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Alexandria warm-up for Swans faithful

The AFL grand final was in Melbourne, but the best warm up was in Sydney. Last Thursday, the Swans faithful congregated at the Alexandria Hotel’s beer garden to hear ABC 702’s Adam Spencer present a special Sydney Swans breakfast show reports Bill Birtles in the October 2006 edition of the South Sydney Herald.

Spencer, dressed in the red and white, interviewed a handful of modern Swans greats, including Jason Ball and Mathew Nicks.

He also declared the Alaxandria Hotel ‘the spiritual home of the Swans,’ because it’s owner is former Swan Darren ‘Harry’ McAsey, who runs one of the few AFL-friendly bars in Sydney.

“A lot of pubs around here are league-oriented,” McAsey told the SSH, “but we show predominantly AFL here and I think there’s a market for it, especially with the Swans making two in a row.”

Roughly 80 people were there by the end of Spencer’s broadcast, including a lot of kids who had to go on to school. While there was a strong contingent of locals, some families had come as far as from Oatley and Lugarno to be at the broadcast.

HG Nelson, one half of the legendary Roy and HG, was there warming up his tonsils for the call on Saturday. He told the SSH “Harry has turned this place around. It used to be a Souths pub, but judging from today, it’s definitely now a Swans pub,” as he pointed out the lone figure wearing a Souths jersey (the SSH’s own Trevor Davies).

He went on to suggest that Souths and the Swans should work together – “I hear Peter Holmes a Court is big in the food business. Maybe he could give the Swans nutritional advice, and they could help Souths with training”.

Before the program wrapped up, Redwatch’s Geoff Turnbull was awarded a signed Swans guernsey for being the best dressed supporter. Giving credit for his woollen Swans jumper to his wife Lyn, he said “My wife doesn’t like football. But she likes knitting.”

[Source – South Sydney Herald October 2006]