Susie Giese: The Facebook Interview

Susie Giese: The Facebook Interview

Susie Giese is an emotional, yet intelligent Geelong fan who has just graduated in the field of Sports Journalism from Deakin University. Writing for The Footy Almanac helped her land her first job for the Geelong Advertiser  and she is well on the way to being a major force in the world of footy writing. She shares her enthusiasm for the Cats, the game, writing and life in general in an interview with Phil Dimitriadis.

Phil Dimitriadis

Hi Susie and Welcome to the Junior Footy Almanac. The first and most obvious question: Why are you so passionate about footy and the Geelong Cats?

Susie Giese

Hi Phil, thanks for asking me.
Haha, it would’ve been hard growing up in my family NOT being a die-hard Cats supporter. Mum goes for Geelong, and has her whole life. My older sister and three older brothers were all Geelong, too. Poor Dad is an Essendon man, but we don’t hold that against him. Much.

When I was just a little kid, Geelong made three Grand Finals (and we lost them all, but that’s beside the point). Plus, it was the Gary Ablett years. I couldn’t figure out why anyone would ever want to go for another team.

The Gary Ayers years were a bit of an apathetic patch on my behalf as a supporter, but when we signed up Gazza Jnr in 2002, the first thing my brother Chris did was go and buy me my first membership. I was 12 at the time.

But the reason I love footy and why I love Geelong can both be explained in one: the emotion. I love footy because it makes you feel such extremes of emotion that would be hard to come by otherwise. The soaring highs, the crushing lows, but always the hope.

The moment I actually fell in love with football was in a Geelong/Carlton game in 2002. We were up by so much, but then Carlton nearly stole victory, Anger, frustration, tears. The first time I’d felt anything so keenly was at that footy match. Then the sheer jubiliation when Riccardi kicked the goal after the siren – it doesn’t get any better than that

Phil Dimitriadis

That’s a wonderful description. The emotional roller coaster is a major part of the attraction.The Riccardi goal was a ripper and so was the crowd’s reaction. Who are some of your favourite current players?

 Susie Giese

It’s always so hard to narrow down! Shannon Byrnes, Matthew Stokes, Allen Christensen, James Podsiadly, Tom Hawkins and Harry Taylor would be my favourites.Stokes and Byrnes are just such exciting small players. Taylor is something else. Something unique and special.But mostly, I love a feel-good story.Podsiadly is the ultimate Cinderella story in footy. A truly humble bloke who really appreciates his position, earns his spot and can seriously play. He is a man who never gave up. It’s inspirational.Christensen I like for similar reasons to Stokes and Byrnes, but add to that the fact he was told he probably wasn’t going to get drafted – that he was not fit enough. That he hadn’t taken it seriously enough.Hawkins – for years maligned, but then coming good when Geelong needed a hero – and what a hero!

Phil Dimitriadis

Pods is a great example of perseverance paying dividends. Can you tell us about how you discovered the Footy Almanac and why you were eager to join the ranks?

Susie Giese

It was late 2009 and I was working at a bookshop. Geelong had just won the premiership, so I was in a buy-everything-AFL-related kind of a mood. I put these beautiful-looking volumes of footy writing on display, and my interest was piqued. I had a quick read of the blurb and thought: ‘I must have this!’
So I bought it at the end of my shift and had read the entire thing in a matter of days. It was the most wonderful thing I’d ever read. A book about footy by people who truly get it: the fans. These were people who loved footy just as much as I did, and they were writing some spectacular things about it.
Early in 2010 I came across the website, and being a journo student hoping to get into sports journalism, I thought I’d give it a try. I found JTH’s email and asked him if I could contribute to the website. Before I knew it, I had articles up and was making firm friends with the other young Almanackers.

Phil Dimitriadis

Can you give us a few highlights of your first match report? What did it feel like covering the game?

Susie Giese

It was so exciting! I’d never had anything really properly published at that point in time – just a few small articles for the Geelong Addy when I did work experience there.
The first game I covered was Rd 22, 2010 – Geelong v West Coast.
It was Frank Costa’s last home game as club president, and he did his lap of honour and everything. Being a pretty emotional sort (when it comes to footy at least), I was in tears before the game even started.
I had my notepad there, and it was pretty awesome. Because I always had in the back of my mind, ‘What am I going to write about this?’ I found I took in a lot more detail than usual. Little things about how players were playing, what was going on in the crowd. It was actually pretty exciting, as there were rumors sweeping the ground that Ablett was going to anounce he’d re-signed with the Cats. As it was, they were incorrect, but what can you do?
I’ve done three reports for the book now, and I tell you what – I was pretty nervous this year! I thought I was jinxed! After that first report, the Cats lost to St Kilda by four points in the QF. I didn’t blame myself then. But then in 2011, I covered the Geelong v Adelaide game. We won that. We were undefeated. But the next week we lost! Again by four points!
This year I covered the North Melbourne v Geelong game. Thank goodness we won the next game against Richmond! Although there were a few nervous moments – they were setting up for a four point margin!

Phil Dimitriadis

Susie, your enthusiasm is inspirational for all aspiring young Almanackers. Do you play sport and what other sports do you enjoy watching?

Susie Giese

Sadly, I don’t have talent in playing sport. I was an awesome backyard cricketer back in the day, but there’s not really an official outlet for that.
Cricket is another sport I love to watch. Again, thanks to growing up in a family of cricket nuts. My two eldest brothers play cricket at Little River, so I like to see them play when I get the chance. My great passion in cricket is state cricket. The Sheffield Shield is one of my sporting highlights of the year. I ended up loving the Big Bash League this year, which I wasn’t expecting. I was a bit miffed the Bushrangers as such wouldn’t be playing, but the Renegades and especially the Stars won me over.
Each time the Olympics come around, I rekindle my love of water sports (swimming, diving), and I always get caught up in the Australian Open tennis hype in January.

Phil Dimitriadis

You have graduated in Journalism at Deakin and have been published in the Almanac and in the Geelong Advertiser (Addy). What makes writing interesting and who are some of your favourite writers?

Susie Giese

I don’t have my driver’s license yet, so I haven’t been able to apply for full-time work. But I cover one of the local Geelong leagues – the GDFL – for the Addy on weekends. It was actually thanks to writing for the Almanac that I was offered that position in the first place.

I think being able to contribute to the discussion is one of the most interesting parts about writing. Lots of what people talk about when they talk footy relates to what they read in the papers or on websites like the Almanac. It’s great to be able to put your thoughts out there and stimulate discussion among others.

You also get to appreciate the game on a whole new level when you try to put your thoughts about it into written words. It’s really difficult sometimes, other times the words pour out faster than you can get them down. It can be therapeutic after a frustrating game, and helps you relive all the emotions and happiness after a great game.

I’m going to sound a bit biased here, but my favourite writers are Scott Gullan and Gerard Whateley. They’re both Geelong men, and reading their words really connects with that part of me. Whateley writes a wonderful weekly column in the Geelong Advertiser, so that’s always a good read for me. Gullan probably is my all-time favourite. He’s the wonderful mind behind ‘The Mission’, ‘The Mission II’, and ‘Greatness’. The books just give such a thorough, beautifully-written and perfectly-captured account of the recent premiership years at Geelong. Opposition supporters often ask me what it feels like when your team wins a premiership – read those books! Even if you don’t support Geelong, it’s like you’re living the premiership!

And for that same reason, I also love JTH’s writing – especially his Almanac piece about the 2007 Grand Final.

Phil Dimitriadis

How fantastic that the Footy Almanac helped pave the way to your first Journalistic job!  What advice would you give to young readers who want to contribute to the Footy Almanac?

Susie Giese

Just give it a go!
You never know where it can take you. There is no better place for budding sports writers or people who just love footy to get their writing out there. If they’ve had a look around the site, they’ll know there are so many different styles and forms of contributions that are out there. This is the best platform to write about footy in your very own style! There are no guides or restrictions – if you think it, if you feel it, jot it down! You never know where it can take you. I got offered my first job in sports writing solely because I contributed to the site, and it’s a difficult industry to get a toe-in!

Phil Dimitriadis

Great advice Susie.  Many of our readers would be interested to know of your favourite bands, movies, TV, APPS?

 

Susie Giese

Favourite band is easily Bodyjar. Fantastic Melbourne band that was around for 17-ish years. My favourite movie changes monthly. At the moment, it’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: the Movie (watched that the other day for the first time in at least a decade and fell in love with it again. Nostalgia does that).
Favourite TV shows are How I Met Your Mother, Dr Quinn: Medicine Woman, Horrible Histories and Power Rangers: Samurai. Yes, I am a Power Rangers tragic. My favourite apps are the Geelong Cats app and Spongebob Diner Dash.

Phil Dimitriadis

What are your plans for the future and how would you like to see the game evolve in years to come?

Susie Giese

Well, the end goal is hopefully landing a job at one of the bigger papers in Victoria writing about footy and cricket for a living!
I’d like to see the game become more attacking again. Most clubs started taking steps in that direction earlier this year, but it’s been a bit all over the place since then. I still think the most exciting sight in football is a long bomb into the forward line with the full forward taking a screamer and booting the goal. Footy like Geelong played late last year – I’d like to see more of that happening.

Phil Dimitriadis

Susie, you’re a champion. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm, experiences and insights. I’m sure we’ll be seeing your by-line in many esteemed publications from now on. Really appreciate your time and effort.

 

 

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