Realizing football news dowunder is not most people’s cuppa tea, posts have been thin on the ground on the topic but now there is an intriguing situation as the final week of the home and away approaches and the finals loom.
In the game, teams 1-4 have the most realistic chance with the way the draw goes – 1 and 2 at the end of the season are heavily favoured and so they should be, 3 and 4 less so, the others favoured by decreasing degrees.
This year, the team on top and rampant all year is N1. Yet they lost the final last year and this year have been beaten twice by us. The team which won last year, the reigning premiers, also lost to us twice this year. They’re currently in 4th. The third placed team only played us once and lost at our home stadium.
Two outside things are happening.
First is that another team who were in the finals have now been stripped of that and the coach banned for a year after drug revelations, sparking an almighty fight, only to be resolved this weekend, for the last spot, N8.
Second is that because our team joined others in strongly defending the AFL in the drugs matter, the AFL has turned around and softened its stance against us having a home final. It’s been policy that everyone except us can have a home final if placed 1 or 2. The reason they’ve always given for refusing us is that the ground is not up to scratch.
It is now – multimillion dollar refurbishment, new stands, lights, giant scoreboard, enlarged capacity, all seated. Yet until a week ago, it was still no.
In the first week, 1 plays 4 and 2 plays 3. 1 is actually playing the current 4 this Friday evening [today] and that will determine where we end up. If it pans out as predicted, then we will play 3 in the first week and the AFL has said that it is considering a home final for us after all – I think it’s a payback for favours rendered but never mind.
This team in 3rd is the very team which unexpectedly put us out of the race last year. Not only that but they have the most parochial, maniacal fans on earth in Fremantle and their home advantage is huge. They want the game over there. They’re the new boys on the block. This year, as mentioned above, they played us at our home and were taken apart.
Now they’ve come out apoplectic that we might get a home final. LOL. Like it very much. A team with a fortress is apoplectic about another team with a fortress but as the chief of the AFL says, there have to be some privileges for those coming 1st and 2nd. I’m enjoying this. I don’t think it will happen but it’s nice seeing Fremantle apoplectic and not just that – they are one of the few teams to trouble us consistently on the field.
And finally – why they’re apoplectic – our team has won 42 from the last 43 at home. The last team to beat us there was the reigning premier.
There’s another intriguing stat – when the premier met us in one of the last games of 2011, we lost at home but went on to win the flag. In 2012, we won that end of season game but they went on to win the flag. Last weekend we won the end of season again.
I hate when we get close to a flag. Can’t concentrate on other things – last year was really glad we went out early. We have no right to be up there in a rebuilding phase but there we are – unpredictable and inconsistent but unbeatable on the day, if everyone’s concentrating, which is the major issue with us. We don’t always and then we’re woeful – we lose. There seems no middle way. Frustrating bloody team but awesome nonetheless.
We’re also seen as the party poopers who should have been happy with our three flags and left it at that. But no, we have to have these delusions of grandeur and be putting spokes in other teams’ wheels at the business end of the season, still imagining we’re a top team and not a team in its autumn. Like it again, the trouble we’re causing.
Much riding on this Friday and Saturday – I’ll report back to you, win, lose or draw – I know how you’re on the edge of your seats to hear all this.