Happy new footy year!

This article was written by Lyn Gannon, Platinum Cronulla Sharks Member and Secretary of the Cronulla Sharks Member’s Council.

In just over 40 days the circus comes back to town.  Well the NRL Rugby League premiership circus that is- with all the joy and excitement you felt as a child.

Just like the circus of old, there will be clowns, a few animals, some acrobatics and a few tricks.  The whole three ring catastrophe, with all the highs, the thrills and spills and the inevitable disappointments as well.

But who would want to miss it?  It’s what we have spent the summer waiting for, in between the odd cricket match and some tennis, and time at the beach. For footy fans it’s the main course, the real deal, the pinnacle.

New Year, new footy season, time for reflection and expectation.  Literally ANY team can win at this point.  No one is out of contention and anything can happen. It’s unscripted, tribal, unbridled sporting lunacy – and I for one can’t wait for it to begin all over again.

So many stories to watch unfold.

  • What of Jarryd Hayne back in his spiritual home at Parramatta?
  • How will the Maloney Moylan swap play out?
  • The Cooper Cronk experiment at the Roosters – will a team of individual champions prevail?
  • The end of an era with Smith and Slater – will it end with a fairy tale or a whimper?
  • Is the reign of Queensland coming to an end? Can NSW – CAN they??
  • Can Newcastle lift with the changes they have made and find that passion again?
  • Can the Warriors find something special and get back up to finals contention?
  • How will this year look for the Titans in the wake of the controversy of last year?
  • Can Manly regroup and reinvent?

If I was given an opportunity to make three wishes – this is what I would wish for.

Minimal refereeing controversy. 

As a collective we need to trust in the officials and allow them to do their job to the best of their ability.  They are a dedicated group under pressure and have the best interests of the game at heart.  Infallibility is an impossible dream, but minimal errors not effecting outcomes is the aim here.  The bunker (or something like it) is here to stay and we should accept and embrace the concept.  Players need to also accept that a rule breach will likely equal a penalty, and that arguing will not get a decision overturned.

SHOW UP at the games or risk losing them

Bums on seats and memberships are the way to support your team.  It’s great that the TV rights are funding the game, but attendances must improve.  I get it – not always easy to attend, it costs money. There are other entertainment options, food is expensive.  If you love the game come to one more game than you did this year and pack some sandwiches of your own.  If you are passionate about a team and not a member, then I have to ask why not?

Keep Player movements for the off season – please

The distraction and outright cynicism created by the mid-season negotiations is unhelpful at best and destructive at worst.  Has to be a better way for this to be handled.

Whoever you support – may 2018 provide you with smiles and tears and excitement.  Lets go!