A donation of 10% from the sale of each book will be given toGO Foundation, a charitable organisation set up by Adam Goodes and Michael O'Loughlin to provide Indigenous children with scholarships to quality schools.
Richard Colless AMSydney Swans Chairman, 1993-2013
I was flattered beyond belief when the author asked me if I would write the Foreword to this book.
There have been many books written about the Swans, or where the club was a significant part of the narrative.
From 1982, according to my calculations, there have been well over 30 published. They cover a wide range of themes, such as the various tomes on the club’s history from 1874 up until the present day; the relocation of South Melbourne to Sydney; significant events; defining moments; autobiographies and biographies of players and coaches, personal development advice, and two children’s stories!!!
All have provided unique insights – from an extraordinary range of vantage points – into the great institution that is the Sydney Swans.
Jan Courtin is the latest wordsmith to join this group.
Her beautifully crafted book My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans doesn’t easily fit into any of the above genres.
Its category really is “Inside the Mind and Heart of the True Believer”.
And a true believer Jan certainly is.
Her love affair with the club starts in Melbourne, takes us to London, Brisbane and Sydney and virtually every ground in the country at which the Swans have done their thing.
It is punctuated by three recurring strands. Family. Friends. Footballers.
We travel from half way across the world with her to see her beloved club play in its first final in two and a half decades. And share the pain of losing by 53 points in front of 105,000 people.
We share with her the sense of expectation in 1996 when her team finishes top of the ladder and the sense of disappointment when it is comprehensively beaten in the Grand Final.
And we relive her sense of ecstasy with the breaking of a 72-year drought when the club wins the Premiership in 2005.
It’s interesting to note that Jan’s great uncle Jim Caldwell missed playing in the 1909 premiership side due to suspension and had to wait an agonising nine years before he tasted premiership success as captain of the club in 1918.
Exactly the same period of time Jan had to wait between the loss of ‘96 and the victory of 2005.
True believers are essentially romantics.
Jan lovingly paints pictures of players who she never saw but who were eulogised by her family, to those who are etched in her memory as a little girl growing up in a red and white family, through to the players of today.
True believers understand that it’s all about players and the team.
This is not a book about football politics or the game as a business.
True believers are eternal optimists who can always see the proverbial ray of sunshine in the middle of a hailstorm. Even when their beloved team is relocated to a foreign environment. Or they are living on the other side of the globe.
Their passion for the deeds of yesteryear is only exceeded by their dream of what lies in the future.
Without the true believers our club and the game as a whole would have little meaning.
This is a book written by a true believer for all the other true believers.
It is a singularly welcome addition to the rich trove of Swans’ history and culture.