Test cricket is enthralling, but I lost count of the times that my mind wandered off to footy this summer.
And when I say footy, I mean all the football codes, soccer, league, rugby and AFL.
Apparently, our country is the last bastion of popular support for Test cricket, and for that we must be grateful.
And while we also love and enjoy the other two forms of cricket, ODI and Twenty20, who remembers a player for just them.
The truth is when we think of great cricketers we think of Test cricketers, from Bradman to Steve Smith.
But it’s also true that if we are sitting back enjoying Test cricket but our mind wanders off to do a mental countdown to the footy season it shows the priorities of most ordinary people in Australia.
There’s just something magical about football, maybe it’s the rectangular stadiums, that makes you feel more part of it than cricket, no matter how good the latter is.
With footy, in all codes, there’s just footy, although God knows the administrators have tried other versions, with Sevens and Nines and what not.
Other than the introduction of technology to check decisions by referees or umpires, the football codes have hardly changed for more than 100 years.
Fans, when talking about their team’s chances in a new season say “we’ll win the comp this year’’, and not “team X will win the comp this year’’.
It’s doubtful if cricket gets that kind of emotional engagement from fans, who tend to be followers of the game more than anything.
But back to the footy, and it’s fair to point out that soccer is played mostly in the summer here in Australia.
Covering the Bulls gave me the chance to see some amazing games so far this season.
League will kick off the 2024 season with a double header in Vegas in mid March, by which time rugby and AFL will also be under way.
And footy fans across the country will rejoice.
Including this ageing one, who dreams of premierships for the clubs that represent our district, the outer South Western Sydney region.
Here, then, are my Top 5 tips for our local footy clubs.
Number 1. Macarthur FC will make the grand final in the A-League.
Number 2. Wests Tigers, who will play five games at Campbelltown in 2024, will make the finals for the first time in 11 years.
Number 3. The Campbelltown Harlequins to win the Illawarra rugby premiership.
Number 4. Camden Rams to go back to back and win the Macarthur Conference (Group Six) rugby league premiership.
Number 5. Our two AFL clubs, Camden and Campbelltown to move up the ladder to the top Sydney competition – sooner rather than later.