VAFA – Fitzroy v Old Brighton: Two Booties but no Booty at Fitzroy

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It was all pain and no gain for the Boys from Old Fitzroy yesterday as Old Brighton, down from A grade again, fired a warning shot across all the sides in Premier B Grade. It wasn’t completely without gain for your correspondent as I worked in the morning (I’m a dentist) and every patient who came in needed work, and, most of them needed expensive work.


Several of these patients left with referrals to dental specialists for second opinions and two of them have some serious decisions to make. Most of these people have been patients of mine for years and it is distressing to be the bearer of bad news. It meant I was over an hour late for the lunch before the game but it was a relief (so I thought) to get in the car and get to the BSO.


The first game of the year is always exciting. You say ‘Hi’ to Dave who is goal umpiring for the Twos. Sharon (the team manager) is flat out getting everything ready and there are loads of supporters that you haven’t seen since last year. Lots of handshakes and pecks on the cheeks, just like a grand aunt’s funeral.

I was too late to buy a raffle ticket so John Harms gave me one of his, an action he does not regret, despite the fact I won a prize: two Fitzroy booties, which I will post a photo of. I left the lunch and set sail for the goals and the Tramconductors. Cath and Anthony were actually early for the game for once so more hugs and handshakes were required. Pete, Steve, Fletch and Brian (he did not have his six mates with him) were all there: Ding Ding, tickets please, the Tramconductors had come ready to play.

Unfortunately our footy team had not. It was Napoleon who said that no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy. We did not survive.

It may be that Old Brighton is the stand-out team of this grade but we were thrashed in all facets of the game. Our onballers were murdered, our forwards innocuous, and our backs under siege. A few instances to illustrate the day; we scored a lucky goal early and it took until the 20 minute mark before we moved forward with any proficiency. Dan B led hard, took the mark but put it out on the full. Dan, last year, rarely missed, and never missed when we needed a goal. It was one of those days. We were 2.1 at half time. There was an upside to this as I am sure we had only been forward twice.

We are too small, both in height and size. When I looked up the ground (from behind the goals) they were bigger everywhere. Our tackles rarely stuck as we were boys on a man’s mission. They brushed us aside in the centre. We did not get a centre clearance in the first half.

It was a beautiful day however and a large crowd were sunning themselves around the ground. I met Corbin Stevic’s family who made the trip up from Philip Island. Corbin had a good second half. Young Tristan was there celebrating his thirty seventh birthday but my favourite spectators were Sarah and Matt who sit on the wing opposite the grandstand.

Sarah’s grand Aunt used to live in one of the terraces in Brunswick Street. Sarah’s mum and family used to watch the Roys play from their balcony. Sarah grew up in Broadie but is a Fitzroy lass through and through.

Matt used to barrack for Fitzroy but changed to Port in 1997, which explains his Port T shirt. His parents lived in Fitzroy and he is a fixture at all home games.

It’s too painful to dissect the game any further but Won’t He Fenton’s dad was mentioning cancelling his sponsorship cheque. I was surprised that we would accept a cheque from a lawyer but of course he was only kidding – Steve is defintely in for the long haul.

There is only one glimmer of hope, as small as the booties I won. The second half was better than the first half; 6.7 to 3.5.

It must get better than this.





  1. Not a great day for the Roys but a fine report, Phil. If that grassy knoll at the railway station end of BSO isn’t already named, ‘Phil Hill Hill’, then it should be.

  2. Steve Hodder says

    I watched two games of footy on the weekend, Fitzroy and Hawthorn. The similarities in poor disposal and tackling made for a rotten weekend for both myself and my son (he’s the lil fella in the Fitzroy gurnsey that follows you round from end to end). I thought the Roys small and puny too, but that might be because Brighton just brushed them aside as they liked. The BSO is a pretty ground when the Autumn sun is out, so it wasn’t a wasted afternoon.


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