The Muse: Thoughts of an AFL restructure on a perfect winter’s day



What a beautiful winter’s day we have had today. It was a Mallee morning clear sky and cold to the point on my morning walk my dog’s pee was turning into ice blocks before it hit the ground. Why not enjoy a couple of Abbotts Longnecks roll a Capstan ready rubbed and have a muse on such a grand day.


Now it would be easy for me to muse on the wonderful job Dan is doing in controlling the virus in Victoria but he tells us that every day so there is no point telling you something you already know. If I was a cynic I might muse on how Dan feels his Government managed the security at those hotels housing international travellers and what other things were done differently in Victoria compared to NSW. I digress. Enough of the Virus. I am musing on some upcoming announcements which will inevitably occur in regard to the AFL.


As I understand it the Yarra Council, who have been known to take a position far removed from the position usually occupied by Attila the Hun, have announced that in view of recent events they are conducting an audit into statues, streets and suburb names  within the boundaries of a municipality. Further, if the person the street etc was named after is proven to be a person of not  ideal character the name will be expunged from the records and if necessary statues removed. Preliminary investigation into Lord Collingwood has revealed that, despite being a brilliant Admiral and a Navy man of high repute, there are some skeletons in the old salts cupboard. I am expecting an announcement from Unbiased Eddie in the next few days.


‘After consultation with the Yarra Council and in particular in regard to their findings on the character of Lord Collingwood, I am saddened to announce the Collingwood Football Club will cease to exist. As I always have the interests of the wider community at heart it just was the right thing to do. We will continue to field a side and originally were going to revert to our original name Britannia but this was over-ruled by the Yarra Council as it did not pass their politically correct test. After much soul-searching we will forthwith be known as Carringbush. We went for this fictitious name as it was the only one that passed the Council criteria. I acknowledge that the formation of Carringbush means we are required to hand the black and white stripes and the magpie emblem to Port Adelaide as the new traditional owners. I informed my good friend and colleague David Koch. David was suitably humbled by our fine gesture albeit he was in the middle of cart wheel practice when he took the call. I was particularly pleased when David informed me that Port will uphold the long standing tradition of the home strip being black with white stripes and the clash strip being white with black stripes.


To retain our history, and in recognition of the fact the now defunct Collingwood Football Club was formed at a meeting held at the Grace Darling Hotel, Carringbush will be known as the Grey Starlings and will compete in a grey jumper similar in design to Carltons now defunct clash strip with a fawn starling front and centre of the jumper.The clash strip will be a grey jumper with a fawn starling front and centre. We have commissioned Mike Brady to right a rollicking battle song to the tune of the theme from the Micky Mouse Club.‘’


Yours in Football,
Unbiased Eddie


I will pause this Muse for a few minutes to enable the Collingwood barrackers on the Muse to make the connection between the Grace Darling and the grey starlings.


I am back and will continue my Musings. Let’s be clear it seems the Virus has declared Melbourne Australia’s most liveable city and that should fill us all with pride and provide  a sense of  collective achievement . Not sure we will be going anywhere before I depart this earth and accordingly I am expecting the following announcement from Gillon McLachlan.


‘By the power vested in me to deliver things for the good of our wonderful game and to delve into things way beyond my charter I am making an important announcement today regarding the future structure of the  AFL. We are all resigned to the fact that Victoria is now quarantined from the rest of Australia and these restrictions apply for at least the next ten years. Accordingly in conjunction with my bro Hamish and the AFL Board of Directors the following structural changes will apply. By the way does anyone watching this not think Hame and myself are seriously good looking roosters. Sorry I digress. From 2021 the AFL will be split into two Leagues. I was going to say Conferences as my executives wanted me to in order to ensure we could continue with the Americanisation of our game. However, I was advised this morning  that in the minds of Australians  a Conference is a thing where you go to an exotic location for three days, pretend you are listening, drink lots, eat well and then claim it all on your tax return. The guy on the gate at the carpark in his faded Fitzroy  jumper told me that and it did strike a chord given I have always been a man of the people.


From 2021, League AFL 1, which will be known as the VFL, will comprise the following teams:


Carlton Blues

Carringbush Grey Starlings

Essendon Bombers

Geelong Cats

Hawthorn Hawks

Melbourne Demons

North Melbourne Kangaroos

Richmond Tigers

Saint Kilda Saints

Western Bulldogs

And it gives me great pleasure to announce 2 new clubs the Fitzroy Lions and the Murray River Steamers.


The return of the Lions gives me great pleasure and I am even more pleased to acknowledge the cooperation of the Brisbane Football Club who will play in League 2 and revert to their traditional name the Brisbane Bears. Fitzroy will wear deep maroon and dark blue and sing the traditional song to the tune of ‘La Marseillaise’.  Jeez could I tell you some stories about Hamish and myself in Paris when we were younger and even more good looking roosters. Sorry I digress again.


Now you are no doubt wondering about the Murray River Steamers. Given all future trade between NSW, Victoria and South Australia will be conducted via Murray and Darling River steamboats, the same demographers who advised my predecessor Fat Andy about the potential of the Gold Coast have determined Echuca is the place for a new team. In a major coup Rochester who were formed 140 years ago for the sole purpose of defeating Echuca have agreed to join forces with their great rival to form the Murray River Steamers. The Steamers will play in the bottle green of Echuca with a white steamboat motif and Mike Brady has been commissioned to write a rollicking battle song to the tune of ‘Proud Mary.’


AFL League 2 will comprise:


Adelaide Crows

Port Adelaide Magpies who will wear black and white prison bars

Brisbane Bears who will wear a cerise jumper with a koala motif. Mike Brady has been commissioned to write a rollicking battle song to the tune of ‘The Teddy Bears Picnic’

Gold Coast Suns who will wear whatever young Rowell thinks is appropriate

Sydney Swans

GWS Giants

Fremantle Dockers

West Coast Eagles

Further it gives me great pride to announce two new teams

The Tasmanian Devils who will play out of a purpose built stadium at  Ross which is a town of 407 people but importantly is half way between Hobart and Launceston. The Devils will wear the traditional Tasmanian green and red and Mike Brady has been commissioned to write a rollicking battle song to the tune of ‘Devil in a New Dress’.


The Darwin Emus who will be located in Darwin but will play four home games in Alice Springs. The Emus will proudly wear the colours of Saint Mary’s ie dark green with a yellow emu motif replacing the yellow SMFC. Mike Brady has been commissioned to write a rollicking battle hymn to the tune of ‘Old Man Emu’.


Now you may well wonder who will be the National Champion. I have agreed with the New Zealand Government that the premiers  of Leagues 1 and 2 will play off for the National title in NZ which is still accepting Victorians .This game will alternate between Eden Park in Auckland and Basin Reserve in Wellington. In slightly bad news the grounds only have the capacity to cater for Corporate sponsors and off course they will get priority but in really good news the time differential will mean we can have a night Grand Final which will enable us to do all sorts of Super Bowl stuff which is really great for …well it’s just great .


Thank you for your time and attention which is appropriate given outside of Tim Paine I am the most important person in Australia albeit I worry Peter V’landys  is fast catching me.


Cheers all bit of nonsense tonight but it cheers me up to write it


Stay safe




Hayden Kelly




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  1. Roger Lowrey says

    Great work Hayden. A fine piece of original well sustained humour.

    In particular, I loved the little colourful vignettes which exploded when you least expected them. Think here, a punch line about a new team and its jumper but quickly followed by a double up punch line with the addition of the Mike Brady reference.

    Well done.


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