Home' The Bunyip : September 17th 2014 Contents Hot to trot
BALMY conditions at Willaston Oval on
Saturday made for a gruelling preliminary
final that put each team’s fitness to the
In the A grade, South Gawler seemed un-
fazed by the warm weather, having enough
left in the tank to pile on six goals in the last
Freeling ran out of gas in the reserves, sur-
rendering five goals in the final term to Wil-
The weather could again play a big factor in
this week’s grand final, across all grades, should
the temperatures rise into the mid-20s.
It will really expose which sides are fitter,
and could have a big say on who is left stand-
ing at the final siren.
South’s big haul
SOUTH Gawler’s score of 152 against
Willaston in Saturday’s preliminary final
is its biggest of the season.
The Lions booted a mammoth 23 goals on
their way to dismantling the Donnybrooks,
with all signs indicated they are hitting their
peak at precisely the right time of year.
South’s semi-final score of 142 against Nuri-
ootpa was its third highest for the season, bet-
tered only by its 147 points against Tanunda
in round 16.
The Lions’ grand final opponent, Gawler
Central, is also capable of scoring quite heav-
ily, but if South can produce plenty of scor-
ing opportunities, as it has done in the past
month, then it will be right in the contest.
The biff is back
WITH the stakes so high in the match
between South Gawler and Willaston it
was inevitable that tensions would even-
tually boil over, and the crowd attending
Saturday’s preliminary final sure got some
bang for their buck.
The extremely bruising affair culminated
in the third quarter being filled with sparring
contests and errant elbows aplenty, which acts
as a stark reminder of how different country
football is to its professional counterpart, the
While some hits were fair and others ques-
tionable, it was certainly intriguing to watch
from the outer.
If the preliminary final is the pre-show
entertainment for the main event, then it
can be expected that Saturday’s contest will
be a fearsome game of football.
Donnies sent packing
WILLASTON’S senior two netball team
were left to wonder what happened this
September, after it was knocked out in
straight sets on Saturday, despite being
undefeated in the minor rounds.
The Donnybrooks suffered their first loss
against South Gawler in the first semi-final,
but were expected to bounce back with a
vengeance against Kapunda on the weekend.
However, in a big upset, the Bombers
snatched victory to move into the grand final
and leave Willaston to wonder what could
have been for 2014.
The Donnybrooks’ senior one team, which
takes on Kapunda in this week’s grand final,
is thus far undefeated this season and will be
hoping not to follow in the footsteps of its
“THE BUNYIP” GAWLER, SPORT, Wednesday, September 17, 2014 Page 3
with Grady Hudd
Time to improve spectator experience
How prepared is the team heading into the grand
final? I think we’re really prepared after what we faced
last week in the second semi-final. I think that’s given
us good confidence that we can basically get through
anything if we’ve all got our mind set to it, and are all
doing our jobs.
Kapunda took it right up to you in the second semi,
was that a good challenge? They did, and they always
do. We have a lot of respect for Kapunda and we really
like the girls so it’s always a great contest. They certainly
did take it to us, but to our credit in the third quarter,
when the chips were down, we just pushed on and
were able to get a really good lead and show what
we’re capable of.
Did you ever think you’d be in a position where you
could go through the whole year undefeated? We
try not to think about that, and we don’t really ever
mention it. So, we never think about being undefeated,
we never talk about being undefeated; it’s just one
week, one game at a time and, obviously, we play to
win and it’s just turned out that we haven’t lost yet.
How motivated is the side by last year’s grand final
loss? It’s been brought up a few times but, considering
we won three in a row, it’s been a good reality check for
us to know that it’s not just going to happen. Not that
I think we ever thought that ‘it’s just going to happen’,
but it’s certainly changed the way the team thinks and
we know it’s not over until the last whistle. I think our
mindset is very different this year and I think that’s
going to be a huge positive for us.
This year’s line-up is a little different to last season’s,
has that been enjoyable? We’ve got Pam Warner back,
obviously she hurt herself last week, so she won’t be
playing, but she’s been a huge player for us this year.
‘Bec’ (Rebekah) Parker is a young kid and she’ll come on
and do a great job as she’s done all year. We’ve got Lee
Barnett in the squad as well; she’s been excellent and
really worked hard, and she’s come a long way this year.
Has training been a bit lighter over the past
fortnight having had the extra week off? Nothing
changes. We had a bit of a trial game against Blyth-
Snowtown last Tuesday and that was great for us. We
like to try different things and see how the team goes,
and as we’ve done that throughout the season we’ve
always done really well. This week we’ll be having a bit
of an internal game against the twos, and maybe just
refine a few things and that’s it.
“AND they can never tear us
These words have echoed around
known as Adelaide Oval, prior to
each Port Adelaide AFL game this
Thousands of fans join in unison
to wave their scarves, many with the
lyric printed on them, and belt out
the iconic lyrics that made Austra-
lian music legends INXS a world-
wide powerhouse (interestingly, A
League club Newcastle has been us-
ing the song in its pre-match routine
for several seasons).
It is a wonderful initiative, but the
fact Port Adelaide is the first AFL
club to embrace such an all-encom-
passing match-day experience in
this way is a poor reflection on the
Since the iconic single ‘You’ll
Never Walk Alone’ by Gerry and the
Pacemakers was released in 1963, it
has become the anthem of the Liv-
erpool Football Club in the English
Before each match, thousands
of Scousers decked out in their
team’s colours band together to
deliver the song in a way that is
instantly recognisable globally – it’s
a powerful moment.
While Australians are extremely
passionate about their football, the
AFL pales in comparison to interna-
tional sports in terms of home-team
The United States undeniably
leads the way in that regard.
In the NBA, the home team en-
ters the court to an array of lights,
music, cheers from fans, with each
player having their name announced
as they enter the court.
The NHL does a similar thing,
with home teams the focus of pre-
In comparison, the away teams
get a vastly different experience.
There are no lights, rarely any
music, and they are met with a
rumbling “boooo” rather than ap-
They well and truly know they
aren’t playing on their home deck.
While I’m not saying this is feasi-
ble, or suitable, for the AFL, it begs
the question as to whether we are
making our away teams a little too
The ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ idea is
a great step towards AFL sides en-
hancing their home-ground advan-
Not only does it lift the home side
and intimidate the away team, it
gets the local crowd involved, which
only improves the footy experience.
I’m not saying that all teams
should pick a song and hand out
scarves with lyrics written on them
to their fans, because if everyone is
doing the same thing, then it almost
defeats the purpose.
What clubs should be doing is
finding their own unique way to get
their supporters involved on game
day, and heightening the home-
ground advantage; not only is it
better for the players and fans, it is
better for the code as a whole.
SIXT Y SECS
with Willaston star goal-shooter Lisa Wilson,
whose side will be looking to complete a
perfect season by winning the senior one
netball grand final this Saturday.
Star Eagle not leaving nest
THE Gawler Eagles have
taken a big step towards
building on this year’s
improvement by re-signing
star striker Armstrong Gaye
for the 2015 season.
The 22-year-old was the
barometer for the Eagles this
season, scoring 20 goals to
finish third on the league goal-
scoring table, despite his side
finishing second bottom of
Gaye said his decision to
stay was based around confi-
dence the team will continue
to improve next season.
“The boys are still there,
and I’ve been with them for
around two years now, so
I want to give it one more
chance again to see how
things go,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to
next year and think we’ve got
a good team.
“Mostly, we need to im-
prove in the defence and in
the midfield; if we can do that
we should be able to do better
next year, definitely.”
Gaye also spoke highly
of coach Ray Deeley, who
in his second year as coach
has helped the side go from
scoring just five premiership
points in 2013, to 19 points
“I like the way he coaches,
because he’s very cool, you
know?” Gaye said.
“He doesn’t put pressure
on people; if you just follow
instructions and what he tells
you to do, you’ll be cool with
Deeley said it was “a huge
relief ” when Gaye re-signed,
as there was a fear that other
clubs would actively pursue
“If he didn’t sign, I would
sort of say half my side
wouldn’t sign; that’s how
crucial it was,” he said.
“He’s the key to our club;
his personality, the way he
goes about stuff.
“He’s quite a comical char-
acter; his bubbly attitude gets
everybody going and that’s
what you need at clubs.”
The Eagles had a relatively
large turnover of players after
last season, and Deeley laid
down the challenge to his
charges, in their final match
last month, to take the future
into their own hands.
“I virtually gave them a
rocket and said ‘why don’t you
make the difference, instead
of relying on someone else to
come in? Why don’t you step
up?’,” he said.
“And Armstrong’s that type
of person; he will turn around
and he will step up.”
The Eagles will be hoping
to bolster their list with a few
more recruits to build on their
six wins this season.
“I’ve got a real big push on
at the moment for players
to come and strengthen our
squad,” Deeley said.
“And I don’t think it will
take that many; if we can get
a couple, then we’re virtually
going the right way, and that’s
the only way we can go.
“We’ve just got to keep go-
ing up, and up, and up.”
Star striker Armstrong Gaye has re-signed with the Gawler Eagles for
the 2015 season.
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