Community Cup – Skippers up for battle

The tradition of the Media Vs Musos teams has been continued for the Sydney Reclink Community Cup this weekend, with radio personality Adam Spencer captaining the Sydney Sailors – a team of media identities – and singer songwriter Dan Sultan captaining the Western Sydney Whalers, comprising local musos and band members.

BigFooty News caught up with the two captains ahead of the big game.

BigFooty News (BFN): What was it about the Community Cup that appealed to you and made you want to get involved?

Adam Spencer (AS): I thought it was about time that Sydney saw a tremendous event that Melbourne had nurtured, developed, grown from a seed … and nicked it.

And what better event than the Reclink Community Cup. Sure Melbourne have kept theirs as well, but that’s not the point.

Regardless, it’ll be a great day for families, friends and footy – for a great cause.

Dan Sultan (DS): Yeah, nah, look, I guess the first thing that appealed to me about the cup was I always saw footy players miming and playing air guitar at the start of a certain football related TV show, so I thought it would be good to pretend to play footy in a team of musicians.

BFN: What footy and leadership experience do you bring to the table?

AS: I have never lost a Reclink Community football cup match at Henson oval on a Sunday afternoon as captain of the inaugural Sydney Sailors team. It’s not everybody who can say that.

DS: Yeah, nah, look, the experience I bring to the table is that of taking it one weak at a time, plenty of G & D (guts and determination) and accountability.

BFN: As captain, what ethos/culture/spirit are you hoping to instil into your teams?

AS: I just want the team to take a moment to stop and think about the honour, the tradition, the history, the jersey and everything it stands for …

To put it all in perspective just a week ago I had a vasectomy – just to take my mind off any potential off-field distractions.

Now THAT’S leadership.

I expect a similar level of dedication from every one of my Sailors.

DS: Yeah, nah, look, as captain of the Whalers, I’d say that the Sailors have a long way to go. It seems that Mr Spencer will already be done and dusted by the time the game is on from running his mouth too much. There are no microphones out on the field mate.

BFN: What are you most looking forward to about the game and who on your list should we be keeping an eye on?

AS: Merrick Watts now broadcasts on the MMM network. This means that every afternoon he sits in the same chairs that Mark Geyer and Matthew Johns use in the morning. If even some of their genetic material has passed over into Mez he will be a formidable opponent!

DA: Yeah, nah, look, it’s a great day out and I’m looking forward to watching Adam Spencer get around the turf. Watch out for the whole whalers squad… V ery handy.

BFN: How do you think Sydney will embrace the Community Cup concept and do you think the Whalers/Sailors rivalry can develop into one of the great sporting feuds? Care to pour some fuel to the fire or any words for your Captain counterpart to help the cause?

AS: Sure Dan Sultan might be tall, slim, incredibly good looking and a rock and roll sex god … but whose got the first class honors degree in pure mathematics Sultan? That’s right … the Spence. Bring it on!

DS: Yeah, nah, look, I’m just there to concentrate on my footy. We just wanna take it one cup at a time. Myself and the Whalers will let the governing bodies worry about that stuff.

BFN: What are your predictions/hopes for the game itself?

AS: I’m confident that the Reclink Community Cup will meld the guts and determination of the Swans’ 2005 Grand Final triumph over West Coast with the pageantry and colour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies … and the voyeuristic pleasure of both episodes of Channel 9’s Excess Baggage.

But who will prove to be K-Fed, me or Dan Sultan? See for yourself March 18, Henson Park. Go Sailors.

DS: Yeah, nah, look, we’re just gonna play the type of football that we and our fans have come to expect over the rich history of the Whalers footy club. I think if we show up and do that then we can still hold our heads high.

Progress

Despite the progress of the Swans, and indeed the buckets of money poured into the Greater Western Sydney area and team, Australian Rules football still enjoys a very much marginal popularity within the city’s sporting landscape.

However, aside from the odd inquiry of why they aren’t playing ‘rugby’ the event has been wholeheartedly embraced by those involved.

Training sessions – assisted by local knockabout Sydney footy group the Bang FC – have had great spirit, with all sizes and standards coming together and enjoying a kick for a good cause.

There will be some decent talent on display on the day, with the Sailors’ list boasting Ryan Fitzgerald (taken at #4 in the 1998 draft), Brett ‘Captain Blood’ Kirk and former AC/DC member and Whaler Mark Evans having played at school level for Richmond.

Triple J’s Scott Dooley, playing for the media team, also plays for Sydney Uni in the local comp, which along with his on-air antics has also placed a target on his back for some of the band members of the Whalers.

Good naturedly of course. It isn’t just a blokes domain, either with musician Fiona Whalley lining up for the Whalers, and radio announcers Kim Tam, FBi Radio and Catalyst researcher Wendy Zuckerman and Walkley-winning journalist, and maker of girls in footy documentary Kick, Monique Schafter also taking the field.

As well as the on-field entertainment, live music provided by The Meanies, ARIA winning Front End Loader and the Celibate Rifles – whose members Kent Steedman and Damien Lovelock shall also be taking the field – will be a feature of the day.

Lovelock, who is Whalers co-captain, admitted to local street press the Drum Media he had never played a game of Aussie rules, yet was pumped up for the game, and the gigs, telling them “F**k the rules”.

That’s detail. I don’t have any time for detail. We’re going out for a good time. If the ball comes near me I’ll catch it and kick the f**k out of it. And hopefully that will be seen as being a meaningful contribution.”

The inaugural Sydney Community Cup takes place at Henson Park Marrickville, Sunday March 18 – gates open 12pm. See http://www.communitycup.org.au/ for more information.

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