Dear Mr Newbloke,

This is Kevin from up on the Parramatta River. I don’t think we have ever met.  I actually thought Jeff Kennett was still President of Hawthorn because I see him and hear him so much.

Then I read your recent comments saying the GIANTS had indigestion on draft picks. And that you are in fact now the president. Seems you’ve been having a lot to say. Hope Jeff is ok with this.

Indigestion? Isn’t that what you had after lunch with my old mate Eddie McGuire and your fellow Presidents at one of those posh Melbourne restaurants?

It must have been some lunch because afterwards you came out and said that all draft concessions should be scrapped.  And the cost of living allowance for clubs in Sydney should go too.

I thought you of all people would have read the recent economic report which ranked Sydney the third most expensive city in the world after Tokyo and Osaka.

Clearly it’s not the only thing I need to educate you on. I also need to take you up on this nonsense that the GIANTS have indigestion we have had so many draft picks.

My response is that some clubs down in Melbourne have got fat on their own self-interest.  But then as Paul Keating liked to say, in the race of life always back self-interest – at least you know it’s trying.

Some presidents like Eddie have been great supporters of the GIANTS. He even came up to Sydney and let me feed him some falafels.  He understands the greater good. The importance of growing our game. The greatest game in the world.

Others have publicly supported expansion but now seem to be working behind the scenes to undermine it. What are you afraid of?

Let’s get this straight. They are not draft concessions – they are the same rules the Gold Coast had.  I think you even had a representative on the committee of AFL clubs that devised them.

What were we supposed to do? Pluck players from outer space? Nobody wanted another Brisbane Bears.

That was a club that spent its first eight years around the bottom of the ladder, struggling to win a game. It wasn’t until their ninth year in the competition that they won 10 games in a season and played finals.

Even then we had to send Fitzroy north to help them get into a grand final. What did they do? Won three premierships in a row and everyone down south was suddenly squealing they had been given too much. After more than 15 years in the competition!

Now that the GIANTS are developing our young players and re-signing them to long term contracts, the clubs in Melbourne have got their knickers in a twist because they can’t pinch any of them. You still haven’t thanked me for Jed Anderson.

Yes, I’m sorry to tell you but Jeremy Cameron, Adam Treloar, Dylan Shiel, Stephen Coniglio and Toby Greene  -  just to name a few -  want to stay in Sydney. And we’ll be announcing more soon.

It seems you want us in the competition but not if we are eventually going to be successful.  Sometimes you actually have to look at what is best for the game as a whole and not just your club. In this respect, the AFL has got it absolutely right.

So take the duffle coat off.  Do what Eddie did. Come up and visit us some time. I’ll shout you a ferry trip out on the Parramatta River and share a falafel with you.  You can even wash it down with a chardonnay. That way you won’t get indigestion.



PS: I know Sydney won the flag last year but I still think Hawthorn is the team to beat.  Losing grand finals is terrible isn’t it?