The View From Shepparton; Pre Season’s Musings

I have been in hibernation for a while, but because Brisbane have won a couple of pre-season games, have come to the conclusion that the footy might be worth watching this year after all. Yes they should now be installed as favourites for this year’s flag. If I could remember the identity of any members of the current team other than James Aish or the bright lights of the Beams and a couple of others, I might be able to write an erudite contribution as to why this may be so.

Talking about Mr Aish, I will be very interested to see if he stays up in Nirvana land when his contract is done and dusted at the end of the year. With Mark Ricciuto as an old mentor apparently, he will be under a lot of pressure to return to God-zone. But I for one fervently hope that he stays put, if for no other reason than to underline that Rules really does now have some tow in Queensland, or at least in the South East portion of the state.

Actually I thought that there must be a reason why I am bullish (unlike the share market today) about Brisbane’s prospects this year so I have just downloaded their Senior Players List and I see the names of McGuane, Harwood, Christensen, Green, Rich, Martin, Merrett, Leuenberger (please stay fit this year)! Mayes, Rockcliff jump out at me, and now I feel a whole lot better.

On other matters, I should have gone to the footy yesterday afternoon in Shepparton, but the cricket got the better of me I am somewhat ashamed to admit. And besides, as an old Townsvillian I was really keen to see the netball Grand Final, in which I was very pleased to see that Townsville got up. There has been amazing rivalry between Bendigo and Townsville over the past three years.

The Australian Open has come and gone, the Minister for Home Affairs and I went to a few first round matches this year and saw first hand Hewitt, Federer, and Sharapova amongst others. What got to us in particular, was the small stature of the women players whom we saw in action. The atmosphere, when Hewitt was playing, was also something that it was great to be a part of.

Australia won the Asian Cup in soccer, I can’t come at calling this sport “football” although to be fair it is more “football” than any other code. But for me, going to “the footy” means seeing high marks, ball skills with hand and foot, and goals and points just to mention a few things, and in the old days having pasties, not pies, during the half time break. I digress, the soccer final was out-and-out exciting.

The cricket World Cup drags on for an eternity it seems, but the Australia – New Zealand match was alternately horrifying then enthralling and last night Sri Lanka could well have got up. But as it was put on the ABC website, “When Dinesh Chandimal retired hurt on 52 in the 42nd over it was the beginning of the end”. I reckon that they would have won if it hadn’t been for that. Mitch Johnson is being carted around all over the place; it’s a bit of a worry. Watto came back, good on him, and Clarke looked OK and that was a fair enough effort as well, given the pressure he has been under, one way and another. Smith seems to have come back to full form, although he can get a little bogged down at the start of his innings, I reckon.

Can’t wait for the footy season proper to  start, I reckon that Port and the Crows will be worth watching this year as well.

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