Lachie in, The Ashes, Novak out…

England captain Joe Root bowled by a grubber…it summed up the visitors’ tour. 265070 Pictures: AAP IMAGES

A new face joins the Gazette sports team this week with Lachlan Mitchell filling the shoes of Nick Creely, who has uprooted his young family to take up a career opportunity in Warrnambool. This week we welcome Lachie, say farewell to Nick, and discuss The Ashes and a bloke called Novak Djokovic…you may have heard of him in the news recently!


DAVE: Alright boys, just like the Poms, we’ve had to make a change at the selection table with long-time sports journo Nick Creely making the move to Warrnambool last week and Lachie Mitchell coming in to take his place. Tyler, you were pretty close to Nick, how do you see the move for the little fella?

TYLER: Little fella, he’s not going to like that (laughs).

DAVE: (Laughs) I’m putting things into perspective mate, Lachie’s 6’6, you’re 6’5, and I feel like a midget at 6’1…Nick was the little fella at well under six foot.

TYLER: That’s fair enough then. It’s a big move for Nick, to uproot a young family and head to Warrnambool, he’ll smash it and I’m happy for him.

DAVE: Yeah, it’s a big move alright, but I think he’s made the right call and on behalf of the readership of the Gazette we wish him well. But, just like in sport boys, we move on quickly and Lachie is the fresh blood ready to take things on. Tell us a little bit about yourself Lachie?

LACHIE: From what I’ve heard I’ve got big shoes to fill, but that shouldn’t be a problem because I’m a size-13 shoe (laughs)…I won’t be struggling in that department. I’m a Richmond supporter, sports mad, and I can’t wait to get to know the local sporting landscape, Pakenham, the south east, and I can’t wait to get into it. I also love my racing so hopefully I can tip a few winners along the way as well.

DAVE: Your favourite sports Lachie?

LACHIE: I love AFL, that’s number one, I love my soccer, the world game, it’s always on and always a good talking point, and there’s always so much to talk about with the cricket…they’re probably my big three. But it’s AFL for me, especially when Richmond is winning, it’s a better sport.

DAVE: We’ll have to disagree on that one mate, but all the best, the Gazette is pretty well known for its sports coverage around the region so it’s a great opportunity. Get stuck in, get to know people, and you can’t go wrong. Tyler, what about you, stepping up the order a bit, how are you feeling about it all?

TYLER: Yeah, a bit more responsibility, and I just hope you never call in sick Dave on a Monday or a Tuesday (laughs)! I’m really looking forward to it, getting creative with my own leagues, I can’t wait to get stuck in and continue the good work that Nick did.

DAVE: Just for the record boys and to give our readers a heads up, Tyler you’ll be looking after Outer East and Eastern Premier Division in football, I’ll be looking after West Gippsland footy and netball and Beaconsfield in Eastern Division One, and Lachie – being a Hampton Park boy – the Southern Football League is right in your wheelhouse. There’s Ellinbank, the MPNFL, Gippsland, and plenty of other leagues and sports we need to get our heads around as well. It’s going to be a big year in sport!


DAVE: Alright boys, Nick out, Lachie in, but that’s enough about us…The Ashes is over again, four-zip to the Aussies, you must be distraught Tyler being an unabashed English fan. What’s your take on a pretty dismal series for the Poms all round?

TYLER: It’s pretty simple, they’re just a side that isn’t good enough. It’s the same blokes carrying the load, Ben Stokes, Jimmy Anderson, Joe Root, those blokes are class players, but most of the rest are struggling, although Wood was pretty good. They’ve got a lot of work to do England, another rebuild is on the cards but unfortunately, I think there’s a priority on white-ball cricket and it’s obviously shown with the red-ball stuff. I do feel sorry for Joe Root though…one rolls along the ground on Sunday and that pretty much summed up his tour.

DAVE: Yeah, it looked like a real mental battle for the Poms. I remember prior to the tour there was talk about whether the series would go ahead at all. They played with no spirit, they seemed under-prepared, even when they took wickets there didn’t seem to be the same passion as the opposition. Lachie, your thoughts on the tour?

LACHIE: Australia is well known as a tough place to play cricket, even when you are prepared. England had practice games washed out in Queensland and their first game was basically a Test match at the Gabba. They were underdone, they had selection issues…why Broad didn’t get first crack at Warner in Brisbane is beyond me, and it just snowballed from there. Stokes came in underdone and Anderson, dad’s army, was expected to lead the attack. If they’re banking on Anderson to still take all the wickets, they were always going to be in trouble.

DAVE: What about the Aussies boys, they win four-nil, a comprehensive victory, Boland takes wickets for fun, Jye Richardson looks good, Cam Green is a star on the rise, Travis Head has a breakout series…are they well placed – skill and depth wise – to take on the upcoming challenge of the sub-continent?

TYLER: I think it’s exactly what this side needs. We all know what Australia can do in Australia, they’re arguably the greatest team on home soil ever, but they’ve struggled to replicate that in places like India. Marnus Labuschagne, he averages 60 but hasn’t really been tested in those conditions, it’s good for world cricket that the Aussies go to the sub-continent in good shape and get to test themselves in those conditions.

DAVE: What about Pat Cummins…did he win you boys over as captain? It didn’t sit right with me to begin with but he won me over towards the end. Hopefully Steve Smith can swallow his pride and let Paddy learn on the job.

LACHIE: He won four, drew one, but Cummins really hasn’t been tested as yet. Last year, the knock on Tim Paine was that he wasn’t creative enough to get the Indian tail out and I think we saw a bit of that in Sydney with Cummins. The sub-continent will sort him out, Allan Border made his name there, Ricky Ponting as well…the sub-continent is where it’s at.

TYLER: Speaking of AB, I saw a great story about him when he was captain of Australia in India. It was 48 degrees; India was 0/100 and Allan Border called out the 12th man and put a vest on. He walked past the Indian batter and told him how it easy was in India, how the heat didn’t bother him at all and how the conditions were over-rated. I don’t know if it played a part or not, but the Aussies got the breakthrough in the next over.

DAVE: I’d be leaving that one alone if I was Pat Cummins. I work up a sweat just walking to the fridge and back these days. Tyler, you were very vocal at the start of the series about being a Pommy supporter, you must be feeling a little down in the dumps today?

TYLER: Yeah, I’m flat, I can’t hide my disappointment, it would have been nice to see a bit more of a contest that’s for sure.


DAVE: Alright boys, we don’t get too political in LTS, but we can’t let this week go without a little chat about the saga surrounding Novak Djokovic. My opinion is based on some pretty simple principles, that people in Australia have had to endure some really tough times – like not being able to see relatives on their death beds – all because of the enforcement of federal and state government laws. To then allow a tennis player into the country who is not vaccinated and had a very flimsy excuse for his failings…does not sit right with me. In a nutshell…I’m glad he’s been sent home.

TYLER: I’m not too sure about the visa stuff, I know there are a lot of people upset that he got fast-tracked. The issue for me is that I am going to go to the Australian Open and I’m pretty sure they’re going to check me out to see if I’ve been double vaccinated before they let me in. I’m like you Dave, no political expert, but if I need a jab to go to the pub, he needs one to play tennis…whether that’s morally right or wrong or not I’m not sure.

LACHIE: We’re facing a pandemic, we have one every 100 years, and I think the Morrison government has been pretty firm on it, you get vaccinated you can come in, if you don’t you stay away. Rules are rules, the rules have to stand because people are dying because of this thing.

DAVE: One of the things that has really frustrated me is the commentary from some Djokovic supporters who are asking how the best tennis player in the world can be treated like this. To me that is absolutely irrelevant…he can be the best tennis player in the world or the 46th ranked chess player as far as I’m concerned…I don’t care…the rules should be the same for everyone.

TYLER: What it does show is the government isn’t prepared to buckle and they’ve stayed strong…I think they’ve done well.

DAVE: Okay boys, let’s stop that conversation there, we’re obviously out of our depth but I think if we’re a reflection of the general population then the right call has been made. There was plenty to talk about this week, on a grander scale, but we’ll get back to focussing more on our local product as the week’s roll by. Welcome aboard again Lachie!