I’ve previously written of my support for the Collingwood Football Club in the Australian Football League [1, 2]. Especially that I was 11 years old in 1958 when Collingwood won its 13th premiership, and it took 32 years (in which it lost eight Grand Finals) to win its 14th – in 1990 when I was 43 . Last Saturday Collingwood won its 15th premiership . Here are some of my thoughts on this superb effort:
1. Collingwood supporters tend to be pessimists. So after the draw the previous week, I didn’t think Collingwood would win last Saturday.
2. I feel sorry for St Kilda fans. Since it began competing in 1897 St Kilda’s won only one premiership. In 1966. Against Collingwood. So I wouldn’t have minded if it’d won last Saturday. But it was not to be.
3. At the end of last Saturday’s game – which I heard on the radio as we don’t have TV reception here in Mole Creek – I shed a tear. Partly out of happiness, partly due to relief, and partly because I don’t expect another Collingwood premiership in my lifetime.
4. Despite this, Collingwood is the betting favourite to win the 2011 Grand Final . It’ll be played on the first Saturday in October , as the 1990 and 2010 ones were, despite traditional Grand Final day being the last Saturday in September. Also Collingwood has a young team – the second youngest average age of any Grand Final winning team – and a playing structure other teams have yet to fathom.
5. So maybe Collingwood will win its 16th flag in 2011. Here’s hoping!
6. In the meantime, I was wrong about it being unlikely the 15th flag would be won in Carol Ann Duffy’s tenure at UK Poet Laureate . And she’s Poet Laureate until May 2019 – when, if I’m alive, I’ll be 71 years old.