Home Roland Rocchiccioli If you have not booked a ticket for the Wendouree Rotary Club...

If you have not booked a ticket for the Wendouree Rotary Club Grand Final breakfast

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If you have not booked a ticket for the Wendouree Rotary Club Grand Final breakfast, Saturday 3rd October, at the Ballarat Golf Club, starting at 8.15 – it is not too late!

The two featured guest speakers are former Hawthorn champion, Brad Sewell; and AFL – although I think it may have been VFL at the time – legend – John Northey He played from 1963 to 1970 with the Richmond Football Club. Mr. Northey was a dual premiership player with Richmond, winning flags in 1967 and 1969. He is better known, however, as a coach. I have not met him before, but I do know that he has some wonderful stories to tell. I am look­ing forward to asking him some questions.

I have been invited to talk about my time with Footy Show, and to reminisce about some of the stars of the game whom I met. Some very amusing things happened over the time; people made the hysterical comments; and given my keen and self-deprecat­ing sense of humour, I found them all to be highly entertaining. I still laugh out loud at some of the incidents.

The proceeds from the breakfast go to some of the most deserving causes.

Apart from a sensational breakfast there will be singers, a footy panel, raffles, Channel 7 Brownlow tapes of the mark and kick of the year; and lots to keep you amused! Tickets $60: To book telephone: 5333 1105.

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I love the footy! My late mother, Beria, and I, never missed a match on the television. She was a one-eyed Eagles supporter. This normally placid woman would turn into a raving lunatic when from the first bounce of the ball. “You’re playing like donkeys. I could do better!” She would shout at the television, and she about 85 at the time. She never forgave Michael Malthouse for abandoning the Eagles. I wish she were still with us to see the match on Saturday. It is going to be a cracker of a game – as Bruce McAvaney would say. It’ll be special!!

Talking of Bruce McAvaney, he did a wonderful job with the Brownlow Medal coverage. There is no ques­tion – he is one of the best in the world. I am happy to tell you that what you see of him on the television is what you get in real life. He is a charmer and has a delightful sense of humour. A most agreeable per­son. We have been friends for about 30-years. We met when he was a sports reader at Channel Ten with David Johnston, Jo Pearson, and Rob Gell. It was quite a line-up. Ed McGuire had a segment called ‘Doing The Rounds’, and I had a spot every Friday night called ‘Roland’s Weekend’. I am happy to say, the segments were very successful for both of us.

Bruce’s interview with Nathan Fyfe, the winner of the 2015 Brownlow Medal, was one of the best I have ever seen. It must be obvious to everyone that Mr. Fyfe will, when his playing days are over, end-up in the media. He is most self-assured, confident, charming, articulate young man, who does not seem to be caught up in the celebrity phenomenon. He was particularly generous when talking about his team mates, and refused to accept the Brownlow as a personal accolade. It was, for him, one for the team. It is almost impossible to believe that he continued, with a broken leg, to play against Hawthorn. Sadly they did not win the game.

It is impossible to predict who will win on Saturday. Both teams are playing so brilliantly`. Maybe, just maybe, Hawthorn will have the home-town advan­tage, but, then again, with so many West Coast Eagle fans making the trip across the Nullarbor to sup­port their boys that may be the winning advantage. Whatever happens, it will be a fantastic game.

On a less enthusiastic note, why would we be hav­ing a public holiday for a football match? It is dif­ficult to believe that we are expecting employers to pay employees to attend a football parade. The hubris is overwhelming. Many small businesses are struggling to make ends meet. To impose this finan­cial burden on them is outrageous. It is all very well for those people who do not have to find the pay roll every week to make such a decision. This is the land of the weekend. Any excuse, it seems to me.

In the United States, usually – but not always –employees are paid for six public holidays. There is no annual leave entitlement. It is left to the employ­er, and ranges from six days after one year, up to nineteen days after twenty years.

In Victoria there is twelve public holidays – more than two working weeks. Australia closes down for the whole of January. If you add to that the two weeks of public holidays, we have a total of six weeks annual leave. That is preposterous.

It’s hardly surprising small businesses are strug­gling. Get back to work, I say.

Roland can be heard each MONDAY morning on 3BA at 10.30 with Edwin Cowlishaw. rolandroc@bigpond.com