Bill's Speeches

NORTH MELBOURNE GRAND FINAL BREAKFAST

REMARKS TO NORTH MELBOURNE GRAND FINAL BREAKFAST


SATURDAY, 27 SEPTEMBER


***CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY***


Good Morning Everyone

To Mike Fitzpatrick and James Brayshaw, thank you for selecting me for my Grand Final breakfast debut.

Lovely to see Julie Bishop here, I’d say she’s been best on ground for the Government – makes you think how much better the Abbott Cabinet would be if it had two women.

It’s great to stand here in the middle of Etihad Stadium, just a few kilometres and a few hours away from the high point of what has been another fantastic AFL season.

Not many people know this, but in my student days, I actually spent a lot of time on-field for my team, Collingwood.

I was a blue coat - a ground attendant for at Victoria Park.

That was back in 1990 - so I prefer to describe myself as a premiership ground attendant.

Sitting in front of the Collingwood cheer squad certainly taught me a lot of new words and expressions.

Though, I can’t repeat half of them.

And I still don’t really understand what the other half mean.

How could an umpire possibly do that to himself? 

And even on the sunniest day at Victoria Park – it was always a good idea to wear your official blue raincoat.

Seemed like there were a lot of Pies’ supporters with nasty ‘bronchial infections’ - especially near the visitors’ race.

But dodging the odd ‘surprise shower’ was a small price to pay for a close-up view of a magnificent team: Darren Milane, Micky McGuane, Tony Shaw, Peter Daicos…there were legends on every line.

It was like watching a black and white cavalry charge.

There’s still plenty of characters at the Pies.

Just this week we saw Dane Swan miss the Brownlow Medal count because he was busy getting a tattoo of Sam Newman on his…bottom.

I’ve heard that back in May the Prime Minister made a very similar bet with Clive Palmer about passing the whole Budget.

I imagine that somewhere in East Brunswick there’s a tattoo artist getting very nervous.

This isn’t a day for long speeches, so I’ll leave you with my tips:

The Hawks are a great side and a generous one too –they kindly pre-trained Sydney’s three top Brownlow vote-getters.

But I’ve decided to keep the faith and back the Old Xaverians – my old school.

The Swans have got three Old Xavs [Daniel Hanneberry, Ted Richards and Josh Kennedy] – the Hawks have only got one [Matt Spangher] – plus they’ve also got one Jeff Kennett.

So I’m tipping Sydney.

As for the Norm Smith, the son and grandson of Hawthorn royalty – JPK - gets my vote.

Most importantly, I reckon Tom Jones will have Meatloaf covered.

Have a great day everyone.

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053