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.
My 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.
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.
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?
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →