We’re Back Baby!

Image courtesy AFL

The anticipation felt by all supporters who attended their first Victorian game for over 15 months was palpable. I know it was for me. Getting ready to head to the G was surreal. As I packed my bag, got out my top, it all seemed like it was an out-of-body experience.

Entering the ground, finding my seat, catching up with people not seen for quite some time, I waited for the first siren to go to start the 2021 season. This had been a long time coming.

We are all aware that Carlton, finishing in the bottom 8, would have a tough time against a multi-Premiership side, with one of the best players in the competition that we have seen for a long time. The clash between Richmond was always going to be a tough one, and I hoped, really hoped, that if we were serious about top eight contention, we had to come out fighting for every ball from the first bounce. We had to fight for every mark, every tackle – everything. Did we do this? Yes, we did. Unfortunately, we just could not maintain that intensity to the end.

But what was really significant for me, for the team, was that despite some costly errors, for those in the media and social media who saw these errors as symptomatic of the playing group, they did not really see the game and the progress that has been made.
The discussion about Harry McKay’s fluff at the goal square was one that an experienced player could have possibly rendered a different outcome, could have, not definite, but some still have a go at him for that fluff. They also seem to think, after only one round, that he needs to go given that he was outmanoeuvred for most of the game by a very seasoned and finely honed in defence team from, let’s say it again, a Premiership side. What he will learn from this game that it is not doom and gloom, for it is only round 1; he will learn how to overcome a defence such as he had to endure and win in the end. He is an intelligent and serious footballer who has no trouble taking the game on. He needs to learn how to take that next step and become a super forward that I know and many others can see he will become.

Image courtesy AFL

I try not to discuss individual players as many others do that, but I try and see the game in its entirety. Yet, I cannot go on without mentioning the fantastic get of Oscar McDonald, who was subbed in for an injured Jack Silvagni, who, might I say, so far, is playing better this year than I have seen in a while. He is playing freer and more aggressively. The club’s decision to sign-on McDonald was a revelation, for it gave us another player who can literally move around the ground and plug in the holes where needed, especially seeing as he can kick goals.

What I saw from the game was a team that is taking the slow and steady steps to become a top side. No team can become a top team unless their players develop, grow, learn and experience what it means to be a top team. This takes the form of learning what to do and what not to do during the game and to come out and play every damn quarter and leave nothing in the tank. The team did this, and you could see that for the first round of the season, we worried Richmond. This is what every fan, every sports supporter of any game, should be looking at. We need to look not at the disappointment of losing to a multi-Premiership team, but how the players played the game for the most part – on their terms.

The team that will eventually be successful is not the team that blasts every other team in every game. It will be the team that may start off slow, but towards the end, when it really counts, that they can step over that line that separates the bottom from the top. Because with every quarter, with every match, they gain more experience and understanding of what it is going to take to become a top team. Carlton did that against Richmond.

I have no voice from cheering and yelling at the umpires because, to be honest, it was atrocious, but that is what going to the footy is all about and what I and others have sorely missed.

The season’s opening game could not have been more exciting and showed what the team is building, which was on display on Thursday night. With every game, we will become a better team. We saw it on Thursday night. Can’t ask for more than that.


P.S. There are those on social media who believe that Carlton is back to its old ways of the past and that it is time to get rid of some players and even the coach. These people do not see the growth that the club has gone through and will continue to. It took years, not a few, for Clarkson to make Hawthorn the team they were. It took years for Hardwick to make Richmond the team they are now. We have to allow that same process with Teague, and I believe, genuinely believe, that he is the coach to make this team a top team.


The Signs Are There People…

Photo Courtesy of AFL

Now that I am out of ‘Facebook-Blocked-Me-Because-My-Blog-Was-Considered-News’ (go figure), I can now write and comment on the practice match between Carlton and Essendon that was shown live (for members only).  I am not going to debate the question of whether it should have been available to all members or not; I’m going to state my views on the match itself. 

First and foremost, we should and must agree that a match played as a practice game is not an important one in terms of winning or losing. It is a match that allows players to gain some match fitness, game tactics and generally seeing what the new boys produce and what the old ones, after maybe a slow year for them, are now capable of producing.  To be honest, while I did want Carlton to win (we cannot lose, EVER to Essendon), I would not have been too upset if we didn’t.  Judging by comments before the game, some said that our entire season resides on the back of this game! That some were even suggesting that if we lose, they would not renew or even contemplate their status regarding their membership is rather extreme and do not really understand these games’ nature. (Do not get me started on those that complained about what they received for their membership in terms of the pack, as that is not the reason why anyone should join a club…anywhere!).  Let me be perfectly candid here, the ONLY matches that count starts on Thursday 18th March at the MCG. Those matches are the ones that matter. That being said, here’s my take on the practice match.

What I noticed first was seeing both Adam Saad and Zac Williams. When they played for their other respective clubs, I watched them but did not take much stock; they were the opposition. Seeing them play in the Navy Blue, I was more than suitably impressed. Saad’s agility and speed around the ground was mightily impressive.  His capacity to see the game and the ball from where it was to where it would be going was a revelation, really.  His playing skills are what our midfield had been lacking. The passage in the game when he took the ball from the centre to quickly move it down to our forward line, which resulted in a goal, had me stopping in my chair in sheer…what-the! As I was in the office, there was no-one around to high-five me, and I did have to keep my yells to a quiet whisper of YEAH! I can see what he will bring to the team and how he will make our midfield so much stronger.

Zac Williams showed how much he just loves being at the club and how his playing level has just turned up a notch.  He was always good at GWS, but at Carlton, it is on a different level.  Here is where I firmly believe: a good player at a club where they are not 100% happy or invested in, has the potential to be a magnificent player at a club they not only support but love and are willing to become better and better to prove to the club and supporters, that the right choice was made to get them there.  Williams is that player.

Panic set in when we saw Harry McKay hobble off the ground, and we were subsequently told that he had just rolled his ankle. He was seen walking normally, yet people on social media called this the ‘end’ of his season. He played a great game and showed signs of being more consistent in front of goals and more agile around the ground.

His body looks fitter, more robust, and he will fast become someone that other clubs will fear.  He needs to learn how to shake off opponents, but with more time and more experience, that will come. As long as a player such as himself understands how to convert marks or kicks into goals, the rest will take care of itself. His improvement and confidence are growing, and this match showed that. The same can be said about a player who has hit media headlines for his exponential improvement – Paddy Dow.

As with Jacob Weitering, I have always loved Paddy Dow since he played his first senior game.  I loved his explosiveness around the ground, whether it be a tackle, a mark or his running ability with the ball and his kicks at goal.  Then he, like Weiters, petered out. Those who think they know better believed he should be traded off, gotten rid of, thrown on to the heap of players that could, but just didn’t; I never subscribed to that as I never believed Weiters should have been traded when he went through the same thing. Paddy Dow played a game that sees him not only moving faster but with more skill. It seems he has matured in his playing abilities, and we got to see glimpses of what he can be capable of once the season starts. 

Crippa played both in the midfield and down forward, and I loved that it seems that he now has others who can fill in the main midfield slot and free him up to become the player that will be one of the greatest in terms of what he can bring to a match.  (We mustn’t focus on whether he has signed or not a contract extending his playing at Carlton, for that will take away his focus on making Carlton, a club that he loves, become successful, which he has said all along.)

I do not want to name every player for this match, just a few for what I saw on Thursday was a cohesive, dynamic team that knew their teammates and what needed to be done.  I watch a game where the team not only enjoyed playing but playing together.  We can take from this match that the club is on track to reach, where I believe it will reach the top 8 when the season starts. 

Do not be fooled into thinking that every practice match will be an illustration of the season ahead, for that is not the role of these matches to procure. It is a way of gelling the team together, putting players into positions that they may not have been used to, but are relishing. It is a way of formulating tactics for the start of the 2021 season. That is what we must be focusing on.  We will lose some, but we will win more if we concentrate on what matters – the start of season 2021.

I, for one, am excited at where the team seem to be heading.  We have the players, we have the skills, and we have the depth to be a top 8 team. I saw a glimpse of that in the practice match. When we take on St Kilda in the Community Series match, I want to see the same energy irrespective of the outcome. I want to see players give it their all for the pride of wearing the Navy Blue; not everything, but just enough to show the footy world that Carlton will be not tapping or knocking on the door to the top 8, but banging!

Good signs, people, good signs!


Photo Courtesy of Carlton FC

P.S Out of everyone in this photo, Teague’s response is epic!

P.P.S Fisher and Ed…the tale of the hair! Love it!

For some, it takes more time…

Photo courtesy Carlton FC

In the past week, we have seen Jacob Weitering win the very prestigious John Nicholls award at Carlton. One of the most humble and down-to-earth people that you could meet; this is highlighted in how he goes about not only his footy but off-field as well. His thankyou speech was one that just shows how much of a team-player and Carlton stalwart he is. Yet, he wasn’t always seen to be the player he has now become. After his first year, some said he should have been traded or is just no good. The similarities between his journey and Paddy Dow is the exact same thing, yet there are those who believe that what happens in another player is the same for all. Most do not really understand that people behave, grow and develop differently, and in this respect, in sport, what one player may take days or weeks to develop, another can take months or years.

Photo Courtesy Carlton FC

As I have stated before, Luke Hodge took four years to finally become the championship player that he is, no-one else said this; he did in an interview a few years ago. It took him that long to develop and to grow into his body. The John Hopkins Medical website has stated that teenage boys and when players are drafted to a club, they are still teenagers and are still going through the latent stages of puberty. This means that while their body size may increase, their feet, arms, legs and hands may grow faster than the rest of the body, making them feel clumsy. Having boys myself, I understand this completely.

These boys who are drafted straight from school, for they are still boys, progress at different rates. We cannot expect every player to be a Sam Walsh or even a Connor Rozee. We have to understand that each boy develops not at the pace we want but at their pace. Weiters has stated quite emphatically that he sympathises with Paddy Dow and his once dynamic abilities on the field, to his now decrease in those same abilities. Paddy Dow has shown that he can become a fantastic player for the club, but he must, like Weiters, be given the time to develop and mature into a man and not a boy. This will take time and will only happen if given that time and the opportunities to grow. He is starting to enter into the step from being a boy to a man, and I know that 2021 will see him show this to the Carlton world.

We have to give some boys time to develop and grow into players’ bodies and minds that will take Carlton to future successes. Not all are the same. Weiters has shown what patience and time can achieve; we need to give Dow the same time. I firmly believe that he will become a fantastic player for the club and the game, just as I firmly believed that Weiters when he was going through the same process, would be the amazing player he is now.

We cannot state that just because a handful of boys are the real deal from the get-go, all should be the same. No two bodies develop or grow alike, and no two players do the same. For some, it takes time, and while I know that we are impatient for continual success, we have endured the climb for a while now; with some setbacks, we just need to be a little more patient. The end result will be well worth it.



RESPECT: being proactive, not reactive!

Photo courtesy of Carlton FC

In the past day, the AFL world heard that a report from the Collingwood FC is a damming take on their stance regarding racism. While it did not paint the club in a positive, significant way, the issue is not what the report states, but the way it has been handled in the media from the very man who has been at the helm of the club when most of the racism has purportedly taken place – Eddie McGuire. To state that he was proud of the club is a misuse of the meaning of that word. I am sure he is proud that the club initiated an independent review of its handling of racist accusations from an ex-player, but that is not the way it came across. He is being blasted on social media and the media generally. He has shown no remorse or contrition on how the club has handled racism issues, and he was their leader!

The report states, and yes I did read it, that the club was not proactive but rather latently reactive. This serves as a tremendous warning and opportunity for all clubs, and for this blog – Carlton. Racism is such a destructive and nasty element in our society and we, as fans, have a lot to do to eradicate it. We need to be proactive in calling out any racism towards not only players but supporters as well. There are those who either hide behind keyboards or at the games become so inebriated that it gives them cowardly courage to make racist taunts towards players and supporters.

We need to be proactive to ensure that Carlton FC has a rhetoric where players, admins and supporters know that they stand for equality and call out any form of racism. To some extent, they do this with their RESPECT initiative. While it is aimed at the insidiousness that is domestic violence, the message can also be used in this regard.

Their proud representation of Indigenous players and how they are treated and regarded in the club is something to be proud of. But the point is that it needs to go further, and the only way it can go further, if we, the supporters, embrace that word: RESPECT and stand against any form of violence, discrimination, including racism. We need to have our own rhetoric of ensuring that other supporters know what we stand for.

We cannot and must not allow the simpletons of this world to think that racism and any form of discrimination is acceptable behaviour, either perpetrated behind keyboards or in person. Racism has as its basis one of the vilest emotion – hate. It is easier to hate but takes so much more effort to accept and respect others and their differences: it makes our world much richer.

So my rhetoric in this is: I stand for equality and respect. I stand for accepting a person because of who they are, not what they are. I will stand against those that do not take responsibility for words and actions that demean and put down others because of what they are, not who they are. Call out and point the finger at those who believe that making racist comments is a joke.

Stand by what Carlton promote RESPECT!


Carlton FC 2020 RESPECT Round

On the eve of footy!

Photo Courtesy of Carlton FC

On the eve of the ALFW competition, and with what has happened in our world this past year, I want to reflect a bit. With the lead up to the sounds of footy’s being bounced, sirens, yells, shouts, the many, many, many discussions surrounding the game that we love, I have become a bit more reflective of the game that I love so very much. Last year during the men’s season, we saw racial discrimination permeate on social media pages. We saw players leave the game for a while because of mental health issues. We have recently learned that Richmond legendary player Shane Tuck had one of the most horrific CTE brain trauma that researchers had ever seen. This brings me to what I want to say on the eve of the start of the AFLW season and the lead up to the beginning of the AFL season.

One of our very own players left the hubs last year to focus on his mental health issues. We cannot and must not belittle nor dismiss the issues our players across the board suffer from. At Hawthorn we have seen Tom Scully leave the game indefinitely for reasons we do not know nor should we, but whatever the reason is, we have to understand that for that person, the issues are very real and very personal. They feel that they cannot achieve their best on-field and off-field they are not up to their best.

There are those in the footy world who want to harper back to a game and a world where the term “suck it up” or “harden up” is rife. This is not the world we are in today and we cannot and must not go back to that world, for that world allows a player who gets knocked out, or suffers from concussion, to either continue playing or to play again at the next game. We have evolved in our knowledge of what players go through not only physically, but mentally as well. We cannot dismiss this and tell them to “suck it up” for the damage long-term is one where a person thinks that life is just not worth it anymore and we mourn not only their shorten lives, but we mourn who they were – our footy heroes.

Then there is the issue of racism that seems to be prolific in some fan’s circles. Those who believe that making a flippant or comment that to them and others seem to be a joke, but for the person/s who it is aimed at, it is hurtful and belittling. They don’t see nor understand how comments such as these can affect a person. We must not and cannot go back to a time when comments about a person’s race, religion or even sexuality becomes fodder for a “joke” or a “jibe” and that a person gets offended because someone else is, well offended. We have to be better than that.

We cannot go back in time when the game seemed to be more than what it is today. That it was accepting of racial taunting, name-calling and allowing players to be playing when they shouldn’t. We cannot allow players, young players to walk away from a game they loved and strived to play for many years. While I understand that the AFL changes the rules far too often sometimes, we have to allow the game to evolve in such a way that allows players to feel not only secure in their minds, but in their bodies as well.
As a society, we have to teach our young players that some behaviors are not acceptable on and off the field. As a society, we have to understand that discrimination of any kind is just not – well, sport! As a society, we have to accept that the way the players, all players, play the game, that sometimes their well-being is far more important than winning a game.

I want to see my club, Carlton, become the successful club that I know and can see it can become, but not if it means watching a talented player walk away because they are being taunted because of their race, color, creed, or even their sexuality. I want to see the best players out there playing because they are proud to wear the Navy Blue, but I also want to make sure that they know, that we as a code, a club, care about their mental and physical well-being.

As we start the AFLW season and head into the AFL season, I truly believe that Carlton will start their rise up and we will achieve this because we have respect for the players and who they are and what they do to ensure that we as a club, can achieve greatness.


Season 2020…reflections!

Every year, without a doubt, I look forward to the start of footy. The distant smell of fresh grass, sounds of Sherrin’s manufactured permeate my imagination and the call of the siren that signifies the beginning of a game rings pleasantly in my ears. This anticipation as with every new day, the date comes closer and closer.

Every year, I plan my year based on games and their location. I book accommodation and flights if they are not in Victoria. My social calendar reflects the dates of games. For part of the year, I know where I will be and who I will be with at this time.

This process gets me through a season that I am not particularly fond of; I’m not too fond of summer, but it becomes a bridge that I have to cross to get to where I want to be – the start of the footy season.

Now I am a positive-outlook type of person. I see things half-glass full. I take every negative experience and see the positive. I look at the mistakes as a lesson and a chance to change it into successes, but I am realistic and understand that circumstances and situations can alter a course. Yet all through this, I always had the knowledge that every week from the start of the footy season, I would be able to see my team play and be with those who I consider family. It became a cathartic experience that would make all the ills of the world and anything that was not great in a week, disappear; this changed in 2020.

From the onset, when the AFLW season was halted and stopped. When we knew that we could be at the opening match of the AFL season that eventually led into us, Victorian’s not able to attend any game. There was no planning, no excitement of going to matches, no flights booked, no meeting up with friends from interstate that has become a part of my life. It was gone, taken away by the most unfathomable situation – a bloody virus, a damn pandemic.

I would not be able to see friends, or experience that extraordinary euphoria and disappointment that comes with going to a game. I felt left out, separate from a game that made me feel the exact opposite other times.
The games on the whole were, and I am not referring to just Carlton games, but the AFL on the whole, was, well, boring. Those games that got me on the edge of my seat (at home), were few and far between, yet I felt disjointed as if I was watching a game, but one that seemed unreal. The canned noise, while was good, made the games feel staged at times.

Without a doubt, some fantastic, epic, mind-blowing games resulted in spectacular marks, unbelievable close games, and who can ever really forget that goal at the end of the match between Carlton and Fremantle. It still blows my mind, but the little bubbles of sadness peak through because I could not be there.

The footy for me is an avenue of getting away from everyday life. It is a way to get together with people who share the same passion as me about the game and the team that I love. It is that excitement that starts after summer when you know that there is not long to go before that smell of fresh-cut grass fills the air, the knowledge that the Sherrin factory is getting ready and that in the distance the echoes of a siren flitters through.

As summer approaches, there is that disjointed feeling that the start of the footy will be a long, long, long, long way away when all I want is it to come, well, now. As Victorian’s, we had to watch our beloved game being played everywhere else, except here. I am in no way taking away the impressive feat that the other states have achieved in continuing our 2020 season and how our interstate supporters were able to cheer on their team. Still, for me, as a Victorian, it is bitter-sweet.

As we head into December and the end of what has been, well, a year that really upset the cart, the hope that in 2021 we in Victoria will be able to get to games looms large and loud in our heads.

Season 2020 is fading away and season 2021 looms. I hope that I can plan some sort of normality in my footy calendar and look forward to leaving behind the trials and tribulations of a week and as I scan in my membership, leave that outside of the stadiums. The many experiences I have had over the years being at the footy, the good and the bad, far outweigh anything else. I want that back.

Here’s to 2021 having some sort of normality and here’s to hopefully, attending games. I want that sore throat at the end of the match. I want to feel that euphoria and sometimes disappointment that comes at the end of the game. I want to chant, sing, swear and yell, hug friends and banter with strangers and fellow supporters. I missed that in 2020.



Reflections! Hope! Excitement!

When the new year started, I for one was excited and hopeful of what this year would bring. The AFLW team was going great, and I was looking forward to attending the last games of their season and hopefully a Grand Final’s berth. I was super excited to see what the new season was going to bring for the AFL team. I could not wait for the first bounce of season 2020, even if it did mean watching a Premiership team unfurl their winning flag.

The atmosphere would be electric, and I was going to be a part of that. I had made a vow, this season I would attend every single game, no matter where it was; last year I missed two games. The one against Freemantle and the Western Bulldogs game as I was in Byron Bay. Not this season, I was going to be at every single game.

In the group chats I was in; we could not wait to start the season: season 2020. But little did we know that something would happen that shook us all to our very core. That we could not see out the final games of the AFLW season and that we, Victorian’s, would not attend one single AFL match.
Media and social media were full of this thing called COVID19. We did not understand what was happening or what this COVID19 thing was.

Theories floated around the world about this thing, this virus, this very deadly virus. The more we learned, the more we realized that this was a serious, a severe and fatal virus. Thrown into a pandemic, one where the world had not seen since 1918, we asked ourselves, how on earth were we to deal with this? We could predict, and it did happen bushfires. We could predict flooding around the world, even a war that could plunge the world into the depths of catastrophic despair was always in the backs of our minds, but this! A virus! How could anyone have seen this coming? (Conspiracy theorists please no diatribe!)

We all had our own opinions on whether the footy season should start and how was this going to affect the season and the AFLW season. After much deliberation by the AFL, the AFLW season stopped, no definite winner would be pronounced. But the AFL season would start with Round One, with no fans at the game.

Watching a game that would have been a sold-out blockbuster with no-one at the MCG was heartbreaking, to be honest. I, along with others, was grateful to see the season start but devastated that we were not there. Then the season stopped, and we were all placed into lockdowns, for the speed of the virus in our world grew, and people were getting sicker and sicker and dying.

Finally, the season would start up again, and it would start up in places that would make Victorians’ barred from attending – hubs. Without a doubt, the states that had these hubs saved the AFL season, albeit, a shorter one. But we, Victorian’s would not be able to plan trips to the footy. We had the doors firmly shut on our season, and we could only support from the comfort of our living rooms, which may be warm and cosy, we would have given anything to be at the games, through the cold and rain. But alas, we could not.

The debates heated as to whether the winner of this season should have an asterisk beside their name. No matter which side of the fence you sat, in the end, the team that won, deserve the win. In the end, for Carlton, it was a season that had so much excitement and some disappointments that made it, for me, a season that showed glimpses of the immense possibilities for the future.

The devastating final siren loss to Port Adelaide, but the thrilling, nay bloody memorable win against Fremantle after the siren. All the time wishing I was there, for both games. The revelation that showed the type of player Sam Walsh was becoming. The extraordinary prowess of our young ruckman, TDK and how after only a few games, he is proving to be that missing factor that we have been without with Kreuz being unable to play. It has seen the bloody fantastic chest punching euphoria of when Cottrell kicks a goal and the electric possibilities of what Hazza would become, to name a few.

We were not able to be there to send off two players who deserve all the accolades that one can give, Kreuz and Simmo as they retire from the game. We had seen how the team won when no-one thought they could or would. We have seen how the team is growing and developing. We have had the incredible lows and the enthralling and exhilarating highs, and we Victorian’s were not there.

Season 2020 has been one that we have lived through all the time not quite believing that it happened. We have come out from this just a little bit more fragile at the tenuous state of our world and our game. I have to hope that season 2021 will be one where I can go to watch the games, no matter where and no matter if it is the AFLW or AFL. I am hopeful that I will be able to see in person another epic finish similar to what I consider the highlight of the year – Jack Newnes goal after the siren. For it was not only the goal that epitomized the result but the way the celebration at the ground, in the living rooms around the country and the hotel hub for the club. For it showed that despite what was being thrown at us, we the footy loving world would never give up on the game we love so much.

For most of us, we could not attend a season where there was much hope for the future of this great club and we thank those that cheered the boys on and made them feel the support that we Victorian’s could not give in person. We are all hoping that we can be there for season 2021, to see the club rise further up and I cannot wait for the season to start. It’s going to be an extra long period until it starts.

In a year filled with events that were out of our control, making us all retreat into our homes, it will be nice to get out and stand behind four white posts, all the while we get decked out in navy blue chanting with full voices “Carlton! Carlton!” It’s exciting, and the anticipation is palpable. GO BLUES!


Sorry SOS…Disagree!

Disclaimer: This article comes with a warning. The warning is that there will be those that disagree with me, and they have that right, but I will not tolerate those that disagree by name-calling or that I have no idea. Come at me with rational arguments, not diatribe of irrelevant musings that are based on emotion and not rationale.

Social media and the media, in general, have gone ablaze with the interview on SEN with Stephen Silvagni, ex-list manager of Carlton. I listened with interest, that turned to anger. I was not angry at the Club but SOS himself, and the more I thought about it, I got angrier and angrier.

SOS’s statements regarding how the club treated him is pure and merely sour grapes and all about him. He stated that Mark Loguidice told him that he had tried to fight for him to keep his position. He said that Cain Liddle, who has brought in more memberships this year than in our history, that Cain was scared that he would sabotage the club as a List Manager. The hosts of the show never had the “balls” to delve in deeper to those statements. So, let’s go through it.

In the interview, he had told the club that he was thinking of leaving either at the end of his contract or this year. He stated that he was told that his contract would not be renewed because it was “complex.”

Statement of fact here – no person, no matter who they think they are, will ever be subjective when it comes to their offspring in an organization, never. People in the medical profession don’t treat family as their objectivity can be clouded by emotion; same scenario here.

SOS stated that he wanted to clear the record straight and tell us, the supporters what the club wasn’t willing to say. Here I say, what a hypocrite. When interviewed on Footy Classified in the past, SOS brushed aside questions that didn’t suit him; same scenario here except that he made a statement that worked for him. Herein lies the issue. The comments are HIS perspective and his alone, and there is an underlying agenda attached to them.

So, let’s take this a bit further. The SEN hosts had the chance to ask relevant questions about this notion of Cain Liddle’s view that SOS could sabotage the club. I agree, and here is why. If SOS was still around and given the fact that we have reduced list sizes, would he have delisted Ben? Would he have been able to let him go? Given how he carried himself today, he probably wouldn’t answer that. Would he have kept an untried and rather lazy player over another player who may be untried, but puts their heart and soul into a game? He cannot be objective in this matter, because it would mean that the Coach has wanted this player gone, but the list manager, being who he is, would disagree.

That is sabotage because he is putting the personal connection above the needs and the requirements of the club, and what a position to be in, when you are a prominent person at a club, and you have to justify keeping a player, your son, when in any other club or circumstance, he would have been let go.

Then there is Jack. If SOS tries to convince Jack to leave because of the way SOS has been treated, then this again shows the hand of sabotaging the club.

He must be brave enough to distance himself from the club in all facets and allow his son to make his own decision without the looming presence of his father and accept that decision. If not, then he is sabotaging not only his son’s career but the club as well.

I would have had more respect for a great player of this club, if he had just answered the questions about his leaving the club, in the same way he did when grilled on Footy Classified. I have no respect for him now. He is putting his own agenda above that of his professed love for the club. He is putting his needs above that of his son still at the club, Jack.

For some fans, they have said that it was time someone put some clarity on SOS’s dismissal. Why? Because of his surname? Because of who he is? Why now? SOS has not said anything previously, otherwise, why would he not of said it before? There is a hidden agenda here for SOS, he is pushing his own agenda, putting his own son in danger. I just hope Jack has the strength to push that aside and look at his needs, for I believe he has the ability to be a great player and one that is not under the constant shadow of his father.

Sorry SOS, but this interview was for you and you alone, showing how you harbor bitterness and sour grapes instead of letting it go and look at what is going to be best for your sons, not you. Respect gone!



This time of the year!

Photo courtesy of Carlton FC

First of all: Congratulations Mr Sam Walsh! Another achievement for a future leader of the club!

Now. The season hasn’t ended entirely yet, and still, trades are going on around us, or are they? We have heard from Carlton about who is not going to get another contract moving forward.

So the club says goodbye to Darcy Lang, Hugh Goddard, Finbar O’Dwyer and Ben Silvagni, and because of the last name to be delisted, the “shit” hit the fan literally.

On social media, people went “off their face” about Ben’s delisting and then took the word of a journalist who said that Jack Silvagni was next. The vitriol aimed at the club was and still, is not warranted and completely unjustified.

The romance behind the name that is Silvagni is just that: a romance. To have a player, two players whose surnames is Silvagni in a club where their father and grandfather were stars, is outstanding, for sure, but we cannot expect them to have a carte blanche path staying at the club because of their surname. They have to be able to perform at a senior level.

The fact that some are still levelling hate regarding the dismissal of Stephen Silvagni is not logical. I loved what SOS did for the club and will always, however, to have two of your children at the club and not be objective is narrow-minded. He finished his contract last year, and the club decided not to renew it. It wasn’t one person’s decision, as some are alluding to with regards to Cain Liddle. The foul names that he and even the entire Board are getting called is downright disrespectful and not warranted. If you disagree, disagree, but come at it with a rational point. Name-calling proves nothing, achieves nothing.

Let’s get one thing clear here: list sizes of ALL clubs have been cut, due to COVID-19. Players that could have had more time to develop or grow, may have to be delisted because of smaller squad size. So, a player on the fringe, and out of contract, could be delisted. Ben Silvagni is one of those players. Just because he bears a surname linked to the club, does not mean that he should stay if he is just not up to it. Will he get picked to another club? I doubt it.

Then there was talk that some media person stated that Jack Silvagni is asking for a trade and will be leaving. Now that sent social media into a frenzy. Jack is a contracted player until 2021 and was injured for most of this year after suffering from a severe bout of gastro. He is not going, nor is he going to be traded. However, put that aside, and ask yourself: Do you want a player that is there because of his surname, or do you want a player who is there because he is and has the potential to be a great player?

I do believe that Jack can be a top player. He needs a bit more time to develop, and also needs to shake off the stigma of his surname, and this is why I believe that the decision not to renew SOS’s contract was the right one. Hopefully, he will have a great pre-season and come back better than ever.

The trade period will see media spouting something to fill the air, and write conclusions on a team or player based on their determinations; this does not mean that it is true. Before posts are made about the likelihood of player coming or going, check the source, review the information and then wait and see what the club and the player will state. Don’t fall down the trap of assuming that what you read or hear from sources that are not credible, are credible.

Also, the fact that others have said that Carlton’s year has been a failure are just saying this for clickbait. I said at the beginning of the year that I would love to see Carlton sit at the top of the bottom 8. Most media put them finishing between 13th and 16th, nothing higher. We finished 11th! How is that a failure? Because we couldn’t get into the top 8? We were not ready this year, and this season has taught us what we can be capable of and what we need to work on and strive for next year. This is not a failure, by any means.

We all want to see Carlton great again. It will happen, and I will say this now – Carlton will be in the top 8 in 2021. That is my view and opinion, and if you disagree, then that is your right. I won’t call you names, promise!


Mr Kade Simpson…

As the news travels on social media, and the media in general, Carlton fans are stunned at the retirement of one of it’s greatest players and most loved player. Our world reverberated with the announcement from Kade Simpson of his retiring and that the game against Brisbane Lions this week on Saturday night, would be his last.

I was on Blue Abroad this week, and when asked the question about who was my favourite player, I said that for me, the player who gives the game his all, who lays it all on the line for every game, and who may not be a forward or the star of the game, but that player who never gives up or gives in. Who is dynamic around the ground. Who, no matter what is in front of them, whether it be the conditions or the state of the game, they play with heart and soul. That is an apt description of Kade Simpson – Simmo.

For the past seasons, we have seen how this stalwart of a player, wearing the long sleeve jumper, and the number 6 on his back, came out in every game to play his heart out. He plays as if his life depends on it. That ball to the face a few weeks ago epitomizes the type of person and player he is. He got whacked, shook his head, got up and played on. That is the type player that I love and the person that is Simmo.

I always felt that his attitude to the game could affect not only his health but his well-being. The hit to the head by a ball, made me ponder that maybe his time should be up as a player. We have seen him battle his way through no matter what, and given the current status of head injuries and injuries, in general, that could affect a player as they age, I don’t want to see Simmo become a player who left on terms that were not made by himself. I did not want him to retire because he was injured; I wanted him to retire because he felt it was time.

I would have loved him to be a part of a team that raised that 17th Cup, but I don’t think his body could take much more. His heart could; his mind could, but not his body.

Kade Simpson will always be that player that I love in this game. That player who puts on the guernsey and plays for the pride of wearing it. Who still plays his heart out and with the satisfaction of playing for Carlton.

Simmo will always be that player that every upcoming player should try to emulate. He may not have the star quality skills or showmanship, but he has heart, and that heart was for the Carlton FC. He retires with his head, a little bruised, but held high. He goes out with the immense love and respect of all supporters, players, coaches and administrators who know that this quiet, little man gave it his all for the Carlton FC.

I hope Simmo that you achieve so much in your life after retiring from the game. You are one of a kind and for me, the type of player that I love.

From ALL OF US…we thank you, and we will miss you.