Summertime Sadness

Summer holidays. One of the most joyous times for many children and adults alike. Filled with fun activities and kicking back in the sun.

But what does summer mean to us footy fans? It means sitting on the couch celebrating a great season or trying to figure out what went wrong. “How could we let that game slip?” or “How can we improve from that mistake?” We are so thankful for Fox Footy during the summer.

It’s also about checking out your team’s new list and figuring out who will play where next season. It really is a stressful time of year.

For me, my brain never stops thinking about footy. Whether I’m sitting on the beach or even riding my bike, I can’t and won’t stop thinking about when preseason will start again.

But of course, cricket is there when you feel as if you know every new recruit, where they will play and how to fix that mistake you made one too many times.

But cricket can only get you so far through the summer before it becomes repetitive. There can only be so many miracle Steve Smith catches and only so many Dave Warner centuries before you know it all too well.

The days keep ticking down until the season will start again. I can’t wait…

As I keep counting down, I decide it would be a good idea to go down to Geelong to watch the Cats train. Just one time, to heal my empty heart.

Dad and I drive into our home away from home and take it all in once again. We walk in to see about 1,000 eager Cats fans probably feeling the same emptiness as we do.

Immediately, we spot Cameron Mooney sitting with Peter Riccardi in the stands. “Wow,” Dad whispers “Look at those greats sitting there. Just wow.” He finishes.

We excitedly watch all the players sprint, jump and kick their hearts out on the ground. It is amusing to see the determination in each and every player’s eyes, even if it is summer time.

Mark Blicavs is leading every single sprint and long distance run. Amazing.

The players come around to take pictures and sign autographs and I eagerly push my way to the front of the fence, just like a little kid would. I can’t help but squeal when I see some of my favourites, like Selwood, Duncan and Hawkins.

It’s good to see Josh Cowan training again after so many injuries. He looks just like Max Rooke. Hopefully he plays the same way.

And yes maybe I did enjoy watching the Irish recruit Padraig Lucey… I can’t believe how fit he looks.

I even meet our new recruit Mitch Clark and a few kids ask him about his tattoos. He politely replies with a smile “Don’t get any.”

Josh Caddy walks around to us. He’s Dad’s new favourite player, as he’s told me a million times already. Since he came to Geelong, all Dad ever says is “This kid is going to be something.”

Oh and I almost forgot about Cam Guthrie. Dad thinks he might just be the best number 29 that the Geelong Football Club has ever seen.

I watch Menzel and Vardy run lap after lap. I watch their knees carefully, to see how they’re holding up. They seem to be confident and it excites me. I’m ready to start the season off with a bang.

Dad and I walk out and look back at our home. We talk about how it’s a shame that the footy season will start so late because of the Cricket World Cup. It’s not like we can go to EVERY cricket game.

And as much as I love cricket and hate Virat Kohli, India (and don’t forget the Poms), I’m pretty sure it would get a bit boring after a while.

I’m glad that we went to training in the end, because it gives me something to write about and that can pass some time in the holidays. But it won’t be too long until I’ll be wondering who will be a better back man than Corey Enright himself.

Even though I do love summer, I would much rather be watching my beloved Catters in the cold and wet, because it makes me who I am. And that’s pretty special after all.

From Anna Pav


About John Harms

John Harms is a writer, broadcaster, publisher, historian, speaker and teacher. He loves stories.

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