AF705 Erin McKinnon

AF705 Erin McKinnon

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Erin McKinnon is a young girl playing in one of the more demanding AFL positions, ruck, for the GWS Giants AFLW team. Last year Erin completed HSC, last week won a Rising Star nomination and this week played a key role in the GWS Giants AFLW team’s first ever win over the highly fancied Melbourne Demons team.  Erin is highly motivated and her story of starting on her AFL journey is worth listening to. Continue reading

AF704 Brent Trewin

AF704 Brent Trewin

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Brent Trewin is a trainer with the GWS Giants Women’s AFL team and he chatted to me for the short AFL segment we broadcast on Alive 90.5 (26/Feb/17) as part of their Sunday Sports Roundup show.

It was very interesting to get an albeit brief look at the role of trainers in the AFL and in particular getting an insight in to how much teams use the GPS technology in the player  management during the match as well as post-match.

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AF703 Baulko Girls

AF703 Baulko Girls

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For over 40 years the Baulkham Hills AFL Club, better known locally as “Baulko”, has long been one of the prominent junior AFL clubs in Sydney.  The East Coast Eagles AFL senior club is an offshoot of this feeder club. Now it is fostering the new driving force in AFL, girls footy. The advent of the AFLW competition is giving added impetus to the growth of girls footy and Baulko is stepping up to this new challenge.

Prior to the GWS Giants vs Fremantle AFLW game on Saturday at Blacktown International Sports Park, Baulko and a number of other local clubs joined the AFL and the GWS Giants in conducting a pre-match footy clinic which attracted a number of young girls to take up the AFL game. I took this opportunity to catch up with Kirsten Groll, Kylie Stanmore and Damien Phillips from the Baulko Girls crew after the footy clinic.

While at the game I also had a chance to catch up with Greg Talbot from AFL NSW to get some details on the Cumberland Cup event next Tuesday. This event is a pre-season event run each year by the Parramatta Lions and Greystanes Goannas AFL clubs. Greg has co-opted me to host their “Family Feud” segment as part of this event. See the pdf below for details.

The afternoon was capped off for Molly and I by witnessing the first ever draw in the AFLW in the game between the GWS Giants and Fremantle. What a game!!!

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AF702 Amanda Farrugia

AF702 Amanda Farrugia

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Molly and I had the good fortune to attend a “Meet & Greet” function this week put on by the GWS Giants to meet the Women’s team. From this, we were lucky enough to secure this interview with the captain of the team, Amanda Farrugia, later in the week. An abbreviated version of this went to air on Alive 90.5FM on Sunday 12th February 2017.

We discussed:

  • How Amanda got started in AFL
  • Fitness
  • Improvement from first round
  • How Amanda got her nickname
  • What Amanda likes most about AFL
  • Her inspiration to young girls
  • The pre-game process
  • Her heritage

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AF701 AFLW is here!

AF701 AFLW is here!

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This is our first AFL podcast for 2017 and it celebrates the first round of the new AFL Women’s competition, called “AFLW” for obvious reasons. An abbreviated version of this went to air on Alive 90.5FM on Sunday 5th February 2017.

I was joined for the first time on a podcast by my wife, Molly, and also by probably the most well-known women in Sydney AFL circles, Amna K-Hassan, who I have chatted to previously, listen here.

We discussed:

  • Initial reactions
  • Marque player selection process
  • Level of physical contact
  • Female stereotypes
  • Pathways for girls
  • Involvement
  • Haneen Zreika
  • Women in sport

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SP24 Amna

SP24 Amna

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Following on from Eric K. Betts last week, Amna Karra-Hassan is another “K” person, quite often being referred to as simply Amna K-Hassan. I first spoke with Amna back in April 2016 as part of the AFL segment on Alive 90.5. Amna’s team, the Auburn Giants, were just entering their first season in Premiership division in the Sydney Women’s AFL competition. Amna was the driving force behind the formation of this all women club which has a diverse range of ethnicities amongst its members, including Muslim girls.

Amna was to her credit a finalist in the NSW Local Hero section of the Australian Of The Year award this year. One of our listeners, Pip Cowan, has pointed out that Amna has also been named as one of 14 young women who owned 2016 by BuzzFeed, see the link below.

I was so impressed by Amna’s enthusiasm and positive attitude that I have been waiting for an opportunity to talk to her in depth and share some of this positivity with more people. So here it is, meet Amna, a force of nature.

Tweetables:

“Get out of your comfort zone”

Click to tweet

“Have a mentor, don’t just aimlessly wander and try to figure things out”

Click to tweet

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SP17 Mark Eustice

SP17 Mark Eustice

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The community radio station that I am involved with was approached by SANE Australia offering an interview with one of their ambassadors as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. Being a former AFL player Mark seemed the best candidate for me to interview for the Sunday Sports Roundup program and here it is.

I enjoyed talking to Mark and hearing the story of hope and recovery he provides. Better awareness of mental health issues is definitely needed, even in today’s enlightened times. One can only wonder how far he could have gone in AFL had he received the help he so desperately needed at the time. He went through a living hell for nearly 25 years before he did eventually receive such help and get his life back together again.

Survivors are inspirational and Mark Eustice is definitely a survivor. Listen to his story.

Help lines:

  • SANE Australia: 1800 187 263
  • Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14

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SP15 Grand Final 2016

SP15 Grand Final 2016

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2016-10-02-16-56-04My regular contributors on all things AFL, Gus Seebeck and Ian Parker, join me on this episode to review and dissect the AFL Grand Final played by the Sydney Swans and the Western Bulldogs.

We all agreed that the Grand Final was a fitting end to such an excellent season of AFL football. The Western Bulldogs were the sentimental favourites to win as the club had won only one premiership prior to this and that was 62 years ago in 1954.

The highlight for us, and I suspect for most people, was the beautifully selfless act by the coach of the Western Bulldogs, Luke Beveridge, in handing over his premiership medal to the club captain, Robert Murphy, who was seriously injured earlier in the season and was unfit to play yesterday. You should find a video of this in the AFL link at the end of this post.

I didn’t pick it up during the interview but Ian Parker’s Hawthorn bias showed when he referred to the Western Bulldogs ruckmen as Jarryd Roughead when in fact it should be Jordan Roughead, Jarryd’s cousin.

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SP14 Jack Dimery Phelan Medallist

SP14 Jack Dimery Phelan Medallist

Show notes:

The star of this episode is Jack Dimery, an AFL player with the East Coast Eagles and the winner of the Phelan Medal for 2016. The Phelan Medal is awarded annually to the best and fairest player in the Sydney Premiership division and is considered to be the equivalent of the famous AFL Brownlow Medal for the local competition.

Jack was also a contestant on the Fox TV program “The Recruit” earlier this year and was considered to be one of the favourites until a quirky “Captains Call” saw him eliminated in the penultimate episode.

Our regular guests, local legends Gus Seebeck and Ian Parker, also joined the show. Gus and Jack played together briefly at the East Coast Eagles and this pairing added some colour to the program.

We reviewed the two preliminary final games which led to the Sydney Swans and the Western Bulldogs going through to the AFL Grand Final next Saturday. The team also contributed their views on the possible outcome of this game.

An update on Sam Reid’s participation in the GWS Giants preliminary final for those who listened to the previous podcast. Sadly, Sam Reid was selected as one of the emergency players only and didn’t get to make it onto the ground for the final.

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SP13 NEAFL Premiers 2016

SP13 NEAFL Premiers 2016

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It was a special treat and an honour to have THE Sam Reid join us for this episode of the podcast. Sam is the captain of the GWS Giants NEAFL side that won the NEAFL Premiership for the first time last Saturday. I have been fortunate to talk to Sam on two earlier occasions.

Firstly way back in 2012 in the first season of the Giants in the AFL competition. Sam at that time was offering to shave off his beard as a fundraiser for youth diabetes awareness. Listen to that interview here.

The second occasion was in June this year when Sam had finally got selected back in the seniors after something like a 1072 day break while he went through some serious injuries and operations. Listen to that interview here.

I also had the pleasure of our regular panellists, Gus Seebeck and Ian Parker, joining Sam and I as we discussed:

  • the NEAFL Grand Final win,
  • the East Coast Eagles great Grand Final win yesterday in the AFL Sydney Premiership division,
  • the two AFL semi-finals played on Friday and Saturday
  • previewed the AFL preliminary finals next weekend where we have both Sydney teams, Sydney Swans and GWS Giants, playing Geelong and Western Bulldogs respectively.
  • Can we dare mention yet the possibility of a historic first AFL Grand Final between the two Sydney teams?

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SP12 Finals at last!

SP12 Finals at last!

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At last, we are in to the pointy end of the season as they say. I call on the knowledge and wit of Gus Seebeck and Ian Parker to preview the AFL Sydney Premiership division grand final next weekend between the East Coast Eagles and the North Shore Bombers and we offer our fearless predictions of the outcome of course. Continue reading

Guesses vs Facts

Guesses vs Facts

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Greg Talbot and Matthew Mack from AFL NSW joined Gus Seebeck, Ian Parker and the Stace to review the fearless predictions we made back in March 2016 on who we each thought would make the top eight and play in the finals of the AFL 2016 season.  So we matched the facts against the guesses made back then in one of our more entertaining podcasts. Continue reading

Exits

Exits

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It’s round 23 this weekend, the last home and away round of AFL season 2016. It will also be the last game played by many players as they exit their AFL playing careers.

Some will retire at a time of their choosing for any number of reasons.

Some, like Dane Swan, will have their exits forced upon them by ageing bodies failing to live up to the intense desire to continue. A classic case of “the spirit is willing but the body is weak”. Continue reading

Penno Juniors 50th

Penno Juniors 50th

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I am joined again by Ian “Chicken” Parker former player and vice-president of the Pennant Hills Demons in talking over the local and national AFL news and also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Pennant Hills Juniors AFL club, a fine achievement for a Juniors club. The club is having an anniversary dinner at the Epping Club on Saturday 20th August 2016. See the club website for further details. Continue reading

Loyalty and other small issues

Loyalty and other small issues

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Amid the usual local and national AFL news for this week, Ian Parker and I discussed the issue of player and club loyalty. This was prompted by the news this week in rugby league that the former Parramatta star player, Jarryd Hayne, has returned to the National Rugby League competition with the Gold Coast Titans club. He left Parramatta at the end of 2014 to pursue his dream of playing in the USA gridiron competition for the San Francisco 49ers. Jarryd retired from the NFL in May 2016 to try and get into the Olympics playing for the Fiji rugby union sevens team. He wasn’t selected and now has decided to return to league but with a new club. Continue reading

Records Round

Records Round

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Australian football, AFL, like most elite sports, is a game of numbers and statistics. Players and clubs performance is measured by an ever increasing array of statistics and every week we seem to be celebrating one or another milestone achieved by a club or one or more players. This week it happily came about that not only one of the hardest to achieve records would be broken, the most number of games by an AFL player in his career, but four other players would pass 350, 325, 300 and 200 games respectively. It is rare indeed that such a confluence of records would be created in the one weekend of footy so we felt obliged to call this podcast the “Records Round” in celebration of these feats. Continue reading

Alive AFL 24Jul16

Alive AFL 24Jul16

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This week I got together with regular guest Ian Parker to broadcast the AFL highlights from both the local and national competition on our local community radio station, Alive 90.5 fm in their Sunday Sports Roundup program.

However as the show was also doing a live broadcast of a soccer match we only had enough time available to just include an extract of the segment in the broadcast that went to air but I have the full broadcast available below for you to listen to. Enjoy. Continue reading

Welcome Bam Bam

Welcome Bam Bam

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My guests for this second episode of the Staces Place podcast are my regulars Gus Seebeck and Ian Parker before they both take some time away from the podcast; Ian for a week on a cruise and Gus for about a month on a family trip to Ireland. We seem to have crammed a lot into just 24 minutes including: Continue reading

THE Sam Reid is back!

THE Sam Reid is back!

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Yes, he’s back, THE Sam Reid is back playing in the GWS Giants first grade side!!  He has finally made it back after 1,000+ days out with injuries that have plagued his whole career to date. I first interviewed Sam back in June 2012 in the GWS Giants first year in the national AFL competition, see my post about it here. Since then he has been sidelined by injury which took him to early retirement, an assistant development coaching role, back to playing in the NEAFL, and now, finally, selected to play in the second Battle of the Bridge game this year against the Sydney Swans on 12th June 2016. Continue reading

AFL radio show 15May16

AFL radio show 15May16

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In our Juniors section I chat with Adam Wilson from Baulkham Hills Hawks Junior AFC. Baulkham Hills AFC is one of the oldest AFL clubs in Sydney and are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. The Juniors club is also going through some changes this year with a new committee without distinct positions such as President. Adam explains this new concept as the Juniors start this year in a completely new competition. AFL NSW has now split the greater Sydney area into basically East and West which is in closer alignment with the location of the two AFL clubs, Sydney Swans and GWS Giants. The Baulkham Hills Juniors were previously in the competition which now falls into the Eastern division and would involve increased travelling times for the players so they have for the first time moved in a competition located closer to home in the Western division. Continue reading

It’s the Battle of the Bridge!

It’s the Battle of the Bridge!

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

Turncoat?

Turncoat?

Screenshot 2014-03-16 13.49.51My 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

The Greene Giant

The Greene Giant

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Toby Greene is just 18, going on 19. Just old enough to vote,  just old enough to die for his country in a war, and just old enough to play as an elite sportsman in one of the toughest sporting competitions in the world, the Australian Football League, generally known as the AFL. He is a young man in a team of young men in the youngest team in the AFL, the GWS Giants, playing their first season as the latest expansion team for the AFL. A team expanding in to the heartland of Sydney, previously the sole domain of the replanted South Melbourne side now known as the Sydney Swans. Continue reading

THE Sam Reid

THE Sam Reid

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There are two Sam Reids currently playing AFL in the Sydney area.

One is a highly rated prospect for the future who plays for the well established, Eastern Suburbs based, Sydney Swans.

The other is a young man who plays for the GWS Giants, the brand new Western Sydney club fighting for support in its first year in the AFL competition. Continue reading