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  • Writer's pictureJoJo

As A Freo Fan

As a Freo fan, I have to admit it doesn’t particularly bother me whether Adam Simpson coaches another game for the club or if the ‘Godfather’ Trevor Nisbett is still in place to oversee another generation of West Coast football. I don’t even care if Andrew Gaff is told to bugger off to their WAFL reserves team for the remainder of the season, although I would like to see him line up in round 22, if only for the dramatics it would bring.

As a Freo fan, I look at the predicament the club is in and wonder to myself where people get their thoughts from; why they choose to express them publicly and what they think the likely result of their prudent advice will be?

As a Freo fan, we have seen many a coach come and go, either in a time of crisis, despair or through stealth when we pinched Ross ‘the Boss’ Lyon from the Saints. The current situation our feathered friends down the road find themselves in seems, from the outside at least, to be perilous. Will a change in coach do anything to repair this situation? Even is Simpson isn’t the coach for the job long term, is replacing a coach at this stage of a deep rebuild actually help?

As a Freo fan, asking a rhetorical question is something that I feel very comfortable with because over the many years I have devoted to supporting my mariner mates, the questions were always more obvious than the answer. In the case of firing a coach of a tanking team, I would argue that dismissing that coach when the fate (at least in the short term) of the club is decided is possibly not the most prudent decision. In the case of the Dirty Birds, wouldn’t it be better for Simpson to usher through the next couple of seasons of weekly ten goal humblings, whilst replenishing the playing list in the background? Why pay out a contract only to have the next coach come in to face the same critique?

As a Freo fan, I have to concede the Filthy Fowl have managed to extend their period of contention beyond where I thought was possible. Weekly footy tipping scores of four and five out of nine are testament to my inability to properly evaluate where the Grubby Gulls were actually at. Nevertheless, the cliff was coming and the reality is that the longer it took to get there, the more dramatic and damaging the fall. The modern AFL is structured to ensure that teams will rise and fall. The dream of ‘Sustained Success’ is fine, but even if it is achieved it will inevitably come to a close at some point as the access to high end talent becomes more and more difficult, as well as salary constraints making it challenging to retain existing talent.

As a Freo fan, who estimates his club is 70-80% through their rebuild, following a relatively futile and unsuccessful Restump, Rewire and Replumb, I can appreciate the process of putting together a new group. Heading to the draft and bringing in a fresh face or twenty brings a different element of enjoyment to the game.

As a Freo fan, I’ve been there with all my fellow violet voyagers as we’ve drafted the likes of Brayshaw, Serong, Young, Cox….. the list goes on. Last Saturday we continued to witness the emergence of our new beacon of forward hope in Jye Amiss. I guess, without trying to converse in loser talk, there is something to be said for the journey, something that our sordid sparrow friends will come to understand whether they want to or not.

As a Freo fan, I’m glad the days of old are in the rear-view mirror and our grubby gull mates have joined the rest of us in an equalised AFL competition. No one will prevent you from discussing the past, the overflowing trophy cabinets, the state team’s masquerading as a sporting franchise, the Ill behaving players or the entitled fans that enabled them; it’s always going to be with us but…..

As a Freo fan, if I could offer any advice it would be to understand and accept where you’re at, lose next week with some grace and dignity and enjoy seeing the growth in those that will be present the next time you’re relevant as a club.

As a wise man once said, ‘Chesser, Long, Williams, Bazzo, Hewitt are going to be good alongside Ginbey. Three more early draft picks in October and suddenly you’re in Adelaide territory, Gman 👍’


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