WITH TONY DOSEN
The recent move of star player Jarryd Hayne back to the NRL with the Gold Coast Titans has certainly attracted more than its fair share of publicity.
One of the main focuses of discussion has been the point of loyalty – or alleged lack of – by Hayne in taking up the Gold Coast offer.
Many ‘fans’ have wanted to take Hayne to task for saying that he had signed a ‘lifetime agreement’ to always return to Parramatta if and when he came back to the NRL.
Words like betrayal and disloyalty have been thrown around – with upset Parramatta fans leading the charge.
For mine, the Hayne return is a quintessential example of how sport mirrors – and is a snapshot of – society in general.
Hayne is only looking after himself in getting the best deal available at a stage of his sporting career where the window of opportunity to be a star of the Australian sporting landscape – and earn maximum dollars as a result – is shrinking at the age of 28.
As far as loyalty goes, well, it can be a two way street. Just ask Nathan Peats and Robbie Farah about loyalty in this NRL season alone. They haven’t or weren’t shown too much – and all down to business decisions rightly or wrongly made by the clubs concerned.
And consider this – how many people do you know have had more than one employer in the last five years? Especially if they have moved on due to getting more money or better terms than what they had under their old boss?
The days of loyalty to the employer and the club have long gone. The famed stories of great league centre Mick Cronin never signing a contract in his 10 seasons as a player at Parramatta in the 1970s and 1980s are long gone.
I am not saying it’s right – that’s just how it is until someone somewhere sees a contract through, on both sides of the fence. Don’t hold your breath on that happening any time soon.
On the field, September is one of the best times of the year, being Finals time.
Sadly, it’s been slim pickings for local teams this winter – with only the North Shore Bombers and the Pennant Hills Demons assured of featuring in Finals footy action in any of the winter codes this year.
Even Knox Grammar’s run as CAS Rugby Champs was matched with Waverley College beating the Matt Williams coached outfit in the key match at Waverley College’s infamous “death valley” home ground late in the season to secure a share of the title.
Hopefully the Northern District Cricket Club can go one step further and play in Finals this summer in the Sydney First Grade competition for the Belvidere Cup and restore the District’s lost sporting pride from the winter.
And finally well done to our Australian Olympians from Rio – no matter what happened on the medals tally.
See you at the game.