Very little of the recent Olympics was viewed in our house by the river so not much of it that was positive caught my eye. Drug cheats and athletes, after giving their all, feeling necessary to apologise to a nation for not attaining gold left a sour taste – as did the extremely rarefied expectations of our sports officials and pundits. To me those aspects of the Games were a turn off. But even so, from the little I did espy, one could not fail to be impressed by a beautiful, ever-smiling young lady, Chloe Esposito, who came from nowhere to win the prized gong in a sport few had heard of in Oz. They have now. Modern pentathlon, I would imagine, would be an extremely hard sport to master, with all its various disciplines, so she was superb. And what about our rugby sevens girls? Their helter skelter courage was, well, amazing.
But there is another team sport, newly emerged, that is turning heads and leaving many, including myself, open-mouthed in awe. Here the girls have had the audacity to take on another arena that was formerly the preserve of the fellas and start to make it their own. No, not the cricket. Forget about that – although they are quite gobsmackingly proficient with bat and ball too. No, it’s our own native born game, Aussie rules!
Now the new AFL national women’s league is about to take off in ’17, but, on a night during the pre-finals bye, we had a foretaste. And it was wonderful to behold. The D’s took on the Doggies – and for four quarters they went at it, full throttle. For me their display was a joy for these ladies possess the same gut running, kicking to position and pack-marking prowess as the opposite gender. Their hands are as quick and their brand is open, with speedy transition. And from their marquee players names are emerging to rival Bontempelli, Dangerfield and Fyfe. Here are two:-
Daisy Pearce. Do read Martin Flanagan’s paean to her. When she’s not sizzling around the ‘G or Etihad she’s nursing – being a mid-wife in fact. Evidently she brings as much passion to that as she does chasing leather. Already she has a Hodgean ability to read the play, direct traffic and enter the fray to make a critical difference. She magnetises the eye on the footy field.
Moana Hope – If you haven’t already done so, i-view Australian Story ‘A League of their Own’ from Monday, August 29. It deals with this power forward’s relationship with Susan Alberti, the Doggies’ vice-president. One would expect that the Melbourne socialite would have little in common with the heavily tattooed battler from the other side of the tracks, but she sees in Moana something special – as we all should do after watching her on their episode of this Auntie staple. But there’s nothing frivolous about Alberti – she’s all substance. As well as being a strong advocate for the women’s league, we know she is not afraid to put her money where her mouth is as she took on the odious Sam Newman after his appalling attempt at humour with Caroline Wilson his target. Alberti has developed an affection for Ms Hope who has come out of retirement with the formation of the national league. Moana is a whiz goal-kicker with her hard leading and accuracy. This electrifying young lady is the prime carer for her disabled sister and is working hard to set up a business to ensure her family’s financial future. She is simply inspirational, as are all these incredible girls who love our game and play it with such mesmerising fervour.
Martin Flanagan’s article = http://www.smh.com.au/comment/tonight-well-see-one-of-australias-best-footballers-in-action-20160902-gr76b2.html
‘League of their Own’ Australian Story = http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2016/s4525813.htm