Victoria v The All-Stars: Newman for mid-season draft?

by Josh Barnstable

Sitting in the black chairs in the Numurkah doctors, I looked down at the ground, not trying to attract the attention of anyone. Wearing my ugg boots and trackies and with unbrushed hair, I was quite a sight. It was only old people in the waiting room though. If they are going to judge me on my appearance then I was fine with that, as long as I didn’t run into any friends from school.

After an hour of waiting, Dr. Bong Gong came into the waiting room. “B…Bairns…Bairnsdale? Bairnsdale?” Mum and I got up and walked to him without saying anything. How hard is it to pronounce Barnstable for Gods sake? Sitting down in his office, he did some tests on me, checking my cough, shortness of breath and no voice out. He said I had a nasty chest infection. As I went to sit back down in the chair, I heard him utter the ‘I’ word. Injection. The hair on the back of my neck pricked up, sweat immediately appeared on my forehead. He took me out of the room and I was given a shot of Penicillin. As we left the doctors, I told Mum she owed me big time.

After getting a few things in the main street, including a mysterious package at the Post Office, we made our way home where I collapsed on the couch and stayed for the rest of the day, as I had the previous four or five days. I also needed to take some new medicine, which tasted like a cross between curdled milk and melted vanilla ice-cream. Not a good mix.

As 7:30 hit, I was eager for the ‘blockbuster’ game to begin at Etihad Stadium, which may be renamed Heart Attack Hub after the game. Dad came into the loungeroom with the package Mum and I picked up at the Post Office during the day. He told me to open it. I struggled to, but broke the seal. I took out the contents, and realised it was a 2010 North Melbourne hoody, the same one the players and Brad Scott wear at clinics or on match day. This was a nice surprise, and lifted my spirits. It was too hot in the loungeroom to put it on though, so it’d have to wait until the next day. The Vics and All-Stars run out on the field as one, and all of them seem to survive the pre-game jog, barely. Soon, everyone is in position. Sam Newman is on the bench in his deckchair, Cobber Rodgers is on the other bench, Strauchanie is in the middle on Mark Ricciuto. The umpire bounces the ball…

And Strauchanie gets the first kick before being flattened by Ricciuto, sending shockwaves through the already dodgy Etihad surface as he hit the ground. The All-Stars kicked the first through Russell Robertson and then another through Hudson after marking and playing on from the behind-line. McDonnell hit back for Victoria with a goal, but Byron Pickett, who’s easily gained 15-20kg since his retirement in 2007, marked unopposed 50m from goal. He turned around and angled the ball across his boot and let fly with a torpedo. It gracefully sailed through for a super-goal. Lance Whitnall dropped a sitter before gathering it and snapping the major, then Tony Liberatore kicked another to keep Victoria in touch, trailing by three points at quarter time.

Newman and Rogers both made their way to the Lockett End of Etihad, Victoria’s attacking side. A huge cheer was let out for them, and it was Taft who kicked the first goal for the Vics to take the lead, before Shaun Smith and Sweet snagged majors to take the margin out to eight points. Then came the moment. With Newman and Rogers one-out in the goalsquare, the ball was booted long to them. Newman stuck one mitt up at it, and almost controlled it, before gathering it and running into the open goal. He pumped the crowd up with a big fist-pump and Rogers and Newman gave a heartwarming embrace. Newitt knew where the goals were though, and the All-Stars led by six points at half time, 1.5.4 to 0.5.7.

The second half started with a terrific goal to Tony Modra from the boundary line, before Newman marked, before using up a good 45 seconds in his goalkicking routine which included testing the wind using the grass theory. He kicked the goal though, and the margin was back to five points. Modra kicked long to Robertson one-out in the goalsquare, Robbo flew but missed the ball, and the footy bounced remarkably through the goals for a super-goal, and then Robbo kicked his second to take the margin out to 20 points and it seemed how far the All-Stars?

But it was the Fossil who inspired the Vics into action. Strauchanie kicked towards goal, but it veered off-line only for Newman to mark uncontested in the forward pocket. Newman kicked the goal, his third, and then Gilbert kicked a ripper on three-quarter time to reduce the margin to just seven at the last break.

A streaker made their way onto the field, in bad taste you have to admit, even though some of the players laughed at the officers chasing him. Robertson kicked the first goal of the final quarter, before Newitt seemed to end the contest with his second goal, stretching the lead out to 19 points. Gilbert ran into goal though, albeit burning Strauchanie in the process, which will make things awkward in the rooms after the game, but Barnard reversed this damage with a major of his own. David Neitz redeemed himself for an earlier miss with a Modra-esque goal from the forward pocket after Newman showed some courageous effort backing into a pack. Then the big man finally got a strike next to his name in the Footy Record. Bryan K. Strauchan marked uncontested, told his teammates to calm things down and proclaimed he would have the shot. He lined up, from not an easy angle, but easily threaded it, what else could you expect from the champion of the game? The margin was all of a sudden back to just six points, but the little guy Newitt marked and kicked a great goal from tight on the boundary line; don’t ask how those little legs made the distance of 30m. The All-Stars were victors, but not without a final goal to the man best afield. Newman marked on the goal-line, unopposed and went back, not aware that there were only seconds left on the clock. The Fossil turned side-on, like most Geelong players do these days, faced away from the goals as he snapped through his fourth from the tip of the goalsquare. The siren sounded, the All-Stars were successful by seven points.

But the question out of tonight, should the AFL introduce a mid-season draft? A few teams could use a S. Newman in the goalsquare as they push for the finals.

Victoria 0.3.3—0.5.7—0.8.10—

All-Stars 1.2.3—1.5.4—2.7.5—


Victoria-Newman 4, Gilbert 2, Strauchan, Taft, Liberatore, Whitnall, McDonnell, Neitz

All-Stars-Modra 1 (1), Pickett (1), Robertson 3, Newitt 3, Smith, Barnard, Hudson, Sweet


25,347 at Etihad Stadium


3: Sam Newman (V)

2: Bryan Strauchan (V)

1: Ted Whitten (V)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.


  1. Danielle says

    nawww JOSHY! i hope you get better.
    im still sick and literally just got back from the doctors myself.
    i have a chest infection too! but i didnt get the jab! :P

  2. Steve Healy says

    Good report Josh but I doubt that Newman would make a difference, I think that if he played nowadays the opposition would actually bother to man him up.

    Anyway, I hope the chest infection and the ugg boots go away. My theory is that the Footy Almanac 2009 book is contaminated and it takes 8 months to contract the disease (since last year’s launch), which is why you and danni are where you are. I think it was because Buddy featured on the cover instead of Liam Jurrah

  3. 1: Thanks Danni, you lucky betch. Had to say it. I can’t say the injection’s helped though, i’m going back tomorrow morning so I hope they don’t give me another one.

    2: Steve, the Sam Newman line was a joke.

  4. Steve Healy says

    Oh the Sam Newman line was a joke? ohhh you’ve broken the ice now!

  5. If someone told me that a player called Newman wearing number 17 would kick 4 goals in a match, then I would have said it was highly unlikely.

    I thought J”S”N was hogging the spotlight personally.

  6. Danielle says

    Best part of the whole game=
    he hasn’t changed! he’s still as stunning as he was playing for North!

  7. Damian Watson says

    I don’t know Danni, I believe Nathan Thompson played quite appallingly.

  8. Danielle says

    Duckie, im talking about looks here, not how he played! LOL

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