Perth Footy Live Rd2: C4 Forrestdale v Manning
~ A Recap by Downsey ~
On a day that could only be described as perfect post-Covid weather, Perth Footy Live headed off to Forrestdale to cover the league match between the Forrestdale Falcons and Manning Rippers.
Not to be confused with Forrestfield or any other incorrect offering from Macca, the Forrestdale Sporting Association hosted a Past Players Day along with the Heath Papps Memorial, and the celebration of 150 games for Ashley Pike and 250 games for Joel Hewson.
It’d been a while since I’d ventured that far out of the CBD, so I was worried I’d go through a time warp after I hit Nicholson Road, but to my delight, not only did I find electricity and running water, but free flowing taps of $4 Carlton Draught middies.
In fact, the hospitality of the Forrestdale Sporting Association was second to none. To prove the point, the canteen team, marshalled by Di and Lynette, served up a pulled pork and hamburger combo that earned a whopping score of 9.5, rocketing them to the top of the free feed ladder.
When I wasn’t biting through the crispy bacon of a Lynette special, I was listening to the rich footy tales of the people who are the red and white hearts of the Forrestdale Falcons. We heard from the likes of Liam who plays in the forward pocket and on the bench; Callum who decided kicking goals was the best way to recover from a broken back; and KC who managed to return to the ground after a quick trip to the hospital for a knee injury. For the love of footy!
As one Falcon rolled in after another to share their footy stories with the team, Craig ‘Rocket Man’ Wilson handled the technical aspects like an industry professional. I can only assume he’s earned the moniker Rocket Man for how quick he is on the sound engineering side of things because I’m fairly certain he wouldn’t meet the minimum height requirement for an astronaut – that is, all 4 foot 10 inches of him.
One running theme in the many chats we had with Falcons folk was that once you were a Falcon you were always a Falcon. The ball in ‘ball and chain’ at Forrestdale Football Club is quite literally a Sherrin football. I’m not clever enough to make that metaphor work for chain, but perhaps it’s the generational connection that sees parents, children and grandchildren remain at this proud community club.
Metaphors aside, one thing that was never clarified by all of the different Falcons we spoke to, was exactly who was responsible for the 13 points kicked in the Reserves match. Three were put down to a dodgy left foot, but 10 remained unclaimed.
One particularly extra special guest we spoke to on the day was Gary Hearne. Gary, who is affectionately known as Maggot because he dabbles in umpiring, is the Forrestdale Football Club’s president. When he shared his nickname he noted that there was no respect for his title, but I suspect that he is one of the most respected members of their community.
Gary explained how vital it was for people to get back to their community clubs. “For me, I’ve been at home for three months now, and to actually be able to get back to my job and get back to normality [is important].”
“The Forrestdale Sporting Association took a big hit and had to shut the doors and that, and finally they’ve come back, and this means a lot to the Forrestdale Football Club that our club, we’re all one club, is up and running.”
He did make the admission that he was hoping the spectators would be on their best behaviour despite the packed numbers in the bar, but Gary can rest assured that all I saw were good vibes, footy camaraderie and community spirit.
In light of Covid-19 the decision by the Perth Football League to discount fees was also an important topic of conversation. Gary praised the decision, “I can’t say enough about the Perth Footy League only charging $500 per team. I think that was great for all the clubs to get back because we were going to struggle if we had to pay the full amount.”
As our conversation with Gary wrapped up, the C4 match began with the Manning Rippers winning the toss… and not much after that. The Falcons outclassed their opponents, running over them by a substantial margin. It would be unkind to state the exact amount displayed on the Solaris scoreboard in earshot of the Rippers again, so I’ll leave the number figure to your imagination.
As I headed back across Nicholson Road, I was left with the distinct impression of a hard-working, passionate and community-minded football club, and also how easily Macca and Cam can turn an innocent conversation sideways.
Next week you’ll find us down at MacDonald’s Reserve in Padbury live streaming the B-grade Whitfords versus Swan Athletic match at 2:45 onwards.