Carbo's Classic Hits

I'm an aspiring sports journalist and am currently studying Professional Writing & Editing at RMIT with a view to completing a journalism degree. Sport plays a big part in my life and I don't think you will ever be able to take sport away from me no matter what I am doing or where I am in the world.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Good start out at Casey Fields

A new era in the VFL's history was created this afternoon when the Casey Scorpions took on the Box Hill Hawks at Victoria's newest multi sports complex, Casey Fields.

After struggling both on and off the field for several seasons, the decision was made by the Scorpions to move away from the club's traditional home at Newcomen road in Springvale, which has become a somewhat outdated facility.

Southern Football League club Springvale Districts will continue to play games at Newcomen road.

There might be some Scoprions supporters who would have otherwise prefered to see home games continued to be played at Newcomen road, the facilities at that ground are no longer up to VFL standard and Scorpions general manager Brian Woodman spent many hours working with various bodies to ensure the move to a new location was a smooth one.

It's good to see that the Scorpions have maintained the club's history, and one of the most visable elements of this is the old SFC logo still displayed on the playing jumper. They have not any indentity taken away and the alignment with St Kilda seems to have improved, after suggestions that it was struggling to be maintained last year.

Watching the game on television, I thought it was a great advertisement for the VFL to have a bumper crowd and although there may have been some people who were just interested in inspecting the new facility, no doubt there plenty of people there who simply who regularly attend VFL matches.

Since the VFL was restructured back in 2000, there have been questions raised by those in the media and other football related circles with regards to whether or not the competition would still be able to attract any sort of interest with the general football public.

It has been able to attract crowds and you only need to have been watching ABC's broadcast today to see that were a lot of people in St Kilda and Hawthorn colours, another market that has been tapped in AFL supporters.

The City of Casey and Football Victoria should be congratulated for the exciting new project, which will provide plenty of opportunities for the residents of Victoria's booming eastern corridor.

Time will tell whether or not traditional Springvale supporters will travel out to Cranbourne each week to watch the Scorpions play.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Dean Mighell.... is he right in what he said?

Dean Mighell is a powerful man in his role as state secretary of the Electrical Trades Union and he also is president of the Coburg Tigers, which he used to his advantage earlier this week when he launched a scathing attack on the Richmond Football Club.

The attack was published in Phil Cleary's column in this week's edition of Inside Football, which publishes a double page VFL lift out each week during the season.

Coburg are treated by Richmond without much respect according to Mighell and if his club was given more of this, more financial support would be made available to Coburg.

It's about time that the Richmond Football Club became more involved with Coburg and didn't just treat is as a reserve's team for the AFL players each week, they have already taken away the indentity of a once strong club known as the Lions.

The same has happened to Williamstown and you only need to listen that club's theme song to see how much Collingwood have taken over a club which also has a proud history, as do all clubs who compete in the VFL.

Richmond needs to show more support towards to its VFL affiliated club, both financially and resources wise if it wants the alignment between the two to be one that to be strong.

It's about time Greg Miller and other officials at Richmond sat down to have a serious discussion regarding whether both clubs can be happy whilst they are aligned to each other. After all, it was Richmond who decided to have a side in the restructured competition when other clubs such as Melbourne decided to align themselves with an VFL existing club.

Coburg might even be able to establish a licensed venue with poker machines if they can get some more financial support from Richmond, this would translate in Coburg being able to have enough money to run as a stand alone club if they choose to server ties with Richmond which could be a suggestion if the poor alignment continues.

Following my previous article on the issues surrounding Port Melbourne president Peter Saultry and the issues he has with the Kangaroos prior to the Borough deciding to compete as a stand alone club, this is another kick in the guts for a state league football competition which is the best in Australia outside the AFL.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

ANZAC Day football, should it be shared around?

Today's ANZAC Day clash between Essendon and Collingwood was a great spectacle, but also a close game instead of a one sided affair, which has been the case in previous clashes between these two sides.

Last year saw quite a debate arise within both the media and the general football public about the issue of whether or not clubs other than Essendon and Collingwood should be a given a chance to play on the special day that is ANZAC Day.

The particular issue of which sides should play on ANZAC Day is one that the AFL and the clubs should discuss further and ensure that they are not pressure by the media or fans into making a favourable decision.

Sydney and Melbourne trialled playing on ANZAC Day night a few years ago and as a Sydney supporter, I don't seem to understand what was the idea behind moving it from there to another day.

Maybe the fact that a lot of people have to work and kids have to attend school the following day may very well have something to do with it, although the real reasons why it was moved to another day would make for some interesting reading.

Then again, why should there such exclusive treatment given to two clubs with regards to playing on ANZAC day?

Yes, they might of started the tradition back in 1995 but the AFL should be sharing it around things around, maybe take the example of the SANFL which has the two grand final teams from the previous year playing off on ANZAC Day.

The AFL and the clubs should discuss this before next year with a view to allowing other clubs to also play on this day, thus ending the monopoly two clubs have on it.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Past players and officials, an important part of the VFL

There was an estimated crowd of 2000 people at Chirnside Park today to see Werribee take on Sandringham, in a rematch of last year's grand final and it's great that such a big crowd was out supportung the VFL competition.

What really pleased me was seeing a lot of people not dressed in Bulldogs or Demons gear and more interested in the VFL listed players, rather than just coming to check out how the fringe AFL listed players were going.

This is a strong endorsement for a competition, that until the year 2000, was considered to be slowly deminishing and could have possibly be extinct within the next five to ten years at the time of the revamp.

Many of the former greats who have worn the black and gold were there, including Werribee Football Club life members Michael Frost and James Puli who are both now plying their trade in the local WRFL competition with Yarraville and Hoppers Crossing respectively.

It's players like these and past officials that have contributed to the rich history of not just Werribee but the competition as a whole, it's really sad that the old VFA is to an extent being forgotten or ignored by the die hard footy fans of today.

Many football purists would argue the VFA was at it's best in it's hey day during the 1960s and 70s when it was 16 players a side, which made for a more free flowing style of football which wasn't as fast as our game has become today.

This might be true, but to save it we really need to get the past players and officials involved again in various capacities if Football Victoria wants the competition to continue to be the premier state league in Australia.

Players may come and go from the VFL clubs for various reasons, but they should never be forgotten by the club they played for. This also includes AFL listed player in recent years who have established themselves as top notch VFL players, but have struggled to cement a spot in an AFL side. For example, Melbourne's Paul Johnson, who won last year's Liston Trophy whilst playing for Sandringham.

The VFL has been reinvigorated, but attitudes towards it need to be changed and this will happen if Football Victoria promotes the competition with a much more positive attitude.

You never know, it may bring back some of the old VFA diehards who have become disenchanted with the comepetition following the restructure in 2000.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

VFL alignments, are they effective?

Since the VFL was revamped back in 2000, each of the Victorian AFL clubs have had an alignment with an existing club and in the current format, only Geelong field a team that isn't aligned to one of the original clubs.

Whilst there are bound to be issues when it comes to the running of football clubs, there are some which are specific to the VFL and as a result, various club presidents including Port Melbourne's Peter Saultry have expressed concerns publicly.

Saultry, who has always been an outspoken club president, was unimpressed when Kangaroos coach Dean Laidley attempted to dictate to Port Melbourne coach Saade Ghazi where the AFL listed players would play. As a result of this, many of the VFL listed players who would have otherwise played senior football were play reserves football.

This issue and others related to the alignment with the Kangaroos saw the Borough terminate the alignment and opt to compete as a stand alone club for season 2006.

If the individual VFL clubs want the partnership with AFL clubs to be strong both on and off the field, the issues such as those that occured at Port Melbourne need to be resolved long before they escalate into something serious that attracts widespread criticisim and unwanted media attention.

Phil Cleary said in his Inside Football column this week that he wouldn't have welcomed an AFL coach telling how to coach when he was coach of Coburg and I'm sure Ghazi would have felt the same way when Laidley tried to impart dictate the terms of selection to him.

It's all well and good to suggest or discuss where you would like your players to play in the VFL lineup, but it's simply being too intrusive if you stand over the coaching staff and selection panel telling them where the players should be played as well insisting that they must play senior football regardless of form.

Fortunately, this issue isn't the case at the Werribee and Sandringham football clubs who are both acknowladged with having the strongest alignments in the competition with the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne respectively.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Looking outside the square, I'd like to see that

These days, if you are an athlete it seems as it you have a greater chance at being drafted by an AFL club then if you are a talented footballer.

It's unfortunate that these days, clubs are placing more emphasis on those who athletes rather than footballers be drafted and whilst some involved in recruiting have suggested it's part of our modern game, football skills will always be important.

Footballing ability was always what potentital recruits were measured on, although now it seems like it has taken a back seat to athletic ability and now we are seeing some players drafted with potential,but are struggling to adjust to football after coming from a different sporting background.

There is also too much of an emphasis on players who play in the elite TAC Cup competition and the National Under 18 Championships each year.

What recruiters struggle to see is that there is a lot of talent playing elsewhere in the local or country football, although this is changing and St Kilda drafted James Gwilt directly from local football at the 2004 National Draft.

One particular concept that recruiters seem to struggle with is that not all players are ready for AFL football when they are 17 or 18 and such players are often ignored unless they chose to give themselves another chance at being drafted or rookie listed by playing in the VFL, SANFL or the WAFL.

An example of playing taking longer to develop and establishing a carrer at the elite level is Western Bulldogs star Dale Morris. Morris was initially denied a place on the Calder Cannons, but took steps to prove the Cannons officials wrong and he did.

He spent several years at VFL club Werribee, starting in the reserves before establishing himself as a regular senior player and his performances caught the eye of sveral clubs, including the Western Bulldogs.

He was subsequently rookie listed and was promoted to senior list early in 2005, keeping Adelaide superstar Andrew McLeod to single figure possesions in his debut game at Telstra Dome.

His first year in the AFL was capped off with selection in the Australian team for the international series against Ireland, where impressed with his ability to quickly to adpt to using the round ball.

Dale is an example of what happens when those who are initially denied a chance to make it as an AFL footballer work hard and remain focused on being drafted or rookie listed by a club, which he did.

All of these achievements are not bad for a boy who played all of his junior football at EDFL club Doutta Stars and spent a lot of time training with Simon Minton Connell, who was a mature aged recruit himself.

It's about time those involved in recruiting at the AFL clubs took a long hard look at themselves when it comes to what the look for when studying a potential recruit.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Money... ruining local football

Having been involved in grass roots football for three years before stepping up into my role with the Werribee Football Club, there is an issue which is often ignored by both league administators and Football Victoria.

It's the issue of money being used to buy a premiership and to put it quite simply, money is ruining local and country football all over Australia not just here in Victoria.

What ever happened to the idea of playing for the love of the game?

With the ridiculous amounts of money involved in football at both local and country level, the idea of playing for the love of the game has been virtually thrown out the window and as result, some clubs which have been force to fold due to not being able to compete with the richer clubs.

There are players who live in Melbourne, but play football for country clubs and being compensated with petrol money is fair enough but being paid to play at the grass roots level totally goes against what this sort of is all about, which is mates and community amongst other things.

It's all well and good for football clubs to be interested in winning premierships, but surely signing an ex AFL player or something along those lines won't exactly ensure that you win a premiership. It makes me laugh to think that some clubs actually think that by spending such large amounts of money will actually win them a premiership.

Nothing is further from the truth.

Some clubs have been known to pay these players amounts upwards of $1500, surely this would be placing strain on a club's finances if they are not exactly a rich club which can afford to also be a licensed one with poker machines and a bistro or bar which acts as another line of income.

It now comes across as if you don't you have large sums of money and/or alternatives to generate it, you are simply going to struggle to be competitive because you can't secure the signatures of ex AFL or state league players.

Within Victoria, Football Victoria and the VCFL needs to seriously discuss this issue with everyone concearned as it is just going of control, it's ruining football at the grass roots level regardless of where the clubs are.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Volunteering, is it worth doing?

The Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth games were a great event for not just Melbourne, but the for the state of Victoria.

Whilst various groups and individuals have come out saying that the monent spent on the Commonwealth Games could have been better spent in other areas, but what they struggled to see is the legacy that it has left behind.

The legacy from Melbourne 2006 includes things such as facilities, infrastructure and other things that our city will is already benefiting from such as the revamped Melbourne Cricket Ground.

As a person who played a role as volunteer for the largest sporting event ever hosted by Melbourne since the 1956 Olympics, I feel as though I am part of the legacy.

I feel part of the legacy because the skills I learnt during my time as a specator services assistant are transferable to employment in the future.

Unfortunately, there are many young people who think that volunteering isn't worth doing because you are not paid and in my opinion this way of thinking only reflects the current world we live in, where some people are judged based on how much money they have.

As a volunteer you don't get paid, but you develop skills and friendships which last an entire lifetime unlike some of the frienships we have or have had which seem to last no more than five minutes. Having a disability, it has also helped me to interact with people in a different environment I might not of otherwise been exposed to had I chosen not to volunteer.

Everyone and more specifically, young people need to look outside what something is worth when it comes to money. What about the satisfacation of knowing that you have helped someone get to where they need to go next or where to go if they need to go the toilet?

Those two might sound like basic things that many of us would know without asking, but places can sometimes become so crowded that it's actually quite hard to find something which is where the volunteers at major sporting or cultural events come in.

Even if young people volunteer for something which is not related to sport, the same things could be said for how it gives you skills and friends that last a lifetime it all helps to make us all better people in an ever growing society.

Our world is becoming more selfish and self centered than ever before, by not volunteering we will continue to develop into a society that is worried about ourselves than those around us or the environments in which we live.

It's about time that schools started teaching kids more than just the rights they have due to the fact that as people we also have obligations as well and one of these is helping others, which can be achieved by participating as a volunteer.

Melbourne will host the World Swimming Championships next year and I really do hope that more young people volunteer some time towards an event that will be very exciting to be involved in, just as the Commonwealth Games and Deaflympics were for me.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Netball in Australia, what are the problems?

Netball is a sport that struggles to receive the media attention that it deserves, even if it is one of the largest participation sports at community or grass roots level here in Australia.

One of the main sports I cover as a sports writer is netball and more specifically, the Commonwealth Bank Trophy, which is the highest level of netball a player can play in this country.

Last season was the first season that I covered and although I had a passing interest in netball before last year, it became much stronger after seeing a full season of the best netballers in the country take the court over 14 rounds of comepetition.

Many people ask me what's so good about covering netball?

There are many things that make netball such a good sport to both watch and write about, but the friendliness as well as professionalism are two things that really do stand out for me. From the moment I entered the SNHC for my first ever game as a reporter, everyone was so kind and helpful to me which is something you don't always get when covering other sports.

The way in which the CBT competition is run should be the envy of other sporting bodies in this country, simply because there are no egotistical or selfish people running the sport. If I ever need something, I can get it straight away rather than any being handballed to five different people before finally getting some that can be called an answer.

They might be the best netballers in the country and have represented Australia at various levels, but the sad thing is the lack of financial support the players receive which means all of them have to work a full time job as well to support themselves.

It's even harder for you as an elite level netballer if you are student, of which many of the younger players are.

The players put themselves on the line each week with all the training and other netball activities they partake in, only to not be financially rewarded accordingly when they are entitled to receive something rather than a few token payments or free items.

It's about time the Australian Sports Commission invested more money into netball because it's a great sport for all involved and the players deserve much better working conditions than what they are currently exposed to, which explains why they recently joined the AWU (Australian Workers Union) with the support of Bill Shorten.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

What makes VFL football great

Hi everyone,

How has your Easter long weekend been so far?

So far for me, it has been very enjoyable and none more so than today which saw me at Werribee's first home game for season 2006.

It was great to see such a large crowd pack into Chirnside Park and see a great game of football, even if we did go down to Williamstown by two goals.

After having a long lay off from my stats work due to Commonwealth Games volunteering, it's great to have finally been able to put pen to paper again in the last two weeks as the VFL season is still at a very early stage.

Being involved in VFL football is something that I live for every weekend during winter and for anyone who has ever though about being involved, you should get involved because it's a really life as well as career enriching experience.

VFL football is completely different environment to the media saturated and sometimes over exposed AFL football, the VFL competition is a grass roots competition which is run just like the precursor the AFL was.

Suburban grounds, cheap food at the canteen, cold cans of beer you can drink in the outer and everything else that many of you would remember from when you used to go to the football with your Dad or family.

Unfortunately, I have never had the privledge of experiencing football the way it used to be and judging by the stories my Dad has told about his days at the old lake oval supporting South Melbourne they were great days.

They were great days because the game wasn't as sanitised as it is now and it was affordable as well as value for money, something which has become a little non existant in today's money hungry consumer society.

Even if you can't get to a game of VFL football, try and get down to see some local football because it's a similar experience to the VFL although maybe you could say a lot more relaxed and also an opportunity for you to talk to anyone you like ragardless of how you are.

Most people are willing to have a chat, but this is not always the case at a VFL game especially when the two clubs are aligned to an AFL club and have AFL listed players playing for the respective club.

The Werribee Football Club has a strong alignment with the Western Bulldogs and such an alignment can be used to your advantage if you want to work at an AFL football club even if it's in a small role rather than a big one.

Tomorrow is going to be a great day for me, celebrating Easter with some of my Dad's family and having a nice lunch.

Happy Easter to you all.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Social life, something I have struggled with

Have any of you ever thought what it would be like to not have a social life?

Well... that's been me for the last few months due to not having a regular cash flow and yes, I don't have a proper job but have enlisted the help of an employment agency so don't go having a go at me for not trying to find something.

I don't what it is about myself, but a lot of people find me both interesting and funny it must be my extraverted personality which is something that has gotten me into trouble in the past because it has come across that my personality is too familiar for some people to handle.

It was always a big issue for me in high school, I struggled a lot to make friends early on because of my Asperger's and also my behavior as considered weird by some but people grew to understand overtime and that's how it would always be if they were around me.

One of my greatest social life related moments in my life as the deb ball in year 11, the cheers to which each couple were greeted with were quite large but not until I was introduced with my partner.

It was amazing as I never knew how many people actually respected me for who I was a person, what I said or did.

Welcome

Hi everyone,

How's it going?

I've created this blog as a way of showing my writing on all sort of things, although sports writing is a major interest of mine so don't be surprised if you see more sports article than general interest one.

VFL football is another big love of mine and this stems from my involvement with the Werribee Tigers as a football analyst/statistician, something which is extremely rewarding because I am being paid to do something I love.

Netball is the main sport I write about, covering mainly Melbourne Phoenix and Kestrels home games played at the SNHC as well any international Tests played by Australia here in Melbourne.

I'm a Melbourne Phoenix supporter, but try to not to show this in my writing.

I was lucky enough to cover two internationals during my first year as a netball reporter and they are too games of netball I will never forget.

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