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Wembley Supers v Central Crocs
19 May 2010
Cue the music. They say we’re young and we don’t know, won’t find out until we grow...
Ah, the dulcet tones of Sonny Bono and Cher - before she decided to immortalise herself by becoming more parts plastic than flesh – singing that iconic tune I Got You Babe. If you haven’t seen the Bill Murray film Groundhog Day, none of this will make any sense. However, don’t despair, much like Benny ‘Super’ Mann’s on field decision making, most of these reports fail to make sense.
Of course the premise of the movie is that a man, Bill Murray’s character, gets trapped reliving the same day over and over again. It commences with his alarm clock going off and Sonny and Cher invading his sense of hearing each morning. He then proceeds to experience the same events over and over again.
Sounds like Vets training sessions doesn’t it?
The good news is that after some time he changes his approach to certain situations that occur throughout the day and a happy ending, (not of the Executive Finish variety), ensues. One of the themes is to learn from your mistakes and I think the other is if the opportunity presents itself to exploit a situation then run the gamut as it’s much more fun than being morally correct.
At least that’s what I took from it anyway.
And so it was that on Sunday, 19 May I jumped into the car to head down to help set up for our home game and what should come on the radio but I Got You Babe. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the Sonny and Cher version, but the horrendous cover by UB40. To say my ears were assaulted is an understatement. It’s up there with fingers down a blackboard, a fork on tin, or the octave Sean ‘Sarge’ Sergeant’s voice hits when relaying instructions over long distances.
However, I digress.
For the Wembley Supers we were about to experience our own version of Groundhog Day. After competing against Central Crocs in Round 4, we found ourselves opposed to Central Crocs in Round 5. Talk about your quirk in fixturing. Now, for some this was not something to begrudge. After all, the Crocs are a great bunch of blokes who play the game in the right spirit. They are also a team that we accounted for the previous week with some ease.
How much ease? Well there was some talk that Clint ‘Fev’ Nieuwendaal was among the best players of Round 4 and the only other time he’s scored votes was when we played that charity game against the blind....
So there was mixed reaction to having to play the same opponent two weeks in a row. However, we had bigger fish to fry as it was our turn to host the fixture and there were things to erect, wipe down and put away.
Sorry, my mistake, that was an insight into Ben ‘Spits’ Spitteler’s pre-match preparation.
For the hosting gig we needed to set out tables, put up marquees, organise drinks stations and host the much anticipated, and well attended, Ladies Day Tent. Thankfully, mother nature delivered a day of resplendent sunshine and we had sub contracted the canteen running duties to the Wembley Juniors. That decision, along with giving Sean ‘Irish’ Delaney a run in the ruck, would prove masterstrokes.
Being a home fixture, the Masters boys were out on the park at 10.30am and we would follow at 11.30am. The Ladies’ Day festivities were due to run from 11.30am until 2pm, however word got out about the spunks hosting it and the ladies started arriving by 10.45am. It’s at this point that a huge thankyou needs to be extended to the wonderful Rowena da Silva for her efforts in organising the food for the tent. A big thanks also to Di Newnham for providing the music and to Ben ‘BP’ Powell for sorting out the drinks. Of course we’d also like to thank all the ladies who came along and enjoyed the good food, drink and company. Oh, and the footy - of course.
At this point the Wembley Veteran’s Footy Club would also like to issue a formal apology for having Mark ‘Aravinda’ da Silva rostered on to the Ladies’ tent. This was an oversight in our planning and we realised the mistake we had made when numbers in the tent diminished quicker than David ‘Creedy’ Creed’s ability to keep his feet on a football field when Ara commenced his hosting shift.
All this and we still had a game to play. So let’s talk about the game.
Injuries and the Cannes Film Festival (go figure) would see some necessary positional and personnel changes for this game against the Crocs. Despite his best attempts, Michael ‘Devo’ Devine’s intimate massage of my damaged adductor would only allow me to take the field in the comfort of a forward pocket. Devo somehow managed to convince the coach to place him on a half forward flank where he duly promised that he would pass me the ball all day.
I’m still waiting.
Ian ‘Trigger’ Booth was fulfilling international film duties at Cannes and therefore we went looking for quality recruits to bolster our defence. These attempts failed, however we did unearth a warm body in Anthony ‘Monty’ Monterosso. Monty brought himself and his dubious nickname to the club and was warmly welcomed by all and sundry – especially when we saw he was heading to the backline. He would give a good account of himself throughout the course of the game too – air kicks aside....
Welcome down to the club Monty!
We would also see the return of a club favourite in Shane ‘Muriel’ Wedding. He’s short, slow and terrible overhead, but he gets the pill and has sublime skills by hand and foot. He’s also a top bloke and he returned with some wonderful news regarding his engagement to his lovely fiancée, Tash. Welcome back Muriel, and congratulations to you and Tash on the upcoming nuptials.
The pre game focus was on improving our efforts in winning clearances as the Crocs had our measure in this area last Round. And so it would pass in the first quarter that we would split the clearances with the Crocs and this resulted in a highly skilled, competitive contest that went goal for goal. Glen ‘Jane’ Austen was again impressive with his workrate and with Ben ‘Super’ Mann, James ‘Jimmy’ Waghorn, Craig ‘KB’ Nelmes, Sean ‘Sarge’ Sergeant, Muriel, Fev, Spits and Creedy formed a formidable on ball division that racked up possessions and worked to keep the scores level by quarter time.
During the second quarter the defence set up a barrier that proved almost impenetrable. Sean ‘Irish’ Delaney used his supreme fitness to cover his man and others while the ever improving Aaron ‘Deluxe’ Brinkworth was at his negating and officious best in restricting the full forward and playing hall monitor to the unaccountable squibs in Ara and Sarge. Monty slotted in nicely to the backline with his complete lack of skill but ability to punch the ball forward. It was like he’d attended lessons he fitted in so well.
Have I said welcome to the club yet Monty?
The first half was significant for the quality of team work displayed by everyone in a Wembley jumper. This was enhanced by Benny ‘BP’ Powell’s diligent work as the game day coach. His ability to swing people through a few different positions kept interest up and the team ethic high.
But his best work was still to come.
The third quarter would see the flood gates start to open as the midfield began to dominate and the likes of Leigh ‘Junkie’ Junk, Steven ‘Reedy’ Reed, Nathan ‘Clear’ Colgan and Paul ‘Radar’ Brown only too willing to finish of their work by putting it through the poles that matter. They were ably assisted by the other forward whose name escapes me - but geez he played a bloody good game.
In the last stanza, BP pulled two inspired moves. The first being Irish into the ruck. Irish proceeded to tap it to whoever he wanted wherever they wanted. It was ruckwork at its finest. He followed that up with quality work around the ground that brought others into the game. BP’s second most inspiring move was somehow managing to get Junkie to play in the backline. The fact it freed me up to rule the forward 50 was a pretty good side effect.
These moves, along with further rotations through the midfield and the bench would see a massive last quarter played almost entirely in the Wembley forward 50. It was party time and if you were wearing a Wembley jumper, you were invited.
Cue the music....
Pick of the Bunch: Another sterling team effort
Turkey of the Week: Nelmesy has decided it should go to some guy who apparently kicked 6.2 and handed 5 other goals to teammates, including a 20 metre handpass gift to Radar in the goal square.
My wife thinks you’re wonderful KB.
Survivor update: In an amazing twist, Sandra took out the title of Survivor Heroes v Villains. Evil Russell made it to the final three and didn’t get a vote. I can’t wait for next season.
Wembley Masters versus Warnbro Masters
16 May 2010
First before I start on the match report I must apologies to Mr. and Mrs Smith. I have received a swift kick up the bum via their son Bevo today as I am late providing the report. I am very sorry but life has got in the way of the most important event for me this week. I will never be late again. I am very sorry and I promise not to forego the Masters report for such a long period ever again. Few!!!!!!
So the home game was upon us at Henderson Oval. A late start it was at 10.30am due to the Auskick commitments at the Oval.
As is the tradition of Wembley Vets home games, it brings players out in force. For the first time in a long time the Masters had so many interchange players we had actually devise a rotation system that lead to me for the first time in a season and bit to have a quarter off! I don’t know if I like these home games!
Football was the winner on the day as game was played in great spirits between the two clubs, although as every Vets club claims, we certainly had the upper hand on the day....... No really we did.
The first quarter began very well as the Wembley Masters demonstrated exceptional skills, teamwork and running game which resulted in Warnbro not scoring a major in the first quarter . I started the day by dropping two of the easiest marks that you'd ever see (that’s not counting the three or four dropped in the warm-up) but certainly made amends for it in the second quarter with a 50% conversion rate with my 1 goal 1 point for the quarter. This must have truly impressed the coaching staff who subsequently benched me for the third. They could see I was in for a blinder!!!!!!
The side was led all day by Bevo (you must be proud Mr and Mrs Smith) at centre half forward. For the first time in recent history we all could actually see what position he was playing. Most weeks, with all due respect Bevo, we will wonder where you actually are positioned on the field as you certainly pick up kicks all over the ground. This is not a criticism of him ( mum and dad) as he always play’s a very good game, but it’s just a novelty to see him only play within one part of the oval.
The second and third quarters were equally impressive although Warnbro’s short chip and pass game tested our stamina, however they failed to convert adequately on the scoreboard. Good players are difficult to actually remember now, but I remember Magic having more than his share of possessions and Ned (Flanders) getting angry when getting sandwiched by two Warnbro players and then proceeding to be involved in one of the play of the days. Also remember the Coach having his legs taken from under him and bouncing his head on the turf. A truly wonderful sight with arms and legs going everywhere.
The last quarter saw what is is becoming a bit of a nasty habit from our coach Selfy in swapping the backs with the forwards!!!!. In saying this, whilst us forwards begrudgingly dragged our feet down the part of the oval so very unfamiliar to us, it was a great effort all round with the backs providing evidence of the versatility of the club and the team with a strong performance up forward. Goals were coming from all players and the coach even put himself in the ruck. When the ball did come down back the forwards applied themselves equally as well as the backs did up forward..........I think I got that right as this forward/back thing is a little confusing.
Pinpoint accuracy out of the backline led by yours truly at full-back who managed to get just as many possessions in the backline as in the forward line (yes Aravinda that is more than three) led to several goals.
Highlights of the game include Paddo whose dropkick goal in the last quarter will probably be added to the highlight reel at the end of the year. He also received the coveted Turkey of the week award thanks to our sponsors from Alaturka Restaurant. Well done son. Magic also put in another strong effort both down back and up forward.
Now at this point I am sure there were lots of other good players, but to be honest I am struggling to remember who, so my apologies to all. The game was very enjoyable and the day hosting the round was also a treat.
In closing I must say several highlights came outside of the game including good colleague Rookie kicking a bag of goals on one leg in the Supers, Bevo’s supervision of the bouncy castle, Brainys dog, the great effort by all in selling raffle tickets and most importantly the ladies tent. After a year or two of encouraging the ladies to get down to the games the tent was overflowing with our WAGS. No doubt Ben, Rookie and Aravinda will take most credit for this! I reckon we let them have their moment of glory.