Fitzroy Football Club: Great football, Great community, Great culture.

Reality and Perspective


They reckon a change is as good as a holiday. We weren’t expecting a holiday in Caulfield against Old Haileybury, one of the ladder leaders who were on the back of three straight losses. And Fitzroy had ‘change’ again, our second straight set of 6 compulsories. Harris, Megennis, Minahan, Moore, O’Donnell and Staples came in for Kyroussis, Ligris, McKay, Mitchell, Ramshaw and Seakins. Clearly, not ideal, it’s simply not possible to continue to have such alterations to structure without the end result being affected.

The Two’s fought and fought to eventually claim a narrow victory, remembering of course that they were as badly impacted by unavailability as the Seniors. Marcel Laidlaw was outstanding in the win. I enjoyed my coffee and $17 sandwich (aka a Reuben) from the local cafe (there goes the pension) watching the boys slug it out. I savoured the free Haileybury snacks after the game. Just like a good old person.

It was a goal apiece at 10 minutes after Hart marked strongly. A strong man-on-man physical contest. Bill Clayton was rucking well in Jack McKay’s absence. But they were rebounding strongly and easily out of our forward line, switching the play, controlling possessions into their front half. It was 27–8 at the first break, a worry.

The second stanza added to our collective woe. We appeared hesitant at times, not a Roy’s trait. Our clearance work was poor, At one point I stopped scribbling notes, fearful that I might become too negative. It was 8 goals to 1 at this juncture. Hart then found Harris for a goal, and youngster Staples got it to Bill Clayton for another.

62–23 at the half, and a ‘reality and perspective’ mindset sunk in while I passed on the afternoon tea in the social rooms.

I didn’t enter the change rooms, but I did hear a raised voice or two, understandable under the circumstances. I was looking for players who were winning their positions, or at least breaking even. Lowrie was performing a terrific blanketing job at full back, Big Bill solid in the ruck, Hart presenting up forward, Wotherspoon toiling like a traditional rover should, and Toohey getting plenty of the ball. Generally, the opposition were so much cleaner. It was 96–30 at the final change. The best I can say is that we were still fighting.

Coach Mahoney called for clear ‘measurables’ at the huddle. Pride, contest, win the quarter, work at stoppages, look after the ball, take care of the footy. In the main, we met those criteria in the last, and won the quarter. Wotherspoon continued to put his head over the ball, and we kept on keeping on. It was 117–61 at the final foghorn. Could have been a lot worse to be honest.

Reality and perspective are often hard to quantify, but it’s something we always try to teach our kids. Last Saturday, we were certainly up against it from the outset, and maybe we got what was coming.

The skill, the challenge, is to face that reality, turn it around, and legitimately confront De La Salle next Saturday at BSO.

Guy (keeping it real) Gorilla.

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