NOTHING LIKE LIVE FOOTY: Liam O'Dempsey, Matt Lawrence, Paul Hallman and Kieran Jordan enjoying the Barrett Shield game last weekend.
NOTHING LIKE LIVE FOOTY: Liam O'Dempsey, Matt Lawrence, Paul Hallman and Kieran Jordan enjoying the Barrett Shield game last weekend.

OPINION: The joys of local footy

WATCHING the first game of the NRL season on Thursday night, I was reminded why I love local, club footy.

The season opener between the Parramatta Eels and Canterbury Bulldogs certainly wasn’t inspiring – heck it was a game that I was happy and somewhat pleased to turn off after watching just 20 minutes.

Sub-par football from two mediocre teams is what’s going to keep fans coming back for more?

I highly doubt it but it’s round one, so maybe the benefit of the doubt comes into play some where.

But that’s never the case when you go to a local footy game.

You can somehow reason with a scrappy game or sloppy defence, knowing that they aren’t professionals getting paid millions to run onto the field each week.

There’s never a lack of intensity or determination to win because, in many cases, you’re not just winning for yourself but for your community.

Last week I watched my first Barrett Shield and first TRL game, and quite honestly, it lived up to the hype and expectation.

It’s clear that Warwick residents will travel far and wide to watch their team play, be it for a win or a loss.

Hard tackles and strong defence from both sides with limited stoppages to the play certainly kept the game interesting and fans wanting more.

And maybe the real reason is the proximity to the field, and being able to hear the calls players are making rather than the commentary of former first grade players on TV.

I’ve always been a big believer that there are less expectations in local footy and I certainly haven’t been proven wrong so far.

But whether it’s rugby league, rugby union or Aussie rules, the same principal applies.

There’s a rallying force from the community behind our local teams that bring us together on a level that the professional grades sometime miss.

A HIT AND A MISS: Emily Clooney is the sports reporter for the Warwick Daily News and she loves a bit of footy!
A HIT AND A MISS: Emily Clooney is the sports reporter for the Warwick Daily News and she loves a bit of footy!


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