Perth Footy Live Rd 9: C2 SNESA v Kenwick
~ A Recap by Scully ~
And in the ninth round God said, “Let there be footy commentary”; and there landed the Perth Footy Live tent at Soklich & Co Oval for the C2 SNESA versus Kenwick match. Saint Norbert’s is a favourite of the Perth Footy Live team, but don’t ask us what comes after the S and N in the acronym because we can never bloody remember. The stunned and lonely, Craig Wilson, joined us on the mic because Macca and his gimbal were covering an old boy’s country match. Cam Robbins took one look at me and Ward, found us wanting, and demanded the Rocket Man put the headphones on.
For those who were listening in, I’ve since discovered a gimbal is a camera stabiliser with 3-axis movement for steady pan, tilt and roll shots, and not something 50 Shades of Grey’esque, as the Rocket Man led me to believe. I’ve never felt more relieved after a Google search, and that is not at all meant to be a double entendre.
Anyway, Round 9 saw us covering the match between second-placed SNESA and ninth-placed Kenwick and if we thought it was going to be a one-sided affair, we were resoundingly proven wrong. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that Kenwick took it up to SNESA with AFL legend, Winston Abraham, at the Kenwick helm. If anyone knows how to play hard attacking footy and dish out unexpected treats for the crowd, it’s Mr Abraham, and we were chuffed to have him as our first special guest in the tent. He didn’t stay long because, of course, he had a team to coach, but it was a pleasure to wax lyrical with him about footy.
The SNESA president, Rafic Aoun, jumped in not long after Mr Abraham. Raf has been president at the club for five years and his love of local footy, especially SNESA footy, is unparalleled. Raf heaped praise on the people who support him in his role; he mentioned Chris and Lexie, long-term sponsors from Soklich Jewellers; Mark Lupica, League coach extraordinaire who worked hard to keep the boys together through Covid-19 restrictions; and Darrell Cowie, 25-year treasurer/bar manager and his elite skills at balancing beers and pouring books. Raf told us that it was these people and the community that drove him to keep going. He also mentioned Fiona and the canteen team, but we’ll get to the Queen of the Canteen later.
Raf explained that the Family Day they were hosting epitomised local football. “At the end of the day, this is what it’s all about. Having families around, people having fun and enjoying themselves with great weather, great sport and great company.” He said that it was the social aspect of local footy and the emotional investment at a community level that shaped his love of the game. “I love playing footy and I follow West Coast in the AFL but in terms of passion and real energy for a football club, SNESA is it.” He also gave a shout out to Perth Football League for their empathetic leadership and how critical it had been to have reduced affiliation fees.
The beauty of the SNESA mateship and camaraderie were also reiterated by an unusual guest who floated into the Perth Footy Live tent. Mr Snez the Saint, SNESA’s mascot, blessed us with his presence, and it was clearly only my angelic nature that stopped the rest of the commentary team from going up in flames. He’d earlier been working hard in front of the camera to audition for Soul Train, but that wrapped up in 2006; around the same time Ward Harris realised he’d be better off in a “football administration” job too. Mr Snez proved to be quite the lively chap, cheering enthusiastically for the SNESA comeback mounted by Ben Hall, and also managing to prematurely announce Aquaman’s engagement. You heard that breaking news first on Perth Footy Live. Mr Snez will be blessing a different kind of proceeding in the near future.
Amongst all the wonderful SNESA people, we also got a chance to speak to some Kenwick folk. Peter Ashworth, Kenwick president, explained that he has a generational connection to his club so he was always going to return to Kenwick once his work at WAFL level had finished, and that kind of experience is invaluable. Jasmine Calgaret, from the Kenwick women’s team, discussed her new coaching role while recovering from injury, and how the experience will shape her playing career. She observed that she’ll become a better player by having stood on the sidelines and viewed the game from a different angle. These opportunities for learning and growth are so valuable to female players so that we can shift the narrative away from being one simply about courage and fearlessness – which I believe are givens anyway – to one about football intelligence, skill and style. Now, huge best of luck to the Kenwick girls who take on Kingsley this weekend in the C1 Grand Final. We’ll be looking out for Little Lori’s antics during the Monday March - release the beast!
Finally, we can’t have a recap without mentioning Fiona from the SNESA canteen team. It seems to me that the canteen team’s strategy was to force us into food comas so we were non compos when it came to scoring. The way the chilli beef pie went down though, there was no need for tactics on this occasion. Fiona’s three course meal was delectable. Combined with Grandma Fran’s masterstroke with the delivery of a fourth course in the way of her lemon slice, SNESA’s score will be a hard one to match. But, with the finals campaign upon us, we still have plenty of time and digestive space.
Our wonderful day at Soklich & Co Oval finished with an impressive fight back from the home team to advance into the C2 semi final. I was reminded again that amateur footy is the big heart, cheeky smile and frothy Carlton Draught foam of our local communities, and there’s nothing else like it. My own journey into the women’s footy inner sanctum started immediately at WAFLW level, and while I mega-love my club and team, even I’m starting to feel like I’m missing out on something through the Perth Football League. Luckily, I get to hang out with the salt-of-the-earth people like those at SNESA every Saturday, and get just a hint of the community bond that they all enjoy.
This Saturday you’ll find us at Wyong Reserve live streaming the Women’s A-Grade Curtin Uni Wesley versus Warnbro Swans Grand Final at 3pm onwards. We might even be able to collect Clarky’s esky from Warnbro while we’re at it…