Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Leigh Matthews is copping flack over his vigorous rallying of the Brisbane Lions during a quarter time break last weekend.

From what I saw on TV, there was nothing in it.

Winning four premierships as a player with Hawthorn, Matthews was probably the best footy player ever. He coached Collingwood to its only premiership since 1958 and the Lions from AFL cellar-dwellers to three premierships in a row. If anyone deserves to be cut some slack for unconventional coaching antics, it's him.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A tale of two Dockers

Unfortunately, both the Cincinnati and Fremantle Dockers went down this weekend.

Cincinnati 48-33 against the Louisville Cats then 67-27 to the Kansas City Power in their first 20-minute-a-half tournament of the year, and Fremantle in a vapid performance in attack against Adelaide.

While Freo had some outstanding players in defence (Peter Bell, Byron Schammer, Antoni Grover, Shaun McManus) and the Wiz was good in attack, indecisiveness and simple handling errors from the midfielders hurt the Dockers time and again in crunch situations.

Cincinnati is blooding new players. They were playing a long way from home. And the US league is an amateur one. Their Fremantle counterparts can no longer fall back on such excuses.

FREMANTLE: 9.5 (59)
ADELAIDE: 9.16 (70)
GOALS: Fremantle: Farmer 3, Polak 3, Pavlich 2, M Carr.
Adelaide: Biglands 2, Bode 2, Burton 2, Reilly, Ricciuto, Goodwin
INJURIES: Fremantle: McPharlin (lower back). Adelaide: Perrie (knee)
REPORTS - Burton (Adel) for striking Dodd (Frem)
CROWD - 35,090 at Subiaco Oval, Perth

Saturday, April 22, 2006


A little birdie tells me Fremantle's sister club, the Cincinnati Dockers, is playing its first game of the season this weekend - in a tournament in Louisville, Kentucky.

Louisville and Cincinnati (then called 'The Tremor') played the USA's first official game of Australian football ten years ago this year. Carn the lads from Ohio!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Bell's brilliant career

I see players' association president and Freo captain Peter Bell has had his contract with the Dockers extended until the end of 2008.

Good on Belly and the Dockers. That timing will take him up past the next federal election, when he'll probably take over from Carmen Lawrence as federal member for Fremantle. You heard it here first.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Avid readers of this blog may note I tipped a Dockers victory and Paul Medhurst to score two goals against Port Adelaide in today's game.

With a Medhurst double contributing to a rare Dockers win at Adelaide's Football Park - the House of Shane - I'm feeling pretty chuffed with myself. Yes, I'm pretty darn clever. Good looking and modest too.

Former Port premiership player Josh Carr had a Herculian game against his old side, Shaun McManus scored his first then second goals since the 2004 season, and Indian rubber man Luke McPharlin chimed in with 3 majors.

The Wiz was effervescent in both attack and defence. He is, in short, the complete small footballer.

However, the team is still disturbingly indecisive when in goal-scoring range, which could cost it dearly against the better teams, like Adelaide, which it plays at Subiaco next weekend.

On the upside, the Freo fadeout so evident last year (and almost last week) was arrested this week, with players such as Des finishing with a Headland full of steam.

FREMANTLE: 15.20 (110)
PORT ADELAIDE: 11.13 (79)

Fremantle: McPharlin 3, Medhurst 2, Headland 2, J.Carr 2, McManus 2, Farmer, Black, Bell, Pavlich
Port Adelaide: Lade 4, Mahoney 2, Pettigrew, Thompson, Pearce, S. Burgoyne, Dew

INJURIES - Fremantle: Nil, Port Adelaide Wilson (hamstring)
CROWD - 25,042 at Football Park, Adelaide

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Off and on

There's been much speculation in Western Australia over whether the Dockers should be as involved as they are in community work.

Some say it's good the team gives generously to the commmunity. Others say selflessness has long detracted from the side's onfield performance.

I'm in the first camp. If you look across the football fence to rugby, community work has never hurt the ACT Brumbies. I think this, and engaging THE WHOLE community (rather than pricing all but an elite pocket out of its games), is a lesson the Western Force could learn from its counterparts in the national capital.

To illustrate. Jeff Farmer. The Wiz. Every footy fan knows he has anger management issues. But last week I was visiting a family which has a disabled son. They're mad Dockers fans and the father told me whenever he and the lad are down at Fremantle Oval watching training, the Wiz is always the first player to bolt across afterwards to say g'day.

This dad and his son both struck me as intelligent people - certainly not the type who'd be hoodwinked by superficial glam. The dad acknowledged the Wiz can at times be a dill off the field but, as far as his family is concerned, Jeff Farmer is a champ.

Perhaps gestures like the Wiz's, repeated over the years by the club as a whole, is why the Dockers now have the second highest number of members in the Australian Football League - despite mediocre playing performances for most of the club's still short history.

When a premiership flag does finally come Fremantle's way, it will be all the more sweet - because it will be delivered by a club that gives a damn.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Footy tipping

In the battle of the portsiders at Adelaide's Football Park on Sunday, Fremantle should prevail over Port Adelaide - mainly because everyone loves the Dockers and no-one likes Port Adelaide.

Dockers by 2 goals. The Wiz and Pavlich to have blinders as usual, and Paul Medhurst to chime in with three, make that two, goals of his own.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Our Jezza

Over here - in the west that is - we scoff at that half-baked mark Alex Jesaulenko took in the 1970 VFL final.

Instead, we rightly acknowledge the real mark of the century as the one taken by South Fremantle legend (yes, legend - around here he is a legend) John Gerovich over East Fremantle's Ray French in the 1956 WAFL preliminary final.

When Gero took that mark, his hands were 12 feet off the Subiaco turf.
Here's the only photograph of Gero's specky which I think you'll agree was a screamer.

So much so that South Fremantle Football Club last night launched an appeal to finance a bronze statue of the leap. At the function, the club president told us that in 1961, when he visited London, a copy of the above photo was hanging on the wall of Australia House.

That must have been when Sir Les Patterson was High Commissioner.

Shane Parker sighting

Last Friday I was buying a sanger from a greasy spoon just down the street from Dockers HQ when who should wander in but Dockers' defender Shane Parker. He had unusually skinny carves.

A nong waiting for his pork roll at the counter looked at Parks and said, "a bit of unrest at the club, eh?", to which Parker replied, "I haven't seen any of it."

Parks 6, Nong nil.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Freo, highs and lows. Hit 'em real hard in the cods below.

Did anyone catch the Wizzardly Wiz's game against Carlton at Subiaco on Saturday night?

I know I did.

What a pearler he had. That sneaky goal, where he dodged what seemed like 25 bluebaggers and popped the pill over his shoulder for a six-pointer, was pure bliss. And he should now be acknowledged for what he is - the best (possibly only) tackler in the Australian Football League.

When the game looked almost won, Wizzy dutifully toed the footy out on the full then spilled a sitter of a mark, refusing to shirk his responsibility to make the match interesting once more. Which, of course, is the mark of a true Docker and why footy fans far and wide acknowledge us as the greatest team in Western Australia. (If not the western world).

So many sentiments, so few breath mints.

How do I thank someone who tackles hard yet floats like a balloon?
It isn't easy but I'll try.
If you wanted a post,
I would write across my blog in letters,
that would soar (like you) into the sky,
To Wiz with love.

(love you Wiz)

Superfreo! is go.