Newell’s Notes Round 5 Greater Western Sydney v Fremantle 2019

Not surprised by the Purple Haze win

So were the Giants due for a loss? perhaps, but the gut feel for me was the Dockers played really well last week against West Coast and they had the inclusion of Nat Fyfe. Last week, they shot themselves in the foot with some terrible ball handling decisions. They looked at times to do the same against the Giants over the weekend but they ironed out those issues as longer the game went on. As to Nat Fyfe, it was an absolute joy to see him do what he does best, at the coalface getting the ball out of the packs and in the middle and driving his team into offense. He seems to be a cool bloke especially after seeing him on Bob Murphy’s show last year talking about what it’s like to be a footballer. Those 6 am swims that Nat takes regardless of the weather sound like sheer torture. His 18 contested possessions really told the tale of his game. Freo need him to stay fit for the majority of season 2019 if they wish to go deep.

Back where he belongs. Nat Fyfe returned to the place he loves on Saturday. Photo: Jodie Newell

David Mundy the consummate professional footballer

You have to love a footballer like David Mundy. He’s been around forever, still plays like a champ and he’s such a decent bloke. You couldn’t find a bad thing to say about David, he’s such a pro when it comes to football. We spoke to him last year after a 30+ point loss against the Giants in Canberra. He was matter of fact, positive and upbeat despite the loss. Turn it around 12 months later and David was pretty much the same after the win. Really enjoy his insights into the game and he’s about to play his 300th on Saturday in Perth. It’s a fabulous achievement when any player reaches such a milestone. Hopefully the ground will be full when he steps out onto the ground against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night. One of the greats of the modern AFL era that’s for sure.

Good luck Shayne Hope

One of the cool things in being involved in AFL media is the opportunity to meet up with fellow journalists. It’s interesting to see how folks make it to footy media and what they do and the roads they have taken to get there. Over the weekend Shayne Hope posted his last article for the West Australian. Shayne who is Melbourne based, has covered the West Australian teams on the road in the eastern states for several years. Obviously media people have different tasks and Shayne is a “deadline” guy with a hungry readership keen to snap up any and everything West Coast or Dockers come game day. He’s done a pretty decent job over the years we’ve known him and in trying circumstances.  Freo coach Ross Lyon is well known for his frosty relationship with the media, however Shayne has shown great skill in circumnavigating Mr Lyon’s barbs and non-committal style when it comes to questioning. Shayne to me, never appeared to be phased by Ross and that’s good journalism. You aren’t there to make friends, you are there to try and get some kind of understanding despite the demeanor of your subject who is presenting themselves for questioning. Wish I could stay as cool. So good luck Shayne, no doubt you’ll land on your feet somewhere in the AFL world, but it’s been really cool saying g’day during the West Coast, Dockers v Giants, Swans games. Hopefully we’ll see you round somewhere at a post-game presser! You can find Shayne on Twitter at:

Shayne Hope and his last article penned for the West Australian over the weekend from Canberra. Source: The West Australian (screengrab)

Catching the train to Canberra will be a better experience in 2022 +

Sometimes the journey is just as enjoyable as the game. Getting to Canberra by train is a pretty decent way to get to the footy. You don’t have to worry about traffic, forget flying and being treated like cattle or regretfully being assumed that you’re a “danger”. Train travel is fun. You get to meet other footy people who are heading to the same destination. You also might run into folks who have nothing to do with football, that’s the great joy of a train journey. Have to say since we’ve been taking the train, the numbers of Giants fans heading up to the nation’s capital have been steadily increasing. It’s always instructive to hear what the fans are saying or what is on their minds. One bloke told us he could see from his spot behind the goals that Phil Davis didn’t seem to be switched on and that he struggled. He and his family were all decked out in Orange and Grey and had left the family car home to beat the Easter holiday traffic, smart move. One bloke we ran into was a civil engineer who told us he was involved with the future upgrade of the XPT services around New South Wales regional railways. The current XPT has been a workhorse for regional routes of the state. But it’s like riding in a museum piece compared to what’s coming around 2022. The new trains are from Spain (yes that crew who are responsible for the light rail!)..all jokes aside, this new train looks brilliant and we are certain more Giants fans will use the new trains, they look super comfortable and I’m told will be able to travel a little quicker. Check out the short video which explains the new layout and relax Giants fans the train colours arent going to stay in the Essendon red and black, the livery will be changed to match NSW Transport colours.


Absolutely glorious Autumn weather in Canberra

It was an absolute belter of a day in the nation’s capital on Saturday. It was a lovely, balmy 25˚ for the majority of the day and there was no need for sleeves. Manuka Oval looked a treat and it’s good to see the stadium infrastructure being updated. The new cricket media centre looks great and hopefully a new stand will be built in the years to come. Manuka Oval has plenty of history and it has that country town feel about it still. Love watching the replay and seeing in the background the Canberra countryside hills or parliament house. It’s got a nice vibe about the place.

Gorgeous day in Canberra. Photo: Jodie Newell

The Dockers are united

It’s all about the vibe hey? The joy and happy scenes in the Freo rooms were palpable. General Manager Peter Bell had a massive grin as he back slapped the players as they headed up the race and into the sheds. Even coach Ross Lyon could crack it for a smile as he swaggered up the tunnel, he even had a kind g’day for us and we responded sheepishly “It was a good win hey Ross”. hehe what else can you say?? One thing that was clearly apparent was that Rory Lobb the former Giants player absolutely relished the win. He stood up against Mumford in the ruck particularly in the final term where the game was decided. And there is so much to like about this Fremantle team, Plenty of room for improvement. The forward set up of Hogan and Taberner, midfielders, small forwards in Walters, Matera, Langdon. And then there is Fyfe. If they all stay fit who knows?

All smiles in the Dockers rooms on Saturday. Photo: Jodie Newell

The Giants flat as

Maybe it was the emotional comedown after losing spiritual leader Cal Ward last week, but the Giants looked flat. Phil Davis looked antsy and he sounded antsy on the interchange wing. You could hear him berating himself with regards to effort saying “disgraceful” and restlessly paced the deck up and down champing on the bit to get back out on the field. Tim Taranto looked slow, and Jezza found it hard to look threatening in the forward area. Matt de Boer and his tagging role was a fizzer, but nobody is perfect. Anyhow all roads lead to the SCG next week for the big Battle of the Bridge. This like any AFL game wont be a gimme. Sydney will be wanting payback for last years inglorious end to their finals campaign at the expense of a brutal Giants effort. It will be interesting to see how the Giants respond as to does Sydney who are really at new lows.

Under the Pump. Adam Tomlinson under pressure from Freo. Photo: Jodie Newell

Time for a coaching succession plan for the Sydney Swans?

Was fascinating on the weekend hearing some of the pundits on AFL radio starting to talk about a “succession” plan re: John Longmire. With all due respect to Mr Longmire, it’s been time to change coach for almost two years. He cannot take this team any further with his strategic outlook on the game. It’s time to change and be bold. The perfect fit we honestly believe would be one, Matthew Scarlett who is coaching the Geelong defense who are known as ‘The Misfits” Scarlo captures the imagination as a football person. He was like a general at the back for the Cats during their 3 flag dynasty. Importantly, Scarlo knows what it takes to win premierships, but also how to manage people on-field. One wonders if Swans CEO Tom Harley is quietly thinking to himself about all options, surely Scarlo’s name would come to mind if the need arises. Anyhow you read it here first folks in that we dont think that appointing Matthew Scarlett as the Sydney Swans head coach in the not too distant future is too much of an outlandish prediction.

Is it time for the Sydney Swans to consider a coaching succession plan re: John Longmire? Photo: Jodie Newell

About the Author

Jodie Newell
Love reporting on sports, politics, history and music