VAFA – Fitzroy v Old Brighton: Fitzroitis breaks out

At quarter time on Saturday, with the score 2.2 to 2.6 Pickers told the players that Old Brighton were shocked. Old Brighton had come to the BSO, expecting an easy win, but the disease “Fitzroyitis” has broken out again.

Now diseases progress in different ways. Some diseases are designated as being “site specific, random burst.” Multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and gum disease are examples and so were our efforts in the first two matches. A player would win a single contest; we would play with cohesion for a few minutes; we would match the opposition for a quarter. These outbreaks were rare and isolated but the outbreak of Fitzroyitis was not on Saturday.

We were all over them. Like rampant dental caries or a very bad case of dermatitis we were everywhere, hard at the ball, harassing, throwing our bodies in with gay abandon. Never out marked or pushed out of the way, the level of effort could not be faulted but unfortunately dental caries and dermatitis are not fatal diseases. We could not put them away but I reckon Fitzroyitis is back, so visiting teams will enjoy going to the dentist more than a visit to the BSO.

I finished work very early so I got to the ground just before the Twos ran out. I got the job of time keeping with Andrew Mullett who is the heart and soul of Old Brighton. He carries a bag that has everything in it. Players were incessantly coming up and saying “got a pair of shorts size XYZ.” “Left my socks at home got a …” All clubs need an Andrew and Old Brighton have a fine example of the species. I wonder if he has some mouth guards in the bag.

We had a stack of players out, Parko, Rory, Roscoe, Josh and Matty K. It looked grim early on as we struggled to get the ball but we were hard at it. Mick Lee was in the ruck, which allowed Daniel Bissetto to go down back. He and Gary McCarthy (BOG for me) made the Old Brighton forward line a painful place to be. Imagine what could have happened if Parko played. Dan took mark of the year in the first quarter

We dominated the first half of the second quarter and here is where we lost the game. Old Brighton could not get the ball past the centre, were constantly in attack, but we butchered the ball up forward. Racker, Polly, Jules and Ches all missed very easy shots at goal and, at this level, misses like that will come back to hurt you. Six straight points to one goal two in this quarter and we were one goal down at half time with Ablett on the bench for the rest of the day.

The Tarneet Birthday Boy remarked that it was our best goalless quarter for the year!

Old Brighton lifted in the third quarter but our defence did not crack. It was Old Brighton’s turn to attack and not score. Mick Lee, playing his best senior game, then crashed a pack and took a towering mark against the run of play. We moved the ball forward fluently; Brownie on the end of it. They were two points up at three quarter time.

Once again we dominated the first half of the  quarter but we could not put them away. The forward line has been somewhat less than lethal this year. Lee was a towering influence around the ground, taking pack marks, his disposal??? I thought our rovers should have been around him to take the hand off and bang it forward. Rovers should be hungry and always on the lookout for cheap kicks. Ours are too virtuous for me. One of our rovers should be nick named “cheap kick” another “don’t touch him” and the last should be “hungry.”

We could have/should have won. I cracked it after the game, went home and drank too much. However I reckon our season now feels better than my head. I reckon we are in with a show this season if we can get a functioning forward line.

Go the Roys


  1. Thanks for the kind words Phil. I thoroughly enjoyed my day in the wonderful old grandstand at BSO. Footy was enervating viewing and we were happy to get away with the points. Good luck this week at Glenhuntly where I suspect the Roys will open their 2013 account!

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