Hooray! Spring is almost here and the winter sporting codes are in finals mode.
For the south west’s junior rugby league, rugby union, soccer, hockey and netball, to name a few, it’s the business end of the season.
But before the footy gear goes into the cupboard for another season, there is plenty of excitement still to come.
In the NRL, the career of Benji Marshall, the Wests Tigers magician is winding down. He is leaving our shores and returning to the country of his birth, New Zealand, to play professional rugby union with the Auckland Blues.
Marshall has two more games in league, I wish him well. While he hasn’t been near his best this year, I will fondly remember his skills and talents at his peak. Hundreds of kids ran around the backyard trying to emulate his extraordinary kicks, running, stepping and passing game.
That’s the sort of influence he had on the younger generation.
For mine it will be the year that Souths win the grand final, their first since 1971.
I believe they have the coach, the players and right team balance and the mental steel to do it.
But while the attention centres on the NRL and AFl finals in the coming weeks there is plenty of grass roots finals around our region.
The grand finals of the Sydney Combined rugby league senior grades competition are at Campbelltown Stadium this Sunday, September 1. All Saints Liverpool tackle Penshurst RSL in first grade at 3pm, while Valley United play Liverpool Titans in the local derby for the A reserve second division grand final at 1.30pm.
Best of luck to all teams — I think grassroots sport is very much the foundation of our communities.
And as I wrote a few weeks ago, I think with further development in Sydney’s west and south west the local sporting clubs will take on more and more prominence in the years to come.
And all the good horses are ready and their trainers have them ready and the jockeys are primed too for the spring racing carnival.
The Australian Turf Club tracks at Warwick Farm, Rosehill and Randwick will feature big races, in the Sydney spring meetings before the spotlight shines on Melbourne.
For racing tragics like myself, the sight of the true horse power — forget the car racing - thundering around the tracks sends shivers down my spine.
Long range tip for the Melbourne Cup: Sea Moon, but more on that as we get closer to the first Tuesday in November.
If you love your sport, then September offers tremendous excitement.
And if you love your racing then get your saddle ready and enjoy the ride over the next two months. Even my sports guru mate Sylvester may even have a bet on cup day.