T’is the night before September. The air is still crisp; we only just this morning, awoke to find our cars beset with frost. We know, that the weather is about to make a turn for the better. You can almost smell the freshly cut grass that September brings; The rectification of months of neglect in your neighbours’ backyards. That first day of 25 degrees of pure bliss is merely weeks away. The dormant gardens, overgrown with weeds will soon give way to fresh spring flowers littered with colour and the wafting scent of BBQ’s, that have laid abandoned for months, will soon fill the air. Most importantly, we are returning to finals action for the first time in 3 years
September is a month that brings renewed hope for just about everyone, but it also especially pertinent for those that have an AFL footy team to follow through the finals series. Like winter turning to spring, there is renewed hope for Essendon supporters. The Bombers finished in seventh place and have literally limped into the finals. The addition of the bye before the first week of the finals could not have come at a better time for the Essendon footy club. It gives star players Orazio Fantasia, Cale Hooker and Michael Hurley (Congrats on being named All-Australian by the way Bear) a chance to be fit and firing for our most important game in 3 seasons.
The hope I speak of with regards to September is a special kind of hope. September footy is supposed to be about the best, toughest kind of footy. And if you play your absolute best, anything can happen – just look at the Bulldogs last season. In just over a week’s time we play the team that started the season with 6 losses and now probably has the best form line of any side heading into the finals. The experts will say we have no chance of winning this game. I beg to differ. I have a feeling that the occasion and the fact we lost to this team by a kick after the siren will have the boys up and firing.
If any group of players, deserves to experience that feeling of a September win, it is this group. The resolve and resilience they have shown as a group over the last 3-4 years in particular, has been nothing short of outstanding. Jobe Watson played in our last final win in 2004 and will be a key figure in carrying us over the line against the Swans on a small ground where clearances and stoppage work will go a long way to determining the winner. September is a month that gives birth to new hope and often fairytales. There have been numerous times this season where we have been written off. Written off by the media, in fact we were written off before the first bounce of the season. We were written off by ‘AFL’ experts, and at times I had even written off the team. There were times where I thought we had no chance of playing in September. The realist will say that this Essendon side probably doesn’t have a premiership in its grasp this year, but it would be an extremely fitting way to end the “comeback story”.