When we won our last final


Driving home in dad’s old VN pumping the latest ministry of sound.windows down. Your sisters astras springs in your commodore for that low rider feel.


I was 20 in 2004 dropped out of high school in 99 or 2000 and got my first job in 2003.


Imagine winning a final with Bullen, Haynes and Murphy in the team. It’s almost difficult to believe now.


I’m pretty sure I’ve got a four-pack of Woodstock in my fridge that somebody left at my house, potentially in 2004.

And I’m a bourbon drinker.



That time I didn’t go into every Essendon game fairly certain a bunch of halfwit losers would cough up the game no matter how bad the opposition was.


Just a little pisstake on the thread I guess. Spice it up.

I was actually living in the UK at the time with an internet café nearby and hardly followed the season. I would walk down to Stanley Bet betting shops every Saturday morning and put 10 quid on 4 draws throughout the English football league and conference. Watch a game in the pub or the results coming up on Ceefax (UK version of Austext). It very nearly came in on a couple occasions. My day job was the LCCC committee bar at Old Trafford (not Man Utd) serving drinks and wine for the likes of Clive Lloyd, Jack Simmonds (Tasmania’s first ever Shield captain I think and Lancashire legend) and people like legendary bat maker and g&t drinker Duncan Fearnley from Worcestershire. He would get sideways amongst some of the toffs and tell blue jokes. Served Kepler Wessels a Chardonnay once, occasionally players like Freddy Flintoff and Phil Simmons would roll in. None of the local bar staff cared in the slightest about cricket. I hardly had to do anything except pour the odd drink and watch a lot of county cricket, one dayers, T20 and a test.

Footy was almost completely off my radar during that period.

PS. 2004…England (and Wales and South Africa) hadn’t won a series against Australia since 1989.


Schapelle has been in and out of jail since we won our last final.


I was 29 and with my first wife.

We went to that game and were sitting in the back row of level 2. There was a Dee’s supporter in the box behind us and he’d been gobbing off all day and he was getting desperate at the end. Once we’d won I turned around and gave him a serve and as I walked past the open window the prick took a swing at me. I just trotted off with a smile on my face as he was grappled by security.


I was 38 and had just started dating my now wife of 10 years. I was at the game and had no inkling of what was to follow.

I am just trying to imagine someone coming up to me after the game and saying “I hope you enjoyed that because you won’t see it again for at least 14 years, while Hawthorn wins four flags!” I would have thought that was a nightmare scenario


Blitz looked like this:


DJR still constantly online I see


It’s still safe to bag David in 2018


I think that’s incorrect. That’s not the front page!!


Imagine there only being 13 members online…


Oh my goodness!

BomberBlitz.com Exclusive Interview - Courtney Johns : Wednesday, September 1st, 2004

BomberBlitz - Which player was your idol when growing up, and what was it about his game that made you look up to him?
Courtney Johns - Guy McKenna – I was an Eagles supporter, and he wore my number, and he was always so solid and consistent – always did the job.

BB - So 17 was always your number?
CJ - Yeah, all through junior footy.

BB - Who inspires you now, and why?
CJ - James Hird – every week he does something to inspire. Yep, definitely James Hird.

BB - Have you always played as a forward? What’s the highest number of goals you’ve kicked in a game?
CJ - Yes, always up forward. Highest number of goals…. was 9, in the under 14’s!

BB - What keeps you motivated even though you have had extended periods injured?
CJ - It’s the want to play. It’s what I want to do! It can be frustrating, but that’s the way it is. You stick with it cos that’s what you want to do.

BB - Heard you were a very very very handy cricketer in your younger days. What were you? And which club did you play for?
CJ - Yeah played a lot of cricket – was possibly a better cricketer than footballer. I was a top order batsman – usually went in around #4 – and opened the bowling.

BB - Spin or fast?
CJ - Fast bowler!

BB - And the clubs?
CJ - I played for Sturt, and some local cricket in Adelaide Hills.

BB - Possibly a better cricketer? Why the decision to play football then?
CJ - Well, I wanted to play at the top level - that’s what I aim for – and if I was going to play cricket I would have wanted to play for Australia. So when we moved to Perth I thought I’d concentrate more on football as there was a better chance of playing at the elite level in football.

BB - Sounds like you’ve lived in a few different places!
CJ - Yeah, Dad was in the Army, so have moved a bit. NSW, Canberra, SA and WA.

BB - Having played in both the WAFL and the VFL, how hard is it to adjust to differing conditions in the level below the elite?
CJ - In the WAFL there were a lot more men playing – here in Melbourne you have 10 clubs, so more distribution of players, and there are lots more younger players at VFL level. In WA, there are only 2 clubs, so you get more men playing at the WAFL level and not as high a concentration of younger players. You notice a difference in the grounds too – over in WA they tend to be hard, dry grounds, whereas over here they can be soft and muddy.

BB - What sort of rehab work are you doing? And is the new hip made of titanium!?
CJ - Let’s hope so!!! laughs Rehab wise, I’m doing swimming, riding and weights.

BB - How have you found living in Melbourne?
CJ - Getting used to it. Hate the cold weather!

BB - What would you like to do after football?
CJ - No idea as yet… if I play for long enough, hopefully not much afterwards!! But yeah… I’ve really never known what else I want to do as I’ve always been focussing on playing!

BB - If you were unable to play again, would you like to still be involved at some level? Maybe coaching, recruiting, player manager etc?
CJ - Possibly – yeah, probably would hang around here and do something along those lines!

BB - Who are your good mates at the club?
CJ - Closest mates would probably be Dean Rioli and Adrian Wilson – I lived with Adrian last year, and I’ve gotten to know Dean well over the time I’ve been here.

BB - And you’re now sharing with Carts (Tristan Cartledge) and Nashy (Jay Nash)?
CJ - Hehehe yeah, sharing with them now, they’re good blokes too!

BB - What’s happening with Carts’ knee?
CJ - Well he got a bit of a problem with it a few weeks back. They’ve gone in and done a tidy up, and he’s off the game for about 8 weeks.

BB - So it wasn’t a reconstruction?
CJ - No, just a tidy up, which is great, he’ll be ready to do a good pre-season!

BB - Before you were drafted, had any clubs spoken to you PRIOR to your injury, and if so, which ones?
CJ - Yes, 14 of them had.

BB - Which ones didn’t?
CJ - Melbourne and Carlton.

BB - What sort of things did they say?
CJ - They don’t give away too much actually…. they want to find out what sort of person you are, what your attitude is like. They don’t need to hear about your game, they’ve seen you play, seen tapes and stuff, so yeah, they try to find out more about you. All of them were pretty much the same.

BB - For the ladies out there, do you have a girlfriend and if so tell us a bit about her?
CJ - No, don’t have a girlfriend!

BB - Are you looking?
CJ - laughs well, always open to see what happens! But no, not specifically looking. Have enough other things to look after at the moment!

BB - What do you think about the nickname Johnsy?
CJ - It’s always been my nickname for as long as I can remember!

BB - So you feel pretty comfortable with it!
CJ - I do!! Actually at one stage in the juniors I had a coach start to call me Fish!

BB - Fish?
CJ - I asked him why, and he said “think about it…. Courtney Fish?” (groans all round) but yeah, that was back in Adelaide.

BB - How does the football culture differ between Perth and Melbourne?
CJ - One of the main things I notice is that over here, just about everyone has a team – whether they’re full on supporters or not, they usually still have one. In Perth, there’s the two main supporter groups, both very passionate – heaps of Docker supporters around Fremantle – but you get lots of other people who just don’t have a team or any interest in football as well. Probably the same in Brisbane. Melbourne does seem to live up to what they say, the “home of football”.

BB - What was your reaction when you got drafted?
CJ - Well actually I’d forgotten all about the Rookie Draft – the Main Draft had gone past and I thought I’d missed out… then got a message on my phone from my manager at 7.30am one morning – “You’re a Bomber! Will call you later!” and I just thought, what the? Went upstairs and showed Dad, and then it hit me, and I realised I was moving to Melbourne!

BB - And what’s the current outlook for you? When will you start full training/hopefully playing?
CJ - I can’t do full extended running until next year. But I’m hoping that I can get back into it and possibly start playing mid to late next season.

BB - Saw you play down at Werribee last year – only half a game, but you were excellent.
CJ - Thanks!

BB - Has the club spoken to you yet about next year?
CJ - No, not yet. I know the club will do the right thing by me… what form that takes, I’m not sure. But they’ve shown a lot of faith in me, and I can’t wait until I’m back out there on the field and I can start repaying the club for all they’ve done for me.

BB - Thanks Courtney! This has been terrific!

*** Thanks to Queen Koala and her drunken posse who dragged themselves away from the ■■■■ Reynolds luncheon recently to interview Courtney ***

*** Keep a lookout on BomberBlitz.com in coming weeks for more interviews with Damian Cupido, Ted “The Bear” Richards (aka BomberBlitz.com’s Megz’s future husband!), Marc Bullen and a Bomber Fan interview with a 2004 Olympic Gold Medallist!!! ***


Which must’ve ■■■■■■ this guy off

Exclusive Interview - Peter Costello : Wednesday, August 25th, 2004
BomberBlitz - Can you tell us about your own ‘illustrious’ footballing career?
Peter Costello - My own footballing career began playing for the Richmond Little League in 1967. Richmond were Premiers then. I was 10 years old. I played a few years but my football career was downhill all the way from that point.

BB - Who would be your all-time Top 5 favourite Essendon players, you’ve seen and why did/do they appeal to you?
PC - Merv Neagle – he kicked the goal that sealed the ’84 Grand Final. Tim Watson – particularly his game in the night Grand Final of 1981. Bluey Sheldon – the toughest footballer I’ve ever seen. Michael Long – particularly his exploits in the ’93 Grand Final. Alec Epis – if I don’t say he was one of my favourite players, he’ll never forgive me!

BB - What number did you have on the back of your footy jumper as a kid?
PC - Number 23 – Ken Fraser, Captain of Essendon

BB - Kevin Sheedy – certifiably mad or just misunderstood?
PC - There is a fine line between genius and madness. Somewhere along that fine line walks Kevin Sheedy.

BB - Which team do you love to see the Bombers beat the most?
PC - Collingwood – I remember being in Gallipoli in 2003 and someone told me that we had won the Anzac Day clash. It made my day!

BB - How often do you get to see the Bombers play live?
PC - When they play on Saturday afternoons I always get to the game. It is a bit hard to get there on Friday night or interstate.

BB - What are your thoughts of the Bombers in 2004 so far and what do you think of the future prospects for the latter of 2004 and beyond?
PC - It has been a disappointing year with injuries. To have so many of the top players out means that we haven’t realised the full potential of the team, we could have done a lot better. But there is still time to go.

BB - What was the first Essendon game you remember going to?
PC - The first really memorable game was the 1968 Grand Final when Carlton beat us. Jeff Crouch the umpire refused to award a free kick to Alan Noonan when he was pushed in the back by Wes Lofts in front of goals.

BB - What is your all-time favourite Essendon moment?
PC - The 1984 Grand Final. It was a come from behind showstopper. My feet didn’t touch the ground for weeks afterwards.

BB - What is your all-time Essendon lowlight?
PC - Losing the 1990 Grand Final. It was something we should have won. And we lost to Collingwood. We were the best team by far. We won the fight but lost the game.

BB - Are there any young Bomber players that have caught your eye and think may have a future?
PC - Kepler Bradley - he can run and he’s tall. He could be a good prospect.

BB - Which ground do you prefer to watch footy from – the MCG or Telstra Dome?

BB - Who is your tip to win the 2004 AFL Premiership?
PC - Are you joking? How could I tip against Essendon?

BB - Do your staff “live in fear” on a Monday morning after an Essendon loss?
PC - Absolutely. They leave a cup of coffee on my desk and get out of the office.

BB - Who do you think should be Essendon captain after James Hird retires?
PC - Lloydy

BB - Do you have any standout memories of the days at Windy Hill?
PC - The brawl with Richmond in 1974 when Mal Brown took on the whole Essendon team and a few trainers as well. I was standing near the race and I saw every second of it.

BB - Is there much footy talk around the cabinet table – and is there any inter-Minister AFL rivalries?
PC - If there’s a Cabinet meeting on Monday morning and the Bombers have lost, I have to take a lot of heat. These days I’m regularly sledged by Queenslanders who don’t seem to know much about football but take personal credit for the form of the Brisbane Lions.

BB - After your time in politics is up, could you see yourself playing a role at Essendon - as Club Chairman perhaps?
PC - I think Club Chairman is the hardest job in football. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, least of all myself.

BB - And a quirky (bordering on bizarre) one to finish off with … On the BomberBlitz.com forums over the past few months there is a massive debate raging about the humble donut. Are you a fan of the donut? If so are you a cinnamon, iced or jam centred man?
PC - There’s no question, it’s an iced donut!


Imagine a Blitzer interviewing one of the players for the forum these days LOL


It was fear and loathing in Noble Park at the time.


Get nicked.


I was living and working in The USA, was two years away from meeting my English Wife, 6 year’s away from getting my Dog Hurley, 6 year’s away from marriage, 10 year’s away from having my Son Fletch.