The Country comes to Town

Roll up roll up roll up, come and see the greatest show on earth where the country meets the city, Geelong vs Essendon, round 4, the Country Game.

The AFL has challenged the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria into a show off; to see which event best celebrates and recognises the contribution of rural Victoria.

No contest!

Everyone knows the Melbourne Show is all about show bags and rides. The days of kicking the monster tyres of Big Red Tractors are long gone, as has the exhibits of regional produce and country experiences, the cake decorating is looking more like the Great Australian Bake Off and episodes of River Cottage Australia provide greater insight into regional lifestyles. Not to mention that a cold beer and hot pie is now better value at the MCG than the Showground.

Fear not Country Victoria, the AFL is coming to the rescue.

A Country Game where all things regional are acknowledged and celebrated, Yarra Park will be transformed into a Country wonderland.

I can see it now, the CWA have taken over the Long Room in the members, serving their famous Scones and Tea, with a special Tea Towel to commemorate the event.

Sheep dog trials, prized cattle, wood chop and John Deere Headers and Tractors all the way to Punt Rd Oval. Farmers Markets, wine tastings and pig races, I can see it all.

Half time entertainment we can have the parade of Champions inside the MCG, the Brahmans the Charolais and the Dexters all stride with their handlers alongside other bovine luminaries.

Maybe we could have the Stawell Gift runners in their silks take messages out to the players?

The players have adorned special occasion jumpers, Bombers keep the Red theme going with the slogan, “If it aint Red it stays in the Shed”.

Geelong will have to wear John Deere Green hoops with white, the Cats run out through a banner, “Nothing runs like a Deere”.

Who sings the National Anthem before the game? Kasey Chambers, Keith Urban, Lee Kernaghan? John Williams singing Hey True Blue?

Kevin Sheedy is an ideas man but perhaps before we go boot scooting in Jolimont Park, maybe the AFL should address the one big issue confronting Country Victoria, the diminishing act of Country Football.

Country Football is struggling; the communities are losing players and teams at a rapid rate. In announcing the latest Blockbuster, Kevin Sheedy states, “Country and regional towns have also made a massive contribution to our game. Some of the competition’s greatest players grew up kicking a Sherrin on the various dairy farms, sheep stations and dusty towns at the back of nowhere.”

Let’s celebrate and acknowledge the great contribution of Country Victoria, I know what they have to endure but I am not too sure a footy game will make a great deal of difference.

Helping the Communities with greater support and resources for Country Football might, otherwise, where will the next generation of legends will come from?

About David Parker

A keen observer of all things sport and a Swans tragic, David likes to dabble in sporting documentaries including the Max Bailey doco for Fox Footy. David is currently filming a documentary on the Australian Cycling Men's Team Pursuit squad as they prepare for the 2016 Rio Olympics.


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I’m all for this, as long as it’s not Stephen “Kernaghan” singing the anthem.

    Will the players be wearing woollen jumpers?

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