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The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 9 – Western Bulldogs v Sydney: Superman stamps the Swan’s intentions

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!



Western Bulldogs versus Sydney

1.10pm, Sunday, May 27

Manuka Oval, Canberra




I would like to tell you how the old, angry sun gave us a Dean Laidley-like spray and filled us with fire and a desire to sing and watch football. And I would like to tell you how we stood in the Kop and guzzled pina coladas, as the bongo drummers bonked and the horn blowers honked and we tapped our toes as we waited for the contest.


And with moustaches of cream and a handful of hot dog, I would like to tell you how the Puerto Rican girls danced to the beat in that warm, winter sun and we peeled off our shirts and sang sea shanties all afternoon. But I can’t.


I can’t because this was the Western Bulldogs and the Sydney Swans in Canberra. At a ground where few people have been because few people can get into it… and I don’t know anyone who has returned from the Manuka Triangle.


Some elite codes of football may be happy with crowds of less than 15,000 but one has to question why the AFL wants to fixture two finalists from the previous season at a tiny, suburban ground in a part of the world where all your navigational instruments point south, and support for the game is mild.


But it is the way it is and it was the way it was, and there I was ,on the couch, dreaming of pina coladas and Puerto Rico, tuned to pay television and football. Prior to the round, the Bullies and the Swans sat next to each other on the ladder, both with question marks next to them but both coming off formidable wins. Who was the real deal?


Both were missing their sweepers, Tadgh Kennelly and Jordan McMahon. The Bullies were also without Ryan Griffen. Nick Davis was out for the Swans, while Jared Crouch returned to torment Jason Akermanis.


The question was answered in a very short space of time. I have seen the Swans do this so many times before. They hog space, they barge forward, they tackle hard, they dictate early and if they’re accurate, the game is over quickly.


Guess what? The Swans were accurate, and, not only that, the fortunes of the teams’ ageing recruits were poles apart. Jason Akermanis continued to struggle while Spida Everitt dominated early, and his ruck partner, Darren Jolly, got busy in the front half and started snagging goals.


The even bigger story for the Swans was the form of dual Brownlow Medallist Adam Goodes. He was good in the last round; he sizzled in this game.


Brad Johnson helped the Bulldogs stay in touch in the first quarter but, quite simply, the Swans were too tall and too strong. They were the real deal.


Jolly had three goals by half-time and Everitt was the leading possession getter half-way through the second quarter – an impressive stat when there were ball magnets like Scott West and Dan Cross on the paddock.


But the magnets weren’t working at the Manuka Triangle and by the long break the Bloods were 38 points up with their Mojo switched on and functioning fine. Michael O’Loughlin’s radar was on, too, and he could not miss in front of the big sticks.


Some of the commentators wanted to make much ado about the fact that it was the Indigenous round and the Swans Indigenous players were firing. But for Swans fans, this game was about the team; this was the game where that team told the football world they were still on the prowl for silverware and could not be discounted.


The next day the football emails started to flood in and one of them read: ‘Good to see the superheroes on the weekend: Spidaman, Schneiderman, Superman’. (For Superman, read Goodes.)


Swans fans had the scent of blood in their nostrils. I stopped thinking about Puerto Rico and turned to Melbourne in the spring and the Swans at the big ground, in front of a big crowd and the $7 that was now on offer for them to claim the big prize.


Unfortunately, this is the side-effect when your team has made Grand Finals – you get ahead of yourself, the home-and-away stuff becomes insignificant, you develop a palate for silver… and pina coladas.



Western Bulldogs 3.3 4.4 6.7 8.9 (57)

Sydney  5.4 10.6 12.8 15.10 (100)



Sydney: O’Loughlin 4, Schneider, Jolly 3, Buchanan, Hall, Malceski, Everitt, McVeigh.
Western Bulldogs: Robbins 3, Johnson 2, Ray, Hahn, Akermanis.



Sydney: Everitt, Goodes, Schneider, Jolly, O’Loughlin, Kirk, Fosdike.
Western Bulldogs: Harris, Johnson, Hahn, Robbins, Eagleton.



Morris (Bulldogs) 50 games.



Vozzo, Ryan, K. Nicholls.



Goodes (S) 3, Everitt (S) 2, Schneider (S) 1.



Malceski (S) 3, Kirk* (S) 2, O’Loughlin (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


  1. george smith says

    With anything to do with Canberra, it is all political. I attended a match between the Brumbies and the Cheetahs at Bruce Stadium and dreamed of a 40 thousand Aussie rules stadium that could have happened if it wasn’t reconfigured to only play soccer and the two Rugbys. Kate Carnell and her friends were lobbied by the other codes to do this particularly before the Olympics.

    Good luck to them. The Queabeyan raiders were up and running in 1982, at the same time as the VFL were umming and ahring about a team in Sydney. Canberra has missed the boat. Canberra is still divided between the four codes, but the AFL has nowhere to play, except for the lesser drawing sides. I would like to see the GWS continue to play in Canberra, but no one is going to put their hand in their pocket to upgrade Manuka or Phillip Oval.

  2. I was there, and remember the game and the small crowd. I also remember the Superman’s performance!

    And I did manage to return from the Manuka Triangle. Cheer Cheer

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