■ You know your suburb has arrived when you are mentioned almost daily in traffic accident reports and you get your own football team. Welcome the Truganina Thunder to the WRFL – and it is pronounced Trug-a-nine-a. The club will field teams in the junior competition in the under-8, 9, and 10 boys and under-10 girls based out of the ground at Mainview Boulevard. The club has been born out of the Auskick program, which is the natural progression needed for sustainable growth. In the past, clubs have fast-tracked senior teams and paid – and in some cases, continue to pay – the price. The Thunder is the 35th club to compete in the WRFL. I wish it the best for the future.
■ AFLX confuses me – not because of comic book team names, unique rules and playing conditions or the game-changer player role. I am confused because I can’t work out why it exists. If fans need a footy fix they have AFLW to watch. There are practice matches in the next few weeks if fans want to see the men going around and most clubs have open training sessions and match simulation to watch, as well. So what void does AFLX fill? I agree it takes both potential publicity and funding away from the women’s competition. I doubt any players will be reflecting on their AFLX premiership medal and tattoo in a decade.
■ There was another successful meeting for local track athletes at the Keilor Gift last weekend, with Jarod Sutton winning the 400-metre novice event and Nathan Burfitt saluting in the 1600-metre front-marker handicap. Megan McMahon and Jody Richards have been outstanding performers on the circuit over summer, giving veteran coach Terry McGarity plenty to smile about. All four have local football connections through umpiring and clubs and Nathan has been senior team manager at Deer Park for a number of years.
■ Any cricket team going into the last fortnight of the regular season with a slim chance of finals action needs only look to Sri Lanka’s Test win over South Africa last week for inspiration. Yarraville Club Cricket Club’s first XI heads in to its last VTCA Turner Shield game of the year against Strathmore knowing not even that kind of resilience will help it. It will miss finals after losing to Sunshine United.