Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: From Boys to Men

  1. #1
    Warming the Bench
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    279

    From Boys to Men

    The passing of one our country’s rarest of leaders this week has called for contemplation. Bob Hawke saw compassion as a strength, not a weakness. He had his own weaknesses, as we all do, and his were utterly human. He made no bones about them and that was endearing. Our Sydney Swans of 2019 have made no secret that this is a time where consideration and understanding are required. After a shaky start to the season, Mr. Hawke would agree, I’m sure.

    But, there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in. As the late Leonard Cohen observed.

    This encounter at Blundstone Arena in my home town of Hobart has been highlighted on our calendar for many a month. My eldest cygnet, Ollie and I have been engaged in constant dialogue around the fact that ‘Buddy’s coming to Hobart’. Of course, I found out during the week that he’s not. Breaking the news to the little man would be an uncomfortable task, but one that a father simply must confront. Ok, I may have chickened out. For our sake at least, Buddy’s playing.

    I feel as though all Hobartians are playing host today. Amid the chagrin of modern life, the familiarity of home provides a much welcomed serenity – particularly for a day at the footy. The city is forging ahead, adjusting to the expectations of a changing demographic and capitalising on its waterfront advantages. Cafes, restaurants and bars have taken hold as an old town embarks on the challenges of modernisation. The pre-game vibe is one of celebration that we now have semi-regular access to top-level footy.

    With my mind marveling at the multitude of red and white at Blundstone Arena, a venue far from home, my son and I pass through the turnstiles and a calmness overcomes. Buoyed by this sudden burst of pride in my local comrades, we take our seats ‘right up close to the players’ – at Ollie’s request.

    Most likely due to my relentless barrage of indoctrination, Ollie has taken a genuine shine to our Swans. For the first time, it’s just the two of us at the footy. We’re all decked out and expectant. We find the merchandise stall and his new guernsey now accommodates a ‘badge of Buddy’ and another of Aliir – fine selections. He takes a disliking though, to the pre-game firework spectacle, and so we stroll along the concourse, discussing our most prized Swannies and of course, stopping to ponder the pugnacious genius that was David Boon in full flight (in statue form). With the pyrotechnics over, we return to the main event.

    Our baby Bloods have ventured south with a fledgling squad. The six most experienced members of our playing list are unavailable. Our star recruit is not yet ready and our premier ruckman has unfortunately, been almost forgotten. The young blood must take charge and surge through the veins of this team if we are any chance of victory. Leading the charge will be the often-referred-to ‘veteran’ – 26 year-old Luke Parker and the intriguing but dependable Rampe. Both are just finding their feet as commanders of their fleet. Both will prove indomitable tonight.

    This group may just be Longmire’s lasting legacy. For the first three-quarters of the match, the flock fly proudly together. The second quarter is what many of us hope is just a taste of what’s to come. Tommy Papley’s rise from apprentice plumber to a heart-and-soul Swan is incredible. Each of his four goals tonight deserve their own individual highlight reel. But package them together and it’s as though our forwards coach had crafted them himself. McCartin’s charging lead, propelling himself into a sensational pack mark and goal. Blakey’s supreme touch and athleticism was on display throughout, but his snapped goal being the prime example. Ollie Florent’s composure and clinical finishing is becoming a consistent feature. Dawson’s aerial exploits and Hewett’s contested dynamism are what sustained success can be built upon. Heeney just continuing to be Heeney. All the while, Mills, Aliir and Melican repelling at the back and driving the collective forward.

    Generation Next has arrived and these are the boys becoming men before our very eyes. Tonight’s tantalising taste is more than enough to preserve conviction among us all. These are the boys that my boys will grow up supporting through their formative years – lucky little buggers. We all shine a light to our initial favourites, don’t we? My Ollie is already collecting his own and it’s providing me with the purest of joy. After a few too many second quarter toilet breaks and a half-time kick, we’re both firmly entrenched as our cygnets dig in for the fight.

    When the Sydney Swans went searching for a definable ‘trademark’ in 2003, the famed Bloods culture was built upon the cornerstone of three fundamentals. Three non-negotiables: Hard, disciplined and relentless. From our privileged vantage point we were gifted a first-hand look at these values permeating through the youngsters in red and white. They attacked the ball with a fearlessness and tenacity that evoked the spirit of their predecessors. Right to the very end.

    An unforgettable night has been punctuated by what I’m sure will be two everlasting memories: sharing in the victory song with my own delightful boy and witnessing the unity and delight etched all over the faces of our victorious young Blood Stained Angels. As the impregnable R. Hawke once said, “The things that are most important don’t always scream the loudest”.

    AFL footy and Tasmania make fabulous companions, especially at Blundstone Arena which is so distinctive in the parade of Australian sporting venues. What form it takes in the future remains unclear, but there’s nothing confusing about its worth to our community. For our beloved Sydney Swans to play contributor to that, I’m extremely glad.

  2. #2
    On the Rookie List
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Canberra via Marrickville and Moree
    Posts
    30
    Quote Originally Posted by joemoore12 View Post
    Generation Next has arrived and these are the boys becoming men before our very eyes. Tonight’s tantalising taste is more than enough to preserve conviction among us all. These are the boys that my boys will grow up supporting through their formative years – lucky little buggers.
    Love your work Joe. As someone who has also indoctrinated my two boys in the Bloods I look forward to watching these young men grow into their potential with my young men by my side.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Senior Player
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Crowland :-(
    Posts
    3,972
    Great write up Joe, thank you.

    As a general note, how quickly the gloom of just two weeks ago has lifted from this forum with two stirring victories. No more ruing the host of senior players on the sidelines but taking hope and joy in the number of young Swans now taking flight. I'm just ruing the loss of pick 1 or 2!

  4. #4
    Inspirational. Thank you.

  5. #5
    RWOs Black Sheep AnnieH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    At Goodesy's Place
    Posts
    11,113
    I have shoes older than 99% of our players.
    Bellerive is lovely... albeit there were very long lines for the facilities, but at least you don't have to go outside for a bunger.
    They could also organise the buses leaving a bit better - you know, maybe fill up three buses at once instead of one.
    HOBART!!! Where are your ferries? You export ferries to the world, yet you only have two ferries running where most of your population live by the river??? Did my head in.
    I loved going to Hobart. We stayed in North Hobart and the cottages and mansions around us were just beautiful. The old convict brick buildings, the art-deco... just stunning. I love how things are restored and not ripped down and replaced with apartments or mcmansions.
    Wild speculation, unsubstantiated rumours, silly jokes and opposition delight in another's failures is what makes an internet forum fun.
    Blessed are the cracked for they are the ones who let in the light.

  6. #6
    Warming the Bench
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    279
    Thanks for the feedback guys. It's heartening to hear of the enjoyment that Sydney & Melbourne-based visitors gained from staying in our town. I grew up on the Central Coast and then in Orange, lived in Sydney, Dublin & Melbourne as an adult and after 8 years now, I'm a proud Hobartian. Can't imagine living anywhere else.
    Seeing first hand what that win meant to our young Bloods will never leave my mind or my heart. There is something seriously good building here. We just need to stay patient.
    Annie - Couldn't agree more about the ferry situation!!!

  7. #7
    I got back from Hobart last night and loved every minute of my stay, as I usually do. The weather over the weekend was amazing so I got to do plenty of walking around, including the markets of course.
    I agree with AnnieH about the buses, that was painful, including the stop at the car park on the way back. The shuttle buses on the way there worked very well though. I'm not sure what was going on with the bars, but they ran out of a lot of stuff and it was hardly an especially thirsty crowd, nor was it full.
    Today's a draft of your epitaph

  8. #8
    RWOs Black Sheep AnnieH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    At Goodesy's Place
    Posts
    11,113
    Quote Originally Posted by joemoore12 View Post
    Thanks for the feedback guys. It's heartening to hear of the enjoyment that Sydney & Melbourne-based visitors gained from staying in our town. I grew up on the Central Coast and then in Orange, lived in Sydney, Dublin & Melbourne as an adult and after 8 years now, I'm a proud Hobartian. Can't imagine living anywhere else.
    Seeing first hand what that win meant to our young Bloods will never leave my mind or my heart. There is something seriously good building here. We just need to stay patient.
    Annie - Couldn't agree more about the ferry situation!!!
    Why don't they have ferries? Saves half an hour going to Bellerive from the "city" (yes, Parramatta is bigger). It wouldn't be more than a 10 minute ferry ride. That really did my head in, as the MONA ferry captain pointed out the facility where ferries are made and sent around the world (as well as the scenic zinc processing plant).
    We have a holiday house on the Central Coast and my parents grew up and married in Orange, moved to Sydney and stayed since.
    Wild speculation, unsubstantiated rumours, silly jokes and opposition delight in another's failures is what makes an internet forum fun.
    Blessed are the cracked for they are the ones who let in the light.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO