in my article: “I swear I could hear it from high up in the O’Reilly Stand: that sweet solid sound of perfect contact – a bit like the pure, resounding strike off the tee! ”

    It really did turn the game.

  2. i wrote him off last year, as is my wont. He was sensational all game. The players’ skills in the lather were incredible. His mark a true peach, even in the dry.

  3. Keiran Croker says

    I think it was around 2010 when Teddy was thinking of packing up and heading to Sweden to study. What a turn around. Long may he prosper.

  4. Jan – your description of the kick is brilliant – I can only imagine how loud the roar would’ve sounded at the ground!

    Peter – he’s like that isn’t he? You don’t notice him until he has a couple of bad games, but then he goes right back to being solid.

    Keiran – The Ted Richards at Sydney makes me always wish that the Bombers had kept him and developed him as the Swans have.

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