Monday, 30 April 2007

Eastern Rovers - Round 1 match report

Goodridge has been omitted from next Sunday's Round 2 match against Knox due to the dreaded rotation system. His inclusion in Round 3 against Murrumbeena has been assured.
Sunday was “new boots” day at the Perc. Allison oval in Beaconsfield where Eastern Rovers took on, and defeated, the Beaky Eagles in Round 1 of their 3rd division, MAFV clash.
Existing (quite happily) for the past two seasons with a set of “old school,” Lou Richards style football boots with screw in studs and high ankle support, I have purchased a brand spanking new pair of Nike boots (with moulded soles) that are red and silver (by engaging my Footlocker specialist early). The old boots had become uncomfortable and the new ones were about as inexpensive as I could go.
Suffice to say that my old boots were the butt of many jokes by the fellas at my old club. It would seem that the simple garishness of my new boots will continue the jokes for another week or two yet. I’m sure it was a compliment when the coach said that they needed an award struck in my honour at year end.
I played the first half on the half-back flank and found little trouble in being involved in the action, setting up plays forward and avoiding anything difficult like packs or mud. The new boots were comfortable to run in and for the most part, I hit my targets by foot (except for once when I was aiming for the coach and missed … ouch).
Eastern got on top early with the best of the centre clearances. Our defence was tight and the forwards locked the ball in our forward 50 effectively.
I moved to half-forward for the 3rd quarter and contributed to the team score by kicking a goal. Similar to the practice game two weeks prior, I was by myself around 40 metres out, more or less in front and I kicked truly. This time, someone else had the good grace to handball to me as he was being tackled into the turf. Kicking a goal in a real match was very exciting !
The rest of the quarter however saw Beaconsfield control play in their forward half but unable to convert. I spent a lot of time running from side to side at half forward with the ball not making it that far down the ground.
I played out the last quarter in the back pocket with the sole job of keeping some big, ugly mug quiet. Mission accomplished. Beaconsfield got to within 3 points however Eastern lifted through some fine ruck work from the butcher, big Dane, and kicked away again to win by nearly 4 goals (10.5.65 v 5.12.42). After one week, Eastern are in the top 4! Rule a line through the season now !
The Eastern Rovers squad (made up of Eastern Districts, East Ringwood Roos and Mitcham Tigers players) managed a combined total of 3 wins in 2006. To get 2007 underway with a win was a great thrill for all involved.
My stats were something like 2 or 3 kicks per quarter, half a dozen handpasses and about 4 marks.
We only have a one week break now until round 2, against suburban rivals, Knox Lions (who were smacked by Werribee and will be looking to restore some pride I don't doubt). This is our first home game for the year with a kick off time of 2pm.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Zatoichi - GG

Zatoichi (SBS Wed 10P) is part homage, part action/comedy film to the title character, a blind swordsman of Japanese popular culture featuring in his own long running TV series. Zatoichi’s blindness is an advantage in his swordplay as “his other senses are sharper than his blade.”
Written, directed and starring Takeshi Kitano (Dolls), Zatoichi promises to be beguiling, exuberant and “accompanied by absurd spurts of blood.”

Spot, the Seeing Eye Dog

Success! Spot has clearly pushed the boundaries of good taste for Seeing Eye Dog lovers and 'Spot and the Easter Egg hunt' has enjoyed a bright but brief life on the work noticeboard. Less than 24 hours after being posted it has been removed. Rest In Peace old boy.


In my workplace, a number of persons of certain type have teamed up to sponsor a Seeing Eye Dog. This is a worthy cause and a meritorious team building initiative. The dog in question, Zadena, writes to said persons with the most recent correspondence received in time for Easter.
Now I ask you, WHO WOULDN'T SEE RED after receiving a picture like this :

So, a muck-raking we will go. Here is contribution number three (previous contributions here). Many thanks to regular reader, "Rise tall" et al, for his inspiration. You will recognise your work !

Eastern Rovers Round 1

Goodridge has been named on the bench for the Eastern Rovers' first round match against Beaconsfield on Sunday.
Eastern Rovers is a new look team which has brought together members of 2006's most struggling teams : Eastern Districts Superrules, East Ringwood Vets and Mitcham Vets. Rovers coach, Nick Uren, has found himself in the surprising position of having 40 names to choose from for each game this year. This means that there will be a compulsory turnover of about a dozen names for each game to ensure everybody has a run.
Goodridge was excited about the prospect of getting a run and put his first week selection down to "turning up to training every single week."

Monday, 23 April 2007

West Coast continued - Rant II

In a brief follow up to last week’s rant regarding the West Coast Eagles palaver, AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou made further comment on the weekend :
“I think it would be fair to say that the community has every right to be disappointed in some things that have occurred this year, particularly that relate to the West Coast Eagles Football Club. This week’s incidents certainly don’t do any good for the game whatsoever. We have a respect and responsibility policy (towards women) and [we need] players to understand that any comments that are offensive to women are not acceptable. Sledging has no place on our football field. Demeaning women is obscene and we’ve stamped out racial vilification.”

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Bolly, Aish Rai & Jane Austen - GG

While Bride and Prejudice (Fri 9 830P) is a British/American co-production it captures much of what is great about Bollywood films : the colour, the song, the fun and many Indian stars, none more so than lead Aishwarya Rai (the most beautiful woman in world cinema ?) in the “Elizabeth Bennett” role.
With a lavish American budget and the dialogue all spoken in English, B&P is an easy GG movie of the week AND one that you can share with your GLW.
Directed by Brit, Gurinder Chadha, B&P followed hot on the heels of her international success, Bend It Like Beckham.

AFL, Headland & Selwood - Rant

What a disgrace this Headland/Selwood issue has become !
Firstly, Headland (of the Dockers) is found guilty of smacking the life out of Selwood but is then given no penalty for “exceptional and compelling circumstances by way of provocation.” Selwood (of the Eagles) is then found not guilty for saying anything that might have been provocative ! How does that work ? The AFL’s inconstancy aside a far more disgusting issue has been blared across our sensibilities.
So Selwood claims he didn’t make sexual connotations about Headland’s daughter. His defence went something like, “I was referring to some slut I met the other night.” Like that’s okay to admit that in public ? I know from being involved in a footy club that blokes are blokes and don’t always say or act in a way that is “constructive.” But to suggest that you can defend your actions with the denigration of women is an insult to all footy fans and women everywhere.
The AFL, by and large, has been constructively on the front foot about a number of key social issues : race relations and women in football being two that come to mind. This behaviour by this one player however runs the risk of railroading the League quickly. And to say nothing of the reputation of the Eagles at this point in their history !

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Superrules - my first game

1045am : Racing toward my first football game for the year : an intra-club practice match.
I have worked very hard over pre-season doing a lot of running, swimming and gym. My BMI is the lowest it has been for years and my aerobic capacity way up. I’m nervous but excited. I know I can run with most guys on the park and know I can execute the skills well enough.
In the past I have lacked confidence in my ability to read the play and run out a game. If truth be told, I am scared of being hurt by some brawny mug. For the most part this is an irrational fear. The physicality of a Superrules (over 35s) football match is nowhere near the crash of AFL (or even club level) and the pace of the game has slowed right up to suit the older participants.
An intra-club game will be just the tonic I tell myself to get into the swing of FOOTBALL : 2007. A good place to stare down those fears I reason because the opposition are my own teammates !
I have joined a new team this year, Eastern Rovers, in a metropolitan wide competition. Some of our ‘away’ games involve travelling to Frankston, Beaconsfield and Werribee. I have trained well and want to impress my new team. No wonder I’m nervous.
Wolfmother’s ‘Joker and the Thief’ is playing on the radio. I turn it up loud. I’m not sure whether I will be a joker or a prince of the football world by the end of the day.
1130am : With the current drought, the poor state of most grounds and the Councils ban on playing on them, the ground we had arranged to meet at was forbidden from our use. We drive in a giant conga-line of cars to a nearby suburb and find a spare ground that we can use.
1215pm : Half the squad is playing in the Eastern Hawks jumpers (brown and gold) and the other half in East Ringwood’s Roos (blue and white). I am playing in the blue, on a half-back flank. This is a great result. I should be able to run hard, use my defensive experience to ‘run with’ my man and turn defence into attack. By not playing a central position means that I don’t have to worry about the expectation of being a key target.
1247pm : The first quarter is nearly over. Our team has dominated possession and followed the coach’s orders by playing up the middle. The other team have constantly gone wide, not direct and have found themselves under pressure as a result. Neither team can kick straight with my team kicking 5 points and the other mob only 1 point. I have collected the ball a few times and dished off handpasses to teammates. My direct opponent is one of the other very fit fellows at the club and he is running everywhere. I follow him up to our half-forward line.
I find myself in space at about centre-half-forward. The ball bounces out of a pack and lands near me. I pick it up and take a few steps toward goal. Nobody has jumped on me yet. The good news about Superrules is that nobody moves that quickly. I decide that the goals are within range and I kick truly. The first goal of the game to me. A pump of the fist, a big smile on my face and I give our coach (playing for the other side) a razz as I go past.
My fellow members of the back-men’s union celebrate a goal by one of their own. The defensive players have often felt that the forwards need to be shown how to play the game.
230pm : By the end of the game I wonder if I could have done more. I look as though I have been in the wars which is impressive to teammates. A giant ice bag is strapped to my left thigh following a “corky” in the third quarter. Quite how I got anywhere near a pack in the first place was by accident.
My stats for the game were something like 3 marks, 8 kicks (4 of them on target, 4 of them not) and a few handballs. Not bad considering some of the “quiet” outings of 2006.
I felt comfortable playing the game and mixing in with this grade. I could have done more defensively but was quite happy with my attacking skills.
915pm : I have iced my leg a second time. I have doubts whether I really ran hard enough during the day by fall asleep on the couch and don’t stir for 90 minutes, after which I wake up and go to bed ! That answer’s my question as to how hard I worked. The first round of the season is in two weeks.