Tag Archives: essendonfc

Friday musing – Essendon FC, the Hangar, Big Bash League……

Chris Barwin HillsWell my sporting highlight for the week had nothing to do with any particular sporting event, but rather a sporting ‘occasion’.

Last September, I entered a fund raising raffle for the Essendon Football Club. The ticket cost me $200 and it was to raise funds for their new high performance centre. I thought I had missed out on any prizes, but in mid November I found out that I had won a tour of the new facility out at Tullamarine, a meeting with the coach, Mark Thompson, a photograph with the player of my choice which was David Zaharakis and a jumper signed by the whole team.

Well on Wednesday I took two of my children and received my prize. The facility is quite amazing with an oval the size of the MCG and another the size of Etihad stadium, but the indoor training area, The Hangar is quite amazing. It has artificial turf and is about 50 x 60 metres so they could undertake drills indoors if required. The place is not complete as they didn’t get all the funding they hoped from the federal government, so no doubt there will be further fund raisers! They also have about eighty administrative staff out there so football clubs these days are big businesses. One of the things that was obvious that they need for the Hangar is air conditioning, it was probably warmer in there than it was outside!

The meeting with ‘Bomber’ and David Zaharakis went well and they were happy to have a chat for 5-10 minutes. Bomber seemed pretty comfortable with the coaches role which was good given his earlier reluctance. The jumper is worth more than the price of the ticket and once I get the photos I will think about getting it mounted and framed.

The entire thing took just over an hour and was over very quickly, but it was a memorable experience and we were certainly made to feel very welcome.

Before I head off to Hawaii next week, I will make one comment about the tennis, thank goodness for the Big Bash League!

Have a great weekend and I’ll be back on 14 Feb!

Friday musing – Essendon, James Hird, the Ashes….

Chris Barwin HillsI was disappointed to see the Essendon saga rear its head again this week, although it would seem that the major spotlight is on the AFL and not my club.  There is still a bit more to play out on this matter obviously and if the Herald-Sun sees fit to put it on the front page and then devote 4 pages at the front of the paper instead of the sports pages, then it still must sell papers.  I just want to put it all behind me and concentrate on football.

One of the issues seems to be James Hird getting paid.  From what I understand him not being paid was part of the original sanctions, but not part of the final deal.  Certainly not a Hird/Essendon problem, but certainly a problem for the AFL.  I know it is quite a different set of circumstances, but police that have been charged with serious criminal charges are suspended on full pay.  Hird has not been found guilty of any criminal charges and it is only governance issues so good luck to him.  Given that it appears the AFL fed most of the leaks to the papers perhaps they have been hoist by their own petard.

With regard to the cricket what a good toss for Australia to win, but the first day produced 4 players getting a start and not going on and getting a century.  At the time of writing Michael Clarke has made his second century of the series and Brad Haddin has just got his 3rd half century of the series and Australia look like batting their way into a position where they really could not lose the test.  It is amazing when you on the back foot in a series that the catches don’t stick  with the Poms dropping three on day one.

Great to see the Gunners season rolling on, their defence seems to be holding up pretty well this year and they haven’t forgotten how to score.

Sportzfan Radio show #237.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!4 March 2012 237.2 – In the  second hour of the show, the Professor asked Daniel what had happened to the NBL season as it seemed to have disappeared with the playoffs beginning soon and the AFL and NRL overshadowing basketball in the news.  Sportzfan Stan’s view was that the league’s management needed professional help to increase interest in teams, awareness of games and boost revenues. His feelings were shared by the rest of the panel with discussions centering on the NBL’s lack of promotion of the game and a remedy involving a shared venue with other sports such as netball leading to increased awareness.  Daniel reviewed the NBA giving his opinion on the teams, their standings and whether Clipper Darrell had been harshly treated . He also looked at the Twitter tag #BlameLebron. The NRL report from Paul Dalligan included highlights of St. George’s win over the Tinkler Knights. The win surprised Dalligan as the favoured Knights played well. The Professor thought the Raiders v Storm match was the game of the round so far with Billy Slater’s brilliant late try winner being a feature. Dalligan congratulated The Professor on his Bulldogs pulling out a win after overcoming a 14 point deficit. The Panel also discussed Essendon’s no-show for their match on Saturday with St. Kilda in Wangaratta and the AFL originally splitting the game points between the two teams with all in agreement that St. Kilda should receive all four points. Last moment thoughts from the Professor had the Panel discussing the Grand Prix and Bernie Ecclestone’s annual threat of axing the race.

Sportzfan Radio #199.1

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!24 April 2011 199.1 – Sportzfan Stan leads off the show with suggesting the Port Adelaide FC coach, Matthew Primus should be sacked after yesterday’s loss to the Gold Coast Suns. Daniel says the club should look outside for a replacement. This leads to a discussion on whether the Melbourne Tigers should also look outside the club and not go with Darryl McDonald as coach. Stan suggests they should appoint Andrew Gaze. The Panel talk to former NBL player John Rillie who is now with Boise State’s basketball program. He discusses College basketball, NBA and the NBL playoffs.  The Gelding comes on the show to talk racing and the weird behaviour of jockey Shane Scriven during the week when he ‘borrowed’ the whip of another jockey during the race. He has been suspended for 5 months over the incident. The Gelding also reviews both his and the Sydney Colts selections. His two tips for the Ladies at the Tennis Club got up. The Panel then discuss the Anzac Day game and whether it should be limited to just Collingwood v Essendon or should other teams also get a chance to play on the day. Mark Fiorenti has finally tweeted again…about the Copa Del Rey between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Sportzfan Radio #185.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!16 January 2011 185.2 – Daniel believes that skill goes out the window in 20/20 cricket and therefore this is not a good thing for cricketers who are wanting to be successful in test matches. He says 20/20 should be scrapped.  The Professor says there are too many players over thirty in Australia’s cricket sides and the Gambler suggests that perhaps there should be a compulsory retirement age.  Daniel thinks it could be a case of mates scratching mate’s backs and even he gets into the groove suggesting sackings.  Mark Fiorenti talks soccer in particular the Asian Cup and reviews the Socceroos matches against India and South Korea.  He thinks Holger Osieck is demanding a more attacking game from the Socceroos.  He thinks the squad is getting older and a few players are at the end of the road.  Mark also talks about the A League, in particular the form of Melbourne Heart and Melbourne Victory and the poor crowds attending A League matches.  There is also a discussion with the Panel on the happenings in Premier League with Man Utd, Man City & Arsenal going well at the top.  Paul Dalligan chats about the ABL and the recent poor form of the Melbourne Aces having lost 6 in a row.  He also talks with the Professor about Sportzfan Radio’s broadcast of the Aces match against Perth Heat.  Paul even manages to sneak a discussion of rugby league in even though it is not in season.  Daniel exclusively announces a charity baskets game to aid the Flood relief appeal.  Sean Callanan comes on to talk social media and a Liverpool soccer player being charged by the Football Association over what he had written in his twitter account.  The Gambler talks about Essendon FC’s high numbers on their Facebook account.  The Panel conclude with their thoughts on which Australian tennis players will do well in the Australian Open.

Sportzfan Radio #173.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!03 October 2010 173.2 – Mark Fiorenti tells the Panel that he has deserted Melbourne Heart and is jumping back on the Melbourne Victory bandwagon. Via twitter, our US listeners indicated they had not caught up with the change to daylight saving in Australia and missed the start of the show. Daniel talks about the NBL pre-season matches being played in Darwin and the Panel query why the games are hidden so far away from the rest of the population. He also talks about NBL games being over 40 minutes instead of 48 minutes and gives an example to prove his point that less is less when people want more. Stan thinks the NBL is on its last legs. Paul Dalligan is in Sydney to watch the NRL Grand Final and is pleased it is an all Sydney affair. He also gets to see his beloved Rabbitohs play in the Under 20’s. The Professor says that if St George score more than 15 then that might be curtains for the Roosters. The Panel talks to Lisa Szatsznajder from the VIS about VIS athletes who will be competing at the Delhi Commonwealth Games. She thinks the Aussies will go well and should win at least as many medals as they did in Melbourne four years ago. Daniel thinks Richmond’s player list is better than Essendon’s whilst Stan thinks James Hird has the job ahead of him as coach of Essendon. Daniel “tries” to sing the Collingwood theme song and Sean talks about his shimmy versus the Didak shimmy. He also thinks Julie Anthony should be wheeled out each year to sing the National Anthem.

Sportzfan Radio #169.2

@SportzfanRadio now available on iTunes!5 September 2010 169.2 – The Panel talk NRL with Paul Dalligan.  He says Rabbitohs supporters are never on the knife edge as they aren’t usually even in the kitchen.  He says the Melbourne Storm have really played well and given everything since the salary cap problems.  The Gelding  likes Typhoon Tracey to win the Horse of the Year award.  Sean Callanan discusses the poor crowds at the MCG for both finals matches played so far.  Sean believes a lot of it has to do with the way tickets are released to the public and an inability for the public to choose where they would like to sit.  He says that “single ticket” sales aren’t handled by the AFL very well.  He also discusses the Boomers progress at the FIBA World Championships and wasn’t surprised that they beat Germany.  For the tournament to be a success they need to win the next game at least.  The Professor and the Gelding discuss Matthew Knights shabby treatment by the Essendon Board and the Professor wonders what ever happened to the review that was to be undertaken.