Glenelg Tigers vs West Adelaide Bloods @ Glenelg, 27 May 2017
Do you remember the old-fashioned “spray”? That’s when a coach feels it is time to get in the face of a team that has promise, potential and polish, but doesn’t seem to produce it when required. On Saturday, after three insipid quarters against bottom-of-the-barrel West Adelaide, that’s what the Glenelg Tigers got. Senior Coach Matthew Lokan spent a good chunk of ‘lemon time’ delivering a fair old bake to the team that trailed a team with a player list bulleted by injuries and AFL absentees. At that stage, it was West 7.6 to the Bays 5.6 and but for a late Warwick McGinty goal, it would have been more.
In a box suspiciously full of men with pens and clipboards (obviously AFL scouts, chaps with quiet arrogance and passive aggression who know they lack the moral weight to be there, but have all the power), with the rain threatening to pelt down and reduce scoring opportunities, one of our Vice Presidents threatened that if the boys didn’t fire up, or if the umpires didn’t cut us some slack, he’d strangle his cat, Willow. (We are sure he was joking. You were joking, weren’t you?) We’ll never know, because the Tiges did fire up (we didn’t get any breaks from the umpires, natch) and piled on 5 goals via Terry Milera, Liam McBean and Josh Scott. Glenelg ended up in front by less than a goal.
Glenelg can’t keep on doing this. When playing away, especially against the good teams such as Norwood or the Eagles, a slow, sleeping-in start is fatal. They did it against South and almost got away with it, but apart from giving the enemy an advantage needlessly, it is also very hard on the dodgy ticker of The Varnished Culture‘s sporting correspondent.
Indigenous Round smacks of tokenism, but gives us a chance to recall some of the great aboriginal men who played the game. For West, Bert Johnson was a great wingman who had a key role in their stunning 1961 premiership season and for the Bays, Syd Jackson was a well-known VFL star who finished his career in Glenelg’s 1977 Grand Finalist year (morally, we won that game, although technically, we lost).
Glenelg 10.7 (67) West Adelaide 9.9 (63)
P.S. Mark Mickan is currently the Head Coach of West (he guided them to a premiership flag in 2015) but he took charge of Glenelg in 2006 and turned them from cellar-dwelling also-rans into a major force in the competition. ‘Rubbers’ is calm, cool and ‘intense’ when he needs to be. We understand that he is not at all well, and wish him all the best for a speedy recovery.
By the way Willow, it’s safe to come out now….