Gards, greats and goal-umpires

Inspired by Nathan Gardiner, the boys picked their dream most flamboyant forward-six from the teams they report on. 320081

DAVE: Alright boys, we keep saying it every week, it’s been a huge week in sport with the Matildas bowing out and Spain winning the Women’s World Cup. We’ll touch on that bit later, but let’s start with the local stuff, Jonty, your best action from the weekend?

JONTY: I’ve been a bit unlucky the last few weeks, seeing some blowouts, but I watched a classic game of football between Port Melbourne and Springvale Districts in Southern Division One. Port has a notoriously boisterous crowd, that’s the kind way of putting it, and they really got behind their team. My best action came from George Angelopoulos…

DAVE: I remember George, Noble Park, Narre Warren, the list goes on…

JONTY: Did he get himself in trouble back then?

DAVE: Sure did.

JONTY: Well he only gave away one 50 on Saturday, which is good for him. I could have gone three or four different things that he did, he was a clear standout on the day, but he stood under a high-ball, knew he was going to get crunched, took the mark, got winded, sent it back inside 50, and the physicality he showed was indicative of why Springvale was able to get so close to Port, who rarely lose at home.

DAVE: Marcus, your best from the weekend?

MARCUS: I watched Narre Warren host Mt Evelyn, and their win effectively sealed top spot. The best action came from Joel Zietsman, their centre half back, who is in a purple-patch of form. Narre had its high-press going, really suffocating the ground, and Zietsman actually smothered the ball with his head. The ricochet bobbled around for a second, ended in Kurt Mutimer’s hands who kicked a goal on the run. I was just impressed with Zietsman how he put his body on the line to make that smother. He also kicked three from centre-half-back…he had a big day out.

DAVE: Normally I’d be impressed with that mate, but I had the very-rare privilege of watching a full-forward kick his 100th goal on Saturday. Nathan Gardiner from Cora Lynn needed five at the start of the day, but only had two until half time. I was starting to think ‘should I have stayed at the pub’, because I went there to put my punters club bets on. But Gards came good, kicked six after half time, and his 100th goal came in classic full-forward fashion. Heath Briggs won a clearance out of the middle, Gardiner leads to the fat side, and Briggs hits him up across his body. Gardiner goes back and slots the kick, from a place where he missed two earlier chances. It was a great way for a full-forward to kick 100 goals. Well done to Nathan, who is now in the same illustrious company as his boy-hood hero Marc Holt.

JONTY: Sounds perfect.

DAVE: I wrote a story about Nathan on Saturday night, and I’ve never called him a ‘champion’ before, but I feel like that one kick elevates him into that category. I started the story with “Cora Lynn champion…and I think it sits well with him.

JONTY: I think we can be a bit free with the word champion, so it’s good to see he’s earned it from your point of view. I agree with you, kicking 100 goals goes down in history. What was the reaction…did the crowd storm the field?

DAVE: The players ran from everywhere and the Cora Lynn trainers (yes you Kylie) positioned themselves well so they could go out and give him a cuddle. It really meant a lot to Nathan, which was great to see. He played with Holty, was coached by another goal-kicking legend in Simon Goosey, so the pedigree is certainly there. It was a great day for Nathan, his family, and Cora Lynn.


DAVE: With Nathan Gardiner in our thoughts, Jonty, I want you to give me a flamboyant forward-six from the teams you report on.

JONTY: At full-forward, you can’t go past Paddy Ryder…

DAVE: That’s a fair start Marcus, how are we going to match that? (Marcus rolls his eyes)

JONTY: He kicked seven goals for Devon Meadows on Sunday; they won by 21 points, so no arguments there. Kyle Hendy brings that level of flamboyancy and flair that you’re after Dave, just a really energetic presence for Hampton Park up forward. Cam Williamson plays above his size, is a hybrid forward for Doveton who leads their goal-kicking this year. Matt Wetering, he’s a former Collingwood-listed player. He created a contest on Saturday that really should have been punched through, but it allowed Stefan Feehan to come through and kick the goal. Marc Holt, he speaks for himself and Brandon Nolan, he’s from Dandenong in Division Four of Southern, and he’s had a really good few weeks.

DAVE: Love it Jonty, a bit of lower grades diversity there mate. Marcus, can you top Paddy Ryder? And a late rule, only one player from each club so Narre Warren and Wandin don’t dominate.

MARCUS: I can’t match Paddy Ryder, but in former Devon Meadows and St Kilda teammate Josiah Kyle, that’s as close as I’m going to get. He’s only played a few games for Hallam, but he just does special things that show he’s an extreme talent. Rogan Goonan from Emerald, he’s your classic small forward, bit of a pest, good finisher, brings the tackle pressure. Then Tom Nelson from Berwick Springs, who is an out-and-out excitement machine who pretty much won the game against Seville a couple of weeks ago.

DAVE: I’m loving that diversity again boys…it’s not all players from the top level.

MARCUS: Well, that’s what happens when you set silly rules in place. From Outer East Premier Division, my man Jordan Jaworski from Wandin has claims on being the best player in the competition, he’s made a real impact coming across from Lilydale this year and he’s so clever in front of goals. Will Howe from Narre, he’s good overhead and at ground level, a superb finisher, will win the goal-kicking easily, and finally I’m taking Jordy Stewart from Pakenham.

DAVE: A defender?

MARCUS: He’s a swingman Dave, when he goes forward he can take a good grab and he’d be a good focal point in my made-up forward line.

DAVE: He’s a class act Jordy that’s for sure. No surprise boys, but it’s the ‘Nathan Gardiner Show’ for me this week. He’s strong, quick on the lead, has good hands, and kicks like a mule…I’d hate to play on him. Mason McGarrity from Dusties, he’s a small forward who has kicked 60 goals this year and only needs an inch of space to slice you up.

MARCUS: There’s the customary Dusties mention Jonty.

JONTY: Yep, sure is.

DAVE: Sorry to talk boys while you’re interrupting. Will Hams, former Essendon player…

JONTY: Sorry to interrupt again Dave, but how lucky is Essendon. It feels like their putrid display is about the fifth biggest topic this week.

MARCUS: Thank god for that – we were that bad!

DAVE: Excuse me boys, I’ll try again. Will Hams from Inverloch, love the way he plays, very clever and does everything with panache. Now for diversity…

JONTY: Are you getting Chloe Nagel in?

DAVE: Mate, I’m going to head butt you in a minute. No, not Chloe, but a teammate of hers in Tianah Vandesteeg. She’s a little pocket-rocket who plays half-forward for Pakenham and no-one can catch her when she runs. She only weighs 45 kilos, so she’s in trouble if she gets caught. Dermott Yawney at centre half forward, he’s still learning his craft in just his second year in the forward line but is the key to Nar Nar Goon’s final hopes. And Jafar Ocaa from Beaconsfield, he suffered a serious leg injury recently but has all the tricks you want from a flamboyant and flairish forward.

MARCUS: Flairish…the boss is creating his own words now.

JONTY: Marcus, you cover Casey Demons, you could have matched Paddy Ryder with Brodie Grundy.

MARCUS: Brodie Grundy and Paddy Ryder are not in the same league…I’m taking Paddy every day of the week. (Boys nod)


DAVE: Boys, where does Sam Kerr’s goal rate in the special moments in the history of Australian Sport? We didn’t win, but the quality of that moment was incredible. Marcus?

MARCUS: I’ve got it second behind Michael Clarke.

JONTY: Michael Clarke? (Dave rolls his eyes)

MARCUS: Yes, Michael Clarke, when he says to Karl Stefanovic, “Karlos, don’t you walk away from me you #@*&,”…in the Noosa car park earlier this year. It’s hard to go past that moment; Sam Kerr’s pretty stiff to be second in a very hot field. But it’s Pup and Karlos for me. Seriously, it was against England, the old enemy, and if we won it would be at the top of the tree.

DAVE: Jonty, bring some decorum to this chat please mate.

JONTY: I’d have it as the best moment I’ve seen in my lifetime, simply because of the raw emotion when you see it hit the back of the net. With Ariarne Titmus, you know a few strokes out that she’s going to win, so you don’t get that same release of emotion. That catapults it to the top of the tree for me, it was outstanding, and all the superlatives have been used.

DAVE: It’s funny how for someone that is not a huge soccer fan; my most memorable moments are all from that sport. John Aloisi stopped the nation with his kick to qualify for the World Cup in November 2005, then Tim Cahill kicks Australia’s first-ever goal at the World Cup Finals about six months later. I rate Cahill’s goal as the best, then Kerr, then Aloisi third. And boys, as a horseracing fan, when Makybe Diva hit the front at the clock-tower on her way to winning her third Melbourne Cup…I had goose-bumps from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. I don’t think I’ve ever been that excited watching a sporting event. You knew you were watching history being created.


DAVE: We’re almost out of time. Jonty, your thoughts on the goal umpire stuff up at the Adelaide Oval?

JONTY: I feel really bad for Crows supporters, they deserve to play finals. Just follow the process, understand the moment, the players are celebrating, doesn’t that ring alarm bells? As you can both tell…I’m very frustrated with this.

DAVE: Good point Jonty. To not understand what that decision meant, the time of the game, the end of the season, the ramifications…that’s astounding to me.

MARCUS: I agree, but how many times do we get umpire reviews, where they just want to check to be sure, and people like Brian Taylor complain about how long it takes. How much of that was playing on his mind.

DAVE: I like your alternative views Marcus.

MARCUS: I’m a Zigger, you blokes are Zaggers. I’m not a goal-umpire obviously, but the way he got into position and made a clear, decisive call, you’d have to pat him on the back for doing that.

DAVE: The bloke had four decisions he could make and three of them would have been right. He chose the fourth. Call a clear point, which he did, call a clear goal, which he didn’t, or make a soft call for either and ask for a review. I’ve thought about this since the weekend, and the review should take place even though it wasn’t asked for. The game should roll on, and when the ARC finds there’s been an obvious mistake, get the umpires to blow the whistle and stop the game. That decision could have been reversed and called a goal. We go back to the centre, we reset the clock where it was, and both teams are playing on a level playing field. The right decision is made, the tension and drama is intensified…it might be something to look at.

Anyway…good chat boys…we’ve solved the world’s problems again!