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Snap Shot is a weekly column taking a look at the lighter side of football.
If you want to understand the attraction of living in Geelong for some footballers, look no further than four-time premiership player Isaac Smith, who played in three flags with Hawthorn before moving to Geelong in 2021 and snagging the Norm Smith Medal and another premiership medallion last season.
It’s hard to wipe the smile off Isaac Smith’s face in Geelong.Credit: The Age
On Saturday morning with the Cats playing Adelaide at home that afternoon, the 34-year-old grabbed his battered hybrid bike and helmet, said goodbye to his family and rode the short distance to GMHBA Stadium.
He pedalled past the hordes of supporters beginning to arrive at the ground and security staff surrounding the stadium entry and rolled towards the nondescript entry to the Cats’ football department. At 11.42am, Smith swiped his card at the door and wheeled his bike into the players’ area.
At about the same time, Adelaide’s players arrived by bus to the Moorabool Street entrance for away teams and unloaded their gear. They had arrived at Tullamarine the night before and bussed it down to Geelong to stay near the waterfront.
A bunch of players, including Nick Murray and Reilly O’Brien, had killed some time in the morning with a coffee on Pakington Street as they waited for the game to roll around, while other key officials travelling on the day had boarded an 8.15am flight to Melbourne, ready for their day to end when they landed in Adelaide at 10.15pm Saturday night.
Smith had a lazy 21 kicks helping the Cats win at home and then, we assume, rode home to tuck the kids into bed.
Mihocek breaks the four-goal barrier
Steele Sidebottom received plaudits for his match-winning behind against Adelaide, but his kick to Brody Mihocek in the dying seconds of Sunday’s match against Sydney had significance too.
It allowed Mihocek to finally kick a bag of five goals in a game having reached four in a game in 12 of his previous 109 matches.
Mihocek kicked his fifth with two seconds remaining on the clock to reach his career high.
Five goals was a career high for MihocekCredit: Getty Images
Sidebottom, who kicked a career-high five goals in just his 18th game, wasn’t aware that Mihocek had never kicked five goals before in his 110-game career.
So he was rapt for the durable Magpie, who has kicked more goals (184 goals) than any other player has kicked wearing No.41, reaching four goals on debut in 2018.
“Talk about reward for effort. He has been undersized, playing as a key forward, not even just this year, but for years and it is nice to see him get some reward for effort,” Sidebottom said. “He tries harder than anyone and throws his body into anything so to see him hit the scoreboard is nice.”
He joined a trend that has caught fire among the game’s best goalkickers in the past month with four of the top seven players on the goalkicking table, achieving career goalkicking highs since Sydney’s Tom Papley kicked six goals against Richmond in round five during Gather Round.
The following week the Brisbane Lions’ Charlie Cameron kicked seven goals against the Giants to reach a career high.
In round seven, Carlton’s Charlie Curnow kicked nine goals against West Coast and Geelong’s Tom Hawkins kicked eight goals against Essendon to top their previous best haul.
But it was Mihocek’s effort to get beyond four after being so close, so many times that made the pattern come to life, surprising Sidebottom, who was unaware how significant his goal assist was in the dying seconds.
“I had no idea,” Sidebottom said.
On the coach’s whiteboard
Before you go, here are …
Eight officially approved reasons for booing, determined by those who don’t boo and can’t understand why anyone boos:
NB: Being really bloody good is not an officially approved reason
“The club does not support booing, particularly champions of the game,” – Collingwood statement apologising for the booing of Sydney champion Lance Franklin
But they forgot to say
“The club does not support booing.”
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