Posted by: jkirkby8712 | July 18, 2011

Saturday, 16th July 2011 – mostly about my football team

Woke to a heavy frost outside, but the early morning sunshine looking quite spectacular [even if not feeling particularly warm!!]. Not that the sun has yet done much to get rid of the thick coat of frost over Susie’s car. Think she was going somewhere today – if I hear her arising, I shall go and ‘clean’ up the car for her!

Meanwhile, the big clash of the two football giants here in Melbourne today – Carlton versus Collingwood – expecting a crowd of 90,000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground [I won’t be amongst them – young Jodie is coming over to watch the game on TV with me].  I’m not really expecting my team to win – not on the basis of their performance last week, a couple of injuries, and the fact that Collingwood have been basically unbeatable this year, sitting comfortably on top of the ladder! Though they are not without some off-field problems – a player suspended, and their captain fined over a minor betting scandal – though I don’t really think that will affect their playing performance today. So in advance, the Blues I expect to be the underdogs [after  badly going down to the ‘Dogs’ last weekend]. As for the Club report – I think I will include in today’s contribution, as my record of their thoughts [it will interest me perhaps in years to come, if today’s first gamer becomes a star of a few year’s time ].  The team remains a relatively ‘young’ one in terms of match experience at the AFL level.

“The Carlton match committee has made three changes for this Saturday’s Richard Pratt Cup match against Collingwood at the MCG. One of the players coming into the side will make his AFL debut in the blockbuster on Saturday. Jarrad Waite, who had hip surgery in Tasmania on Tuesday, will miss the next three matches and he is joined by Jordan Russell and Ryan Houlihan on the sidelines for Saturday’s blockbuster against Collingwood at the MCG. Russell is out of the side injured (general soreness), while Houlihan has been omitted from the side that was defeated last Sunday by the Western Bulldogs. Houlihan will have to wait another day to reach the 200 game milestone, having played his 199th against the Bulldogs. Returning to the team is Ed Curnow who resumed after injury in the VFL last week. He is joined by Matthew Watson, a first-year player whose last AFL game was in round thee, against Collingwood. Watson also played in the round two match against Gold Coast at the Gabba, his only two AFL matches. The other inclusion is Wayde Twomey who was elevated to the senior list this week and is set to make his AFL debut in front of 90,000 at the MCG on Saturday afternoon.\   Aaron Joseph will play his 50th game on Saturday.

Of the 1136 young men to have completed their senior debut for the Carlton Football Club, how many have done so in front of 90,000 people against Collingwood at the MCG? It’s the extraordinary scenario now confronting the Sunshine-born Swan Districts recruit Wayde Twomey, who will take to the hallowed turf wearing the No.39 guernsey made famous by the rebounding Premiership half-back flanker of 1995, Ang Christou.  “What a beauty to start off with,” said Twomey, just hours after he got wind of his selection at a café near Bay Street, Port Melbourne. “I was actually having lunch with my Dad when ‘Ratts’ [Senior Coach Brett Ratten] gave me a call. He obviously knew I was pretty excited about it at the time, because I don’t think I could speak properly after he told me,” Twomey said. Twomey, a seasoned 25 year-old taken with Carlton’s 51st selection in the 2011 Rookie Draft, recalled a discussion with the Senior Coach some six weeks ago, at which he took on board Ratten’s recommendation to work on specific areas of his game. “Ratts told me that I’d been slowly working away on them, and that on the weekend he was very impressed with the way I’d gone about my game. He told me that was what he wanted and that’s why I’ve got a gig,” Twomey said. Twomey’s trek across the Nullabor came at the time he was completing an electrical apprenticeship, when he felt the need to leave familiar digs “and basically live life a little more”. At the time he was chasing the leather for Werribee and on relocating to the west, found a home at Swans. Back in April, Twomey completed his one and only appearance on the MCG, in a Foxtel Cup fixture for the Northern Bullants against Greater Western Sydney. “It made an impact big-time,” he recalled. “I remember walking out onto the ground before the game and thinking ‘How good is this?’ – it was like walking on carpet. But it might be a little different with 90,000 people watching on. “In saying that, I’ve been playing senior footy for seven years now, so I don’t think there’s going to be anything out there that’s going to shock me”………………….That was probably of interest to no one but myself, and maybe in future years, eldest son, and fanatical Carlton supporter, James!  But that’s fine, I’m okay with that J.

It’s 10.35am, the frost is melting on the grass [and car] outside, and the sun continues to look inviting. Time for a brisk morning walk!!!  Weather stayed fine while I was out there, beautiful conditions for a walk.  The birds of the area seemed to be enjoying the weather also – crows, galahs, etc, all in good voice.  However, as the afternoon and evening drew ever closer, that nice weather outlook began to deteriorate. As did the positive hopes towards my football team!!  Today’s game, despite Jodie’s company was not what we had hoped for, and while the Blues were always within touch of the Collingwood team, the lack of good forwards producing consistent results, meant it was obvious that  we could not get over the top of the opposition. Not unexpected, but nevertheless disappointing, and Carlton have now lost five games in a row against our most traditional of rivals. As for the new ‘boy’ referred to above, I would say he earned his spot in the team, and put in a good effort, hopefully we will see more of him.  In front of a crowd of 85,936, the quarter by quarter scores revealed:-

Carlton Blues:                        2.1.13         4.6.30         9.11.65       Final:   11.13.79

Collingwood Magpies:           2.6.18         5.11.41       11.16.82     FINAL: 13.20.98

Jodie left soon after the game ended – she and Ash [the boyfriend] were going to see his team play tonight in the city – West Coast Eagles versus St Kilda. If the Eagles win, they will replace Carlton in the Top 4!!  Thankfully, that didn’t eventuate, and we manage, somewhat undeservedly, to remain in the top four teams, an important aim for the finals series, and the ‘double chance’ it allows at that time.

A rare Saturday night that saw Susie home all evening – I gather she is working fairly solidly on her studies at the moment, and with boyfriend situations currently in the doldrums, the social life might have been put aside, to concentrate on the university work.  She gave me all the paperwork tonight [well, most of it] to allow me to complete her Tax return for the year just ended. In the past, I have usually performed that function for most the ‘family’ although I notice Adam has already received his  tax refund, so he has obviously worked out that it is a much quicker process to do it himself, than rely on Dad!!!  Good for him. Of course, doing all that, I tend to end up neglecting my own ‘return’ which usually gets completed near the end of October deadline date. However, the resolution is to complete this year’s return over the next few days!!

I watched a bit of the Tour de France tonight, and after today’s Stage,  our Cadel Evans remained in 3rd position overall, with [despite my concerns referred to over the past couple of days] his team, and Australian commentators remaining optimistic that he can still win the Tour at the end of next week!!  I hope that is what I will be reporting at this time next weekend. Cadel Evans has finished second in the Tour de France on two occasions now, both times, only a matter of seconds and minutes separating him from the eventual winner.



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