It isn’t often that one gets the opportunity to spend time with some of the top people in the AFL. Fortunately my trip to Ireland with the International Team gave me a rare treat

As a 60years plus Pivotonian man I was delighted to spend time with two of the top cats in Geelong’s great history – Frank Costa and Brian Cook and also their respective wives Shirley and Nettie.

The top cats were there on a viewing mission looking at the latest stadiums built in Paris, London and Ireland with a view to further extensions at Kardinia Park.  Frank insisted I call it Skilled Stadium but old habits die hard and besides I am an ABC fan as well.  Without giving any secrets away they were delighted in what they saw and we can look at some wonderful additions to the stadium in Kardinia Park in the future.

What I liked about the best duo since Bonnie and Clyde was their wonderful passion for the Cats and the way they took you into their confidence with their answers to questions about the great team.  What I can say is that Frank did say “we have a beauty” when I mentioned the new coaching appointment Chris Scott.  Not all the talk was football and Frank showed great concern about the bananas for the Philippines.  A man of the people, for the people is the incumbent President and that’s what makes him a good man.

There is a bit of rascal in “Cookie”  the glint in the eye and the eyebrow raise are the things that attracts you to listen to what he has to say.  I reckon Cookie is on for a long, long stay at Geelong.  Life is good down on the peninsula.

Both men bounce of one another and that would be one good reason why they have been so successful as a team at Catland. I may be speaking out of school but both men now know how to put the clamp on (note read Daryl Timms) as well.

They are now in Italy where I think Frank has an audience with the Pope to see if he will allow Mary McKillop to become the number one supporter for the Cats.  After all she was named after a famous street in Geelong wasn’t she?

There has been a down side (only kidding) to their visit and that has been the addiction of their wives to retail therapy. Cookie just raises his eyebrow and Frank, well Frank is Frank.  Great company Shirley and Nettie who also love their footy and a good laugh.

Bread and Butter pudding?  The other thing we have in common is our sweet tooth and in Frank and my case bread and butter pudding and we found some piece de resistance in Ireland. The best place I found was in Flanagan’s Restaurant in O’Connell Street Dublin.  Fred “Troubles” Flanagan, premiership captain 51-52 and 163 games AND John O’Connell 81 games from Claremont (WA) that says it all doesn’t it?    Geelong right down to the custard.

I look forward to catching up with them in 2011.  Perhaps at the Geelong v Adelaide game on the 26th June when bread and butter pudding is sure to be on the menu?

About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.


  1. Go Cats.

  2. Sydney Malakellis says

    I suspect that without Cook and Costa there would be no more Cats.

    Go Cats.

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