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The Roar

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Joined June 2023

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Former sports historian who enjoys writing with a bit more flair. Have published one book, Not Playing the Game: Sport and Australia's Great War (2021). Almost finished the next one, The Football War: the VFA and VFLs Battle for Football Supremacy (2024). A Carlton fan despite my best intentions.

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Hey don. As I mentioned I am and remain a Test fan over anything else. But I think this snobbish attitude toward T20 is lame. T20 players have different skill sets. To genuinely love the game is to love the game, whatever format it is.

The death of Test cricket, and the Australian summer, is nigh

Yeah Knox also points to the emergence of the AIS Cricket Academy in the late 80s early 90s a vehicle to identify and cultivate the immense talent coming through. WSC helped to begin the process of professionalising the code which laid the foundation for this academy.

Happy anniversary to the most famous duck in cricket history

Michael I highly recommend The Greatest. In the conclusion Knox discusses how three waves of generational talent rolled through the Australian set up between 1993 and 2008, most being born between 1969 and 1974. Makes you wonder what was in the water at the time!

Happy anniversary to the most famous duck in cricket history

Hey AR I think your comment about infighting between the various Australian rules state leagues is spot on. While they united under the banenr of the Australian National Football Council throughout the 20th century the competition over player retention was fierce, and caused a lot of bad blood. As did the competition between the VFL and VFA. It is all very interesting stuff if you enjoy the off-field side of sport, which I do.

Code wars rage on despite Matildas mania

I am actually a big fan of KoL. First two albums are fantastic. Love the southern/swamp rock. The next 3 are a bit more generic but still good times.

Code wars rage on despite Matildas mania

Yeah he is fantastic. My favourite Knox book is the Greatest, about the Australian cricket team between 1993 and 2008. Amazing cricket writing. Your article has stoked my Invincibles interest once again!

Happy anniversary to the most famous duck in cricket history

An amazing moment in cricket history, thanks for reminder us. That he ended up averaging 99.94 to me is a reminder that even Don Bradman was human, after all. A great book on the Invincibles tour, and one that challenges some of the mythology around Bradman’s persona, is Malcolm Knox’s Bradman’s War. Highly recommend. Knox’s writing on the Leeds Test, particularly Keith Miller and Neil Harvey’s crucial partnership, is simply beautiful.

Happy anniversary to the most famous duck in cricket history

Hey really enjoyed this article.
I think several of its key points were well argued. Cummins team is performing very well comparatively to other captains, and I agree his bowling performances has suffered, slightly, since he took on the role. As you mentioned I am not sure Cummins can be blamed for Warner’s demise, anymore than he can for Usman’s resurgence. Not a bowler’s job to improve a batter’s average, even if they are the captain.

Cummins is proving a successful captain - but how is the job affecting his own stats and those of his teammates?

Just trying to correct your unsubstantiated claim that they “have happily co-existed in NSW for over a hundred years”. Please read Hunter Fajak’s book Code War or Rob Hess and co. publication Australia’s Game to understand the mutually acrimonious relationship between Australia’s various football codes.

Code wars rage on despite Matildas mania

Hey Chris. I would recommend that you read up on some history of sport in Australia and you will find rugby and football not co-existing peacefully. For example, NSW banning the playing of Australian (or Victorian) rules in their high schools in the late 19th century. You are also correct in stating that the AFL and their predecessors have been hostile to other codes. As I mentioned in the article there are no heroes in this.

Code wars rage on despite Matildas mania

Yeah AGO74 I was thinking about those. I guess, strictly from an AFL perspective, Sydney and Brisbane crowds were tiny for decades, so just like football you need to invest over a prolonged period in order to see results. Need to start thinking in decades not week-to-week.

Code wars rage on despite Matildas mania

Hey kewell, it’s unfortunate that the afl has worked to the detriment of football for so long. Having said that, football has also weeded out other sports around the globe. I don’t say this as an “eye for an eye” thing, more as a comment on the survival of the fittest model that professional sport seems to become. It’s a real shame as I think all sports have something to offer us, particularly community sport.

Code wars rage on despite Matildas mania

Hey Chris. As I mentioned the war between the AFL and NRL is largely static, with neither making decisive inroads. Nevertheless I think crowds are decent at storm, Brisbane lions and Sydney swans matches. Just like football, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Just whatever suits the individual tastes.

Code wars rage on despite Matildas mania

Hey kewell. Not sure if you read the read the article but I said repeatedly that football needs to be better represented in Australia. That in my mind includes funding. As I point out, we seem to only value in sport how much money it makes, hence why afl gets so much funding because it makes the most money. I don’t think this is fair or right, but it is a product of sports commercialisation. I believe there should be a more equitable distribution.

Code wars rage on despite Matildas mania

It’s funny David, growing up in Aussie rules heartland (Geelong) in an Anglo-Irish family we were basically brought up to be suspicious of football and rugby. Just like you it was not “our” game. For most of us we are just products of our environment. If I’d grown up in NSW I’d probably love rugby. If it was South America I’d probably love football. If it’s India I’d love cricket (even more than I do now!) none of this should distract from the Matilda’s though. What a side !

Code wars rage on despite Matildas mania

I think there is definitely some substance behind that take.

Code wars rage on despite Matildas mania

Haha the best part is that it has been on free to air TV. I love that everyone gets the opportunity to access the Matilda’s ! Great for football and women’s sport.

Code wars rage on despite Matildas mania

Hey knocka. While I appreciate your perspective I have to disagree and say there is definitely a code war, has been for 170 years. And as a Aussie rules nut the last thing I want to see is “a game of our own” disappearing just so we can become another (very small) cog in a global sporting conglomerate. Its important to engage with the world game, all the while keeping our own strands of cultural DNA. I would like to see space for all sports to thrive, however, unfortunately that is just not how the system is set up.

Code wars rage on despite Matildas mania

Yeah it’s fair to say not too many people care about some of our local games (AFL and NRL) away from our little corner. And that’s fine by me, I don’t feel the need to prove our cultural worth to the world. But it would be great for us to invest more in the global game, as it’s certainly an exciting experience as the Matilda’s have shown.

Code wars rage on despite Matildas mania

Hey Pete thanks for the response. The Matilda’s have certainly stoked a fire with their amazing run. I would caution against taking a singular event as a sign of a transitional shift. These events, as amazing as they are, can quickly lose momentum if longer term investments do not follow. Hopefully we can get to a space where all sports share an equal footing. I think Australia engaging seriously with the world game would be great, but I do enjoy having ‘a game of our own’ too. The more the merrier I say!

Code wars rage on despite Matildas mania

Good summation Archie. Selectors will definitely have an eye on the future. Ashes in 2025 may be the tipping point for the team as a whole. So best to start investing in some young talent now in dribs and drabs

Is the Australian Test side set up for success over the next four years?

Not a Magpies supporter myself but they are still in a really good position. I don’t think they need to panic 2 games clear on top. They just need to focus on priming themselves for 1st Qualifying final.

AFL News: League comes down hard on fan over Pickett incident, shock Pies flag take after Daicos injury

Hey Duncan thanks for this. I have read so much about the Coventry brothers and their contributions to football history have been immense. Unfortunately, it is only natural that great players fade from our memory as time goes by, but more could be done to enhance their reputations. I must admit I think Coleman was deserving of the AA Full-Foward spot, given his average goals per game as higher. But longevity should also be a marker of greatness too. At the end of the day its all a bit of fun.

Banned by the game, shunned by Collingwood but still standing strong: The forgotten story of Ron Todd

Thanks for this Knightwatchman. I really enjoyed your use of “live” and “dead” test data as a means to assess a team’s performance and therefore their legacy. I think it is fair to say Australia has been blessed with some wonderful teams across the journey.

They hold the Ashes and are World Test Champions, but how will this Australian cricket team be remembered?

Yeah I can see it being a really close series, or it falling apart quickly and England reverting to the ‘spirit of cricket’ consolation prize. It largely depends on whether the English batters can maintain the rage when the pitch isn’t flat and suited to their short-format approach, and if they can cover without a genuinely good spinner, let alone 2 or 3. But I am not discounting them totally, they have firepower that will keep India on their toes.

'I'd have shaken your arm off for 2-2': The Pommy and the Aussie on ties, moral victories and who'll be left in 2025-26

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