The Roar
The Roar


Roar Guru

Joined January 2010







Was brought up in Victoria, where I barracked for the Bombers in winter and the Aussie cricketers in summer. Life took me to Sydney many years ago, where I've gained an appreciation of many other sports; including tennis, rugby league and soccer/football. But AFL remains my first love; and I'm now proudly a member and supporter of the Greater Western Sydney Giants. In between working a boring desk job and attending sporting events, I trawl the internet for sporting stories and discussions.



Christmas Day cricket would rate well on telly, but absolutely no-one would attend live.

For it to happen, a team would have to be willing to take a hit at the box office; and cop a backlash from their members about paying for a game they can’t attend.

Christmas Day should remain a cricket sabbath

No doubt it’s a factor. I’m sure there’s plenty of kids who don’t play sport because their parents can’t afford the fees or equipment.

Mortgage stress: The poison killing Australian sport

Train travel is free for GIANTS home games. Sadly, Sydney Trains has an uncanny knack of putting trackwork on the T1 line to co-incide with GIANTS home games.

GWS are tearing up the AFL, so where are the fans?

Of course we’d like bigger crowds, and it can be frustrating when they don’t come as quick as we like. But one thing we are not going to do is panic.
The skeptics and knockers said it would take a generation to build a fan base. The skeptics and knockers said it would cost multi-millions to keep the club going. But, unlike what the skeptics and knockers think, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. Only that there’s no more time to lose. The GIANTS are coming from a century behind – a lot has happened in the world of Sydney sport in that time, and our game hasn’t been a significant part of it. We can’t change the past, but we can lay the foundations for the future.
It’s going to take plenty of money and plenty of time to do it right. But time and money is what the AFL has; and any support for the GIANTS is coming out of a multi-billion broadcast rights package.
It took the established Victorian clubs over a century to get 29,000 members. The GIANTS have done it in 8 years. They’re coming from over a century behind, but they’re doing OK.
I’ve spoken to corporate sponsors, both from the GIANTS and elsewhere. They all say that getting the GIANTS in is an absolute no-brainer. AFL will never be the number one sport in the region, but it’s important to establish a presence.

The sporting world is littered with the corpses of expansion clubs. Western Reds & Adelaide Rams in rugby league. North Queensland Fury & Gold Coast United in A-League. Western Force in super rugby. Some were mismanaged, some struggled to gain traction. But all were abandoned by their governing body when they needed support.
That won’t happen here.
I’m old enough to remember when the Swans were struggling and playing in front of tiny crowds at the SCG. In 1992, the AFL were presented with the perfect opportunity to kill them off. They didn’t. They stayed the course. And the rewards followed.
The GIANTS are here to stay. Deal with it.

GWS are tearing up the AFL, so where are the fans?

North Melbourne are the only Victorian club with no poker machines. GWS Giants doesn’t have them, neither do the Swans. Pretty sure West Coast & Freo don’t either. Don’t know about the SA or Queensland clubs.

Australia must overhaul its position on gambling

With injury tolls and most players having niggles at this time of year, they need their bye week off.
As an example; my club, the GIANTS, are playing interstate in Adelaide this week and then going to Hobart next week. And then they have their bye. After 2 long interstate trips back to back, they’ll be buggered and will need their rest in the bye week. If there was State of Origin that week, even if a GIANTS player was selected and wanted to fly interstate to play in it, the club would forbid them from going.

No-one is going to give up their bye week to fly interstate and play for the Allies. Clubs will make their entire list unavailable, citing broken fingernails or “general soreness”.

The time is right for an AFL State of Origin revival

The least amount of international cricket since the World Series split; with none at all between the SCG Test and mid-March.
Suddenly we see why the Big Bash is expanded to a double round-robin. There’s a massive hole in the program to fill.

Day-night Perth Test, March ODI series confirmed as CA reveal next summer's fixtures

The players are earning peanuts for a 7-week season with one-year contracts. Of course they’re going to go where they can maximise their off-field opportunities.
Once the players’ salaries and the number of games they play increase, you would expect the player movement to settle down to AFLM levels.

No loyalty in AFLW? What sport are you watching?

My theory on this.
Israel Folau has an offer too good to refuse from French rugby. And so he needed to get out of his Wallabies/Waratahs contract.
At least he got out of his contract in advance rather than just up and leave like Sonny Bill Williams.

Israel Folau does not deserve the sack

The last point, be more consistent, is the key to this. It’s when rules are not interpreted consistently that irritates people more than anything else.

Five areas the AFL urgently needs to address

Likewise. I got Thursday night’s result, then didn’t get another till Sunday. 4/9 for me.

Eight talking points from AFL Round 1

It’ll inevitably happen at some stage. But at the moment the AFL are happy to keep it as an ace up their sleeve for the next broadcast rights deal. If the broadcasters want it, they can pay for it.

The solution that could solve the twilight saga

The term you’re probably looking for is “semi-professional”. The players do get paid something, but it’s peanuts; and so they can only train in the evening after the players have done their full-time jobs.
They have access to AFL-standard training & rehab facilities and AFL coaching & training staff; but because they’re working elsewhere, they can generally only access them after hours. With that access, now into its third season, the standard of play has improved; but there would be the potential to improve much more. And with not much money and so few games, it’s not easy to entice potential players to relocate interstate to play.

Why an all-expansion AFLW grand final could hurt new teams

Haven’t seen the numbers for last Sunday. GIANTS AFLW played at 2pm, Wanderers played at 7pm. Neither made the top 20 (both sub-30k nationally); and Mediaweek haven’t tweeted the ratings for either event and I haven’t seen either event’s ratings anywhere else. The womens one-day international cricket dominated Fox’s ratings last Sunday.

The Saturday before – source
#AFLWGiantsBlues : 30k * (4:30pm-6:30pm)
#ADLvWSW : 29k * (I think it was 5:30pm-7:45pm)
Those numbers are Fox national ratings. The AFLW was also on 7Mate in Sydney only, I don’t have any numbers for that. The A-League game was not on FTA.
OzTam don’t give city-by-city breakdowns for pay-tv programming. The A-League may have outrated the AFLW in Sydney, but we’ll never know. Fox has the same programming everywhere, so advertisers are only interested in the national total.

GWS: The next expansion club crisis?

The GIANTS only won 3 games in their first 2 years. But they went from being very bad to very good very quickly; which put some peoples’ noses out of joint.

Obviously in a competition where teams are formed through a draft, when new teams are started from scratch, there need to be concessions. Without them, a new club wouldn’t be able to field a team. And the GIANTS were smarter with how they used their concessions than expected.

GWS: The next expansion club crisis?

I’m not going to comment on soccer, as I haven’t been to an A-League game for 6 years and I’m not sufficiently informed on the business metrics.
But when it comes to AFL in the Greater Western Sydney region, it’s a major population centre where AFL traditionally has a very small following. But while the AFL is cashed up with TV dollars; it’s an opportunity for them to invest a small portion of that money to establish a presence in the area.
The GIANTS rate well on Fox, and the corporate support is there. The GIANTS are paying their way in the AFL; and it’s having a positive effect on participation numbers in the area, which have grown considerably albeit off a very small base. The concerns of the writer of the article aren’t shared by the AFL.

The GIANTS will be fine. And what soccer does is no concern of mine.

GWS: The next expansion club crisis?

We’ll all be rooned said Hanrahan…..

Seems the GIANTS will always be simultaneously a Frankenstein’s monster ready for a generation of dominance and an uncompetitive disaster in the making. A team that loses players in a mass exodus every season, but is being unfairly gifted concessions when they trade them for high draft picks.
The GIANTS are now on the same rules as everyone else. They’ll win games, they’ll lose games. They’ll have good seasons, they’ll have bad seasons. Hopefully more good than bad, but time will tell.
Membership has grown to over 25,000. Obviously we’d like bigger crowds, but it is what it is; and the club and the AFL will keep working to increase the spread of the game.
I’ve spoken to corporates and sporting business people, and they will all tell you it was an absolute no-brainer to go into Greater Western Sydney. The members and supporters the GIANTS have picked up hasn’t been at the expense of the Swans, who have increased theirs steadily; but the majority are new people to the game in the part of Australia where traditionally the game has had the least penetration. And any support the AFL gives to the GIANTS is a tiny percentage of the media rights income which has more than tripled in the time the GIANTS have been around.
We’ll be fine.

GWS: The next expansion club crisis?

The idea of developing a shortened rectangular form of the game has merit. And I don’t mind the idea of having a bit of hit-and-giggle to start the pre-season, similar to rugby 7s.
But AFLX has lost the plot. Too many stupid gimmicks, it’s a ridiculous joke.
And with every sporting event, the fans want someone to win. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But who cares who wins this? Is anyone going to support any team in this?

The unwanted return of AFLX

The players holding down day jobs, playing at suburban grounds. The women are bringing back the traditions that the mens game has lost……
There’s a lot to like about AFLW. Like Mister Football said in his comment above – traditional grounds, it’s free, great atmosphere that’s good for the families to attend. I’m off to Drummoyne tonight – was there a couple of weeks ago for the WBBL final, and hopefully there’ll be another good crowd to follow womens sport tonight. Then we’ve got a couple of games coming up at Blacktown, which is the closest the Giants have to a traditional suburban ground.

One slightly pedantic point, although it shouldn’t take away from a great article – I’m sure Collingwood were playing for premiership points at Victoria Park later than 1990. Only a few games a year, but I’m sure it was still happening until the late 1990s.

The return to Victoria Park: An AFLW fan's perspective

The idea of creating a rectangular version of the game for where there are no ovals has merit. And there’s nothing wrong with a bit of hit-and-giggle similar to rugby 7s.
But with every stupid gimmick that’s introduced to AFLX, it moves away from that worthy objective and moves into the realm of a farcical joke.

AFLX is a misguided waste of resources

There is a big difference between not liking AFLW, not watching it and not mentioning it online, concentrating your online energies into things you prefer (nothing wrong); and hating AFLW and constantly making negative comments online (plenty wrong, and makes you look like an insecure [expletive deleted])

More respect is needed for AFLW

Kids won’t come if they don’t get a bat and a bowl every week. Why should they?
The ones that will drop off are never going to play Sheffield Shield or Test cricket, but does that mean they should be let go?
It can be a juggling act. A mate who coaches an under 12s team told me that there are two players on the team who are clearly more talented than the rest of them. Given their own way, they would monopolise the batting and the bowling, and probably win more games. But within a month they wouldn’t have the numbers to field a team.

Junior cricket must change for future Test success

Presumably the 10am start is so it can be on telly before the day-night Test.

Brisbane turn up the Heat as Sydney pursue third consecutive WBBL title

I definitely prefer the WBBL to be played as stand-alone games rather than curtain raisers. The crowd who are there are there specifically for that game, rather than a sparse smattering of early arrivers who then have to sit around twiddling their thumbs for 2-3 hours between games.
I’m going on Saturday. I would have preferred North Sydney Oval, but Drummoyne is a good backdrop for a crowd of 3,000 to 4,000; a crowd which would be virtually invisible at the SCG.

Will certainly be better than last year’s WBBL final, where the Sixers played the Scorchers at Adelaide Oval, finishing 3 hours before the men’s BBL final and there were maybe a few hundred disinterested neutral fans lightly distributed around the nosebleed seats.

Brisbane turn up the Heat as Sydney pursue third consecutive WBBL title

A game on Christmas Day would rate well on telly, but absolutely no-one would go.
The question is which club will take the hit at the gate and lumber their members with the cost of a game they won’t attend.

Double-header a glimpse of BBL Christmas future