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The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 14 – Sydney v Fremantle: Victory for milestone men Goodes and O’Loughlin

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!



Sydney versus Fremantle

1.10pm, Sunday, July 8

Sydney Cricket Ground



MILESTONE GAMES ARE HIGHLY CELEBRATED THESE DAYS, and there were milestones galore for the Swans in this game. Most significantly, Mick ‘Magic’ O’Loughlin played his 261st game for the club to break the South Melbourne/Sydney record set by John ‘Mopsy’ Rantall 28 years ago, in 1979. Additionally, O’Loughlin’s cousin and self-proclaimed ‘brother boy’ Adam Goodes played his 200th senior game, the last 182 in succession. The achievements of these two club greats overshadowed Sean Dempster’s 50th game and Spida Everitt’s 300th game at club or representative level, which qualified him for AFL life membership.


To add to the celebrations, it was the Heritage Round. The Swans wore their 1970s guernsey – white with a red V – while Fremantle came out in a replica of East Fremantle’s 1979 premiership jumper. Coincidentally, that East Fremantle flag was earned with victory over arch-rivals South Fremantle, who wear a white guernsey with a red V. It is worth noting that nine of the Old Easts’ 1979 premiership team subsequently played in the VFL: Tony Buhagiar (Essendon and Footscray), Doug Green (South Melbourne), Ken Judge (Hawthorn and Brisbane), Rod Lester-Smith (Hawthorn and Brisbane), Brian Peake (Geelong), Andrew Purser (Footscray), Jim Sewell (Footscray), Kevin Taylor (South Melbourne and Fitzroy) and Mario Turco (North Melbourne).


My mate Dave Warner, originally from suburban Bicton in Perth, now living in Manly West, and best known as the lead singer of 1980s band Dave Warner From the Suburbs, was in a real quandary about who to barrack for given his strong allegiance to Sydney in the AFL and Old Easts in the WAFL. Warner maintains that East Freo, much like Port Adelaide, could have fielded a team in the AFL in its own right. He points to current players from East Freo such as Simon Black, Domenic Cassisi, Tarkyn Lockyer and Daniel Kerr.


Both teams went into the match suffering season-on-the-line syndrome. Each were on six wins and seven losses, with the loser highly likely to drop out of the finals race. As a friend of Fremantle assistant Kelly O’Donnell (we went to primary school together in Kyabram in the Goulburn Valley), I had a chance to drop into the Freo rooms before the game. During the visit I had a brief chat to another Goulburn Valley boy, Fremantle coach Chris Connolly, and gave him a copy of Sydney’s Sun-Herald. The paper featured an article by Paul Daffey on Connolly’s father, Barry Connolly, who in 1965 was rescued after an explosion at the tin mine out of Ardlethan in south-western NSW by John Kelly, the father of former Swans champion Paul Kelly. Barry was then the playing-coach at the Ardlethan footy club; John Kelly was a teammate and a workmate, and their families developed an enduring friendship.


I told Connolly that rain was on the way from the south. I knew this because the boss had just called me from his farm on the South Coast to say that it was pouring and that he wouldn’t be coming to the game. He put me in charge of hospitality in the corporate box. That’s like giving a mad man an axe.


The Dockers, being armed with meteorological knowledge, began brightly. Jeff Farmer kicked the first goal but it was the only time Freo led for the game. As steady rain fell, the Swans became dominant at ground level. Only inaccurate kicking for goal by Sydney and sharp shooting by the Dockers kept the match close and interesting.


It was a co-captain’s goal by Brett Kirk at the 20-minute mark of the third quarter that finally broke the game open for Sydney. A goal soon after by Jude Bolton and then another one after the three-quarter time siren by O’Loughlin boosted the Swans’ lead to 23 points. Given the conditions and the spirited determination of the Bloods to win for ‘Mago’, the match seemed wrapped up.


Barry Hall kicked the first goal of the final quarter. Then the Dockers, perhaps drawing on the spirit of Old Easts, came right back into it with quick goals to Matthew Pavlich, Shaun McManus and Scott Thornton. The goal by McManus was a cracker; he took the ball at the front of a boundary contest at full pace and threaded it through from the proverbial impossible angle.


The Bloods rallied. In between kicking six behinds, they put another couple of goals on the board to run out winners by 28 points. The reception for O’Loughlin as he ran a lap of the SCG was genuinely heartfelt. It was no surprise for a player who wears his heart on his sleeve that he was overcome.


I caught up with Dave Warner at the Swans’ after-match function, at which presentations were made to O’Loughlin and Goodes. There was a lot of love in the room. Warner was happy that the Swans had won.


“Freo looked like Old Easts but played like South Fremantle,” he said.



Sydney 1.6 4.11 8.17 11.23 (89)

Fremantle 1.3 5.3 6.6 9.7 (61)



Sydney: Hall 3, O’Loughlin, O’Keefe 2, Schneider, Kirk, Schmidt, J. Bolton.

Fremantle: McManus, Pavlich, Farmer 2, Thornton, Headland, Tarrant.



Sydney: Goodes, Kirk, J. Bolton, Schneider, Fosdike, C. Bolton, Hall, Mathews.

Fremantle: Headland, Solomon, Black.



Goodes (Sydney) 200 games, Dempster (Sydney) 50 games.



Rosebury, Wenn, Jeffery.



Kirk (S) 3, Goodes (S) 2, O’Loughlin (S) 1.



Kirk* (S) 3, Solomon* (F) 2, Goodes* (S) 1.






For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.


2007 Footy Almanac

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