This has not been an easy decision but a decision it is, I have decided to “retire” from doing the weekly AFL sports segment as part of the Alive 90.5 fm radio show “Sunday Sports Roundup”. I have arrived at this so that I can focus fully on the blues scene interviews which I am enjoying immensely and also to improving my writing skills through the blog.
I first started doing the AFL segment on Alive 90.5fm, very nervously, way back in 2012 thanks to the never-failing positive encouragement from the show’s founder Gordon Allen, or El Supremo as he became affectionately known to the team. Continue reading
I see that the Sydney Swans are calling their AFL game this weekend the “Sydney Derby IX”. What has happened to the more colourful, evocative description, “Battle of the Bridge”? Or perhaps “Battle of the Bridge IX” if we must number them? I think the GWS Giants coined the term for this game and which it has been for the past couple of years. The two Sydney-based teams usually meet twice every AFL season. Continue reading
My dear old grandfather might have called me a turncoat in 1986 when I returned to Australia and started following the Sydney Swans. He had raised me in a small house in Maldon which had a nameplate “Hawthorn” and I never did find out which came first, his support of the Hawthorn football team or the naming of the house, but support Hawthorn we did. And I still do, it is just part of my history. But when I finally arrived back in Australia after 22 years in NZ and PNG I returned to a job in Sydney and joined my first AFL club as a member, the Sydney Swans.
Why the Swans? I had strong memories of growing up in Victoria during the 1950’s where there was a common sense of bewilderment that the northern states of New South Wales and Queensland didn’t really play Australian Rules football. Continue reading
He was raised on the dairy farm that he was destined to one day inherit and raise his own family. But Gary Knight was a New Zealand dairy farmer who found his one great talent in life was to play rugby union as a front row forward. His earlier sporting prowess as a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist in wrestling served only as a preparation for his later fame, not as a goal in itself. Rugby Union became his passion which was fuelled by his selection for the provincial rugby side Manawatu and then the famous All Blacks, New Zealand’s national rugby side who serve as, dare I say, almost religious icons for their country’s men, women and children. Continue reading
Now before you all flood me with smart business ventures, donations and begging letters, I don’t actually have $8million to spend. But the Federal government has and it has decided to spend it on supporting the formation of a professional soccer team to be based in Greater Western Sydney. Does this make Greater Western Sydney the new hub of the sporting world in Australia? Maybe. It already has four professional rugby league clubs, a new AFL team and a myriad of other sporting clubs covering the gamut of sport played in Australia. And do any of these other clubs get any form of government assistance? None that I am aware of. What is so under-privileged about soccer that the Federal government considers them such a special case for financial assistance? All players in this new club will be professional. The minimum salary, just the minimum, for A-League players 21 years and older is $47,094, for younger players $38,020. I dare say the number of players on the minimum would be in the minority within a club. Therefore it could be argued that the Federal government is subsidising the payment of professional football players in just one club. Why? How does the government even try to justify this oddly skewed subsidy? Continue reading