It will be all hands on deck with the return of many winter sports this weekend.
In this week’s At The Bar, Michael ‘Speedy’ Stratton and The Area News’ Ben Jaffrey discuss the local schedule.
Ben: We’re back in full swing this weekend, mate. There’s union, league, hockey, soccer, Australian rules – it’s all happening.
Speedy: I’m jumping out of my skin to get out to watch some local sport. Saturday at EW Moore is one I’m really looking forward to with the Group Nine versus Group 20 matches.
Ben: That’ll be a good day for sure. I’ll be doing my best to get down there. What do you think of the new under 23s concept for the rugby league rep games?
Speedy: I’m all for it. I reckon it’s a good concept. It puts the younger players in the limelight. These are the boys that might be playing NRL one day.
Ben: There’s plenty of potential in Group 20, no doubt about that. The Swans play at the Sporties on Saturday night, too, against Leeton.
Speedy: The local derby.
Ben: That’s the one. How are you going to fit it all in?
Speedy: I’ll just have to spend 10 minutes at each ground. Who’s playing Hanwood in the soccer? I’d love to catch a Hanwood-Yoogali game.
Ben: Well, there’s two Hanwood sides this year and one plays one of the Griffith City sides and the other plays one of the Yoogali FC sides.
Speedy: Well, I might have to head to one of those matches. I went to a game a couple years ago at Yoogali between Hanwood and Yoogali and, boy, was there a crowd there.
Ben: Those derbies pull people in, for sure. They can get a bit fiery, too.
Speedy: I’d be disappointed if they didn’t. That’s what you want in those clashes.
Ben: There’s nothing wrong with showing pride in your strip.
Speedy: As long as they leave it on the field and go back to the club and have some coldies together.
Ben: That’s it. Smash each other but have a laugh together afterwards.
Speedy: When I was playing football, Goolgowi, Ivanhoe and Hay were all great rivals of Hillston. I remember there’d be blues but when it was over you’d leave it on the field. Even at half-time we’d have a couple of stouts together.
Ben: If I had a stout at half-time, I’d be leaving something else on the field, I reckon.
Speedy: If you drink enough over your time, you’ll learn to keep them down but I’m really looking forward to these derbies.
Ben: Well, with Yoogali FC, Griffith City and Hanwood FC fielding two teams each there’s going to be those club derbies, too.
Speedy: They’re the ones you want to win. They won’t hold anything back.