Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Whole New Ball Game

A busy weekend, with an early draft of T3 under my belt and rampaging littlies absorbing what remained of Friday and Saturday.

The nippers were shunted off to the grandparents this afternoon, however, so my wife and I could slip away for some rare time off - an afternoon at the footy.

I've mentioned before that while we were living in Sydney we adopted the local team as our own in the inaugural season of the A-League, Australia's (much smaller) answer to the UK's Premier League. Moving to Perth hasn't changed our loyalties, but thanks to the vagaries of the fixture list, Sydney only play one game in Perth this season. It was a few weeks ago, and we couldn't get sitters.

So, still wanting to catch a game or two, we went to see local outfit
Perth Glory take on the New Zealand Knights - incidentally the winner of the Longest Distance a Team Has to Travel to Compete in a Domestic Fixture by quite some considerable mileage. In the event, Perth rolled over the A-League's whipping boys 4-1, with a lovely hat-trick from Perth's captain, Jamie Harnwell.

But while the game itself is the same, it's the little things you'd rarely see in a Premier League game that really set the experience apart. Things like
  • A large number of fans wearing shirts in support of teams other than the two actually playing the game. Turn up at a Premier League fixture in another team's colours and you'd probably be asking for trouble. But as well as plenty of purple Perth tops on display today, there were also rival Sydney and Melbourne shirts from the A-League, while the city's vast ex-pat community also meant outings for Man Utd, Arsenal, Tottenham, Sunderland and Newcastle supporters, all in search of a game, all welcomed by the home fans. Tribalism falls stunned by the wayside ...
  • Everyone on the pitch suddenly stop playing after the first 25 minutes of each half and walking off to have a drink. Understandable, considering the temperature was in the mid to high 30s down on the pitch, but it still throws you for a loop when you see it for the first time.
  • Sheepdog trials for the half-time entertainment. Don't need to say any more than that, really.


Blogger Peter Pan said...

sheepdog trials? Surely there is then poop on the pitch? Sod a sliding tackle in that field. Not that I would be caught dead on a pitch you understand, let alone playing football before we even get onto said sliding tackle.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Pete Kempshall said...

The doggies were too busy jumping over little fences and the like to take time out for a squat.

That said, some of the crowd will attest that there was indeed poop on the pitch, and they lost 4-1 ...

7:33 PM  

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