Thursday, 28 June 2007

End of an era

So that's it then. Neale Daniher has resigned, Mark (who?) Riley will take over as coach for the rest of the year, and the new broom that we were all crying out for is on the way. Just who will be wielding the broom is anybody's guess, and as I'm sure my application won't even be considered I've got no insight into the selection process.

Tomorrow night marks the end of an era that began in the 1998 pre-season and took us from some massive highs (Rd 20, 2005 anyone? 2000 prelim? When we porked Adelaide in the 98 finals?) to some desperate lows (Last week? Most of the 2003 season? Scott Chisholm?) with pretty much everything in between.

Notwithstanding the fact that we never won anything, and have been abysmal this season even when our best players are on the park, I will be the first to rise to applaud Daniher at the conclusion of tomorrow night's game. The man has been a wonderful ambassador for our club in the last few years, and I appreciate what he's done even if I haven't always agreed with it. To be honest there might even be a tear in the eye - after all the man's reign has spanned almost my entire modern football watching life. 1998 is still my favourite season ever and Daniher played a massive part of that.

Amazing isn't it - after being 0-9 we won two in a row and even as much as we knew it wasn't going to happen we let our minds wander for a second to a massive winning streak and the greatest comeback of all time. Then with one solitary performance, against a side that despite being six points behind on the ladder was arguably only one massive thrashing away from being our equal so far this year, all the optimism was swept away in a tidal wave of bitterness and recriminations. Everyone knows ND had lost the fans, but I think it's fair to say that everybody was ten times more bitter with him during the 2003 season than they are now - three straight years of finals will do that for you.

Make no mistake this is the best thing for the club. It's like one of those marriages where both parties realise that after years together that it's all gone completely tits up and that it's better to go their seperate ways. Everyone's still friends - they might hook up with other people in the next couple of years but there will be family reunions and they might get together at Christmas. Maybe they'll talk on the phone - who the fuck knows, I'm really starting to struggle now.

Tomorrow night should be a laugh. Remember if you're planning on going that due to Essendon's deal with the Corporate Dome you've got to buy a reserved ticket. Isn't that farcical? I hate the Dome but I wouldn't miss tomorrow night for the world - goodbye ND, we hardly knew ye. Except that we did.

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