JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Captain Abbott: Relax, Team Australia, nothing is under control

Date

Annabel Crabb

<i>Illustration: David Rowe.</i>

Illustration: David Rowe.

Bruce McAvaney: And now we’re crossing to someone very special for you tonight. Gee it’s been a big week for him. It’s the captain of Team Australia, Tony Abbott. So great to see you Tony.

Abbott: Cheers, Bruce. Thanks mate. Good to be here.

McAvaney: Now we’ve got a lot to talk about with you, but first of all – Tony, I have to ask. How’s morale?

Abbott: Yeah, well, ah, it’s a fair question mate, I accept that, but I’ve gotta tell you, we’re feeling good. Feeling strong. Nobody ever said this was going to be easy, and from day one I’ve always said, heads down, bums up, it’s a long game, and never mind the critics. We’ve been the underdogs before, and we’re okay with that. It’s gonna take guts and determination, and we’ve got it in spades. Don’t worry about that.

McAvaney: Cause watching you this week… Gee. You were just on gorgeous form the week before, really outclassed Team Russia, it was so special to watch, loved Julie Bishop on the Ukraine, she was spectacular, but this week feels like it’s all got on top of you again. An unforced withdrawal from the Free Speech World Series, for starters – that’s gotta hurt.

Abbott: (Nods sombrely) Yep. Yep. Some of the boys are really dark about that, I’m not gonna lie to ya. Bolt, Wilson, our sponsors at the IPA, I know they found that call kind of tough. And let me tell you, Bruce, if I could put on the jumper and run out there, I would. But like I said, it’s a long game. I’m not gonna run my guys into the ground this early in the season. It’s a captain’s call. We’ve got to keep this in perspective, Bruce. Everyone’s still got the right to be a bigot. The only difference is that now you’ve got to mainly just do it at George’s place. Plus, lastly, something everyone’s overlooking, we are the only team in the competition this week with a position that Team Israel and Team Palestine both agree on. You don’t see that every day.

McAvaney: Fair enough, that’s pretty special.

Abbott: Cheers mate. Thanks.

McAvaney: But let’s have a look at your key players… Gee, you must be a bit disappointed with Brandis this week. Feels like the big plays just aren’t going his way, doesn’t it?

Abbott: Yeah, well, George has been around the block a few times. He’s a bit down in the dumps, no doubt about that, but he’ll bounce back, no worries. According to the doctors, the whole problem stemmed from an old fibre strain to his, er, node, and it’s really, ah, messing with his metadata. Could have happened to anyone, really. It’s bloody frustrating, but … that’s online data regulation for ya. Sometimes, it just pans out like that, hey.

McAvaney: What is metadata, exactly?

Abbott: Ah, look mate, I’ve never pretended to be Team Australia’s doctor. That’s Eric Abetz’s gig, obviously. And he is totally worth the $7! (Laughs) But seriously, I’m gonna leave that to the experts. My job is just to go out there and give it 110 per cent, and that’s what I’m gonna do, Bruce. We’ve been absolutely slamming it at training. Peta’s got everyone on a pretty punishing regime; data crunches, high-impact Google tracking, that sort of stuff, we’ve cut out the cookies, and mate – you could bounce a twenty cent coin off my apps. We’re gonna bring our A game from here on in, that’s for sure.

McAvaney: Lots of talk around about trouble in the Team Australia clubrooms. Brandis out of sorts about the tactical free speech forfeit. Turnbull pretty cheesed off with being kept on the bench, even when he was match-fit for the data-retention issue. Can you shed any light on that?

Abbott: Aaaah. (Rubs neck) Yeah. Ha! Hahahaha. Well, mate, what can I say.  Brandis is a great guy, a real champion. He’ll come good. And Malcolm… well, you know, as an ex-captain he should know better than anyone that there’s no “I” in “Team”.

McAvaney: He’s got charisma, though.

Abbott: (Tersely) Yep. We’re hoping that will clear up by Saturday too.

McAvaney: So, Team Australia more broadly. What’s the story with all the people in the detention centres? There seem to be some very unhappy folks there.

Abbott: Yeah, well: Not everyone can make the squad. It’s never easy. I’ve got complete faith in Scotty Morrison there. Say no more.

McAvaney: Your team song though: “For those who’ve come across the seas, we’ve boundless plains to share” – any awkward moments when you’re belting that one out in the showers?

Abbott: We’re not gonna be distracted, Bruce. Not for one minute. A team’s a team. Sacrifices have got to be made. It’s a captain’s pick. And I’m the captain you picked.

McAvaney: We’ll leave it there, Tony. Thanks for that. Really special.

Twitter: @annabelcrabb 

80 comments

  • I'm just trying to work out how much worse they can actually get?

    I notice you left out the abortion causes breast cancer conservation....thank god for that!.....it's allll just getting too mental for my senses...

    Commenter
    Horry
    Date and time
    August 10, 2014, 1:12AM
    • Where do we fit in? I suppose we're the trodden on fans which have dwindled down to a few rusted-on loyal freaks who don't care how much they're hurt.
      They've increased our admission charges and taken over our seats to install corporate boxes where everything for their mates is on us. The team is a disjointed rabble and does nothing but drop the ball and annoy the fans. Their media conferences are full of mistakes and self-praise. Their team manager travels the world making team enemies.
      Well I've had enough and left the ground early after another humiliating defeat and I won't be back! I can't wait for this mob to be sacked and a new squad of management and players to come in to restore some order, fairness and pride!

      Commenter
      Darcy
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 10, 2014, 10:10AM
    • Worth some verse.
      Oh..
      Team Australia - we are all kicking goals,
      And together, rooting out extremist moles.
      Be it the long hand-pass or speccy mark,
      Fighting against those Forces of the Dark.
      Oh..
      Have you any doubt - who is on our side,
      Well, it’s not those with comments snide.
      My motives and ideas - all good and strong,
      And so, those who disagree - must be wrong.

      Commenter
      Howe Synnott
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 10, 2014, 12:12PM
    • Oh Annabelle, you have conveniently forgotten that the ALP used Team Australia as far back as 1993 and as recently as 2013. We know what Rudd and Gillard thought of Team Australia don't we? With Shorten as Chairman of Selectors. Hilarious hypocrisy, congratulations!

      Commenter
      enough is enough
      Date and time
      August 10, 2014, 1:00PM
    • Thankfully, the reality is that we are more like a bunch of cats - and you know the comment about trying to herd cats.
      Better call it Menagerie Australia - in resplendent disarray; fornicating, fighting, purring, crapping and doing our own thing.
      Australia - you bloody bewdy.

      Commenter
      Howe Synnott
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 10, 2014, 1:22PM
    • EiE - In case you still haven't noticed - this is Abbott's 'shift' now. It is on his watch that people are feeling abject horror at what the government is doing.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Date and time
      August 10, 2014, 1:43PM
    • enough is enough @ 1:00PM

      "Hilarious hypocrisy, congratulations!" - it's the mirror talking at you.

      Commenter
      Haw haw haw
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 10, 2014, 1:49PM
  • "TEAM AUSTRALIA" is an anagram of "AA-LIST AMATEUR".

    Who would have imagined that!

    Commenter
    Man Friday
    Date and time
    August 10, 2014, 3:43AM
    • @Man Friday:
      Team Australia? It could well have been a replay of the most recent interview between the team coach and the captain of Wests Tigers. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Team Australia has as much chance of getting off the ground as they have of winning the NRL premiership.

      Commenter
      JohnC
      Location
      Gosford NSW
      Date and time
      August 10, 2014, 11:54AM
    • Other noted members of Team Australia :

      Labor’s Andrew Leigh, October 28, last year: I USED to work for the late senator Peter Cook (who’d say): “When we go overseas, we’re ‘Team Australia’.

      ”Labor’s Peter Cook, July 23, 1993: WE must adopt a “Team Australia” approach.

      Labor’s Bob McMullan, November 22, 1994: THE whole project is a good example of the ‘Team Australia’ approach ...

      Kevin Rudd, November 13, 2005: IT is time for Team Australia to be a world leader ...!

      Rudd, March 16, 2011: THIS is a good Team Australia effort but this job hasn’t been done yet
      .
      Rudd, September 25, 2012: IT requires a united Team Australia effort.

      Bill Shorten, November 20 last year: This is indeed a Team Australia ¬moment.

      Richard Marles, November 20, last year: AS Bill Shorten said ... this is a Team Australia moment and it needs to be.

      AAA - Amateurs all according to you.

      Commenter
      Andie
      Date and time
      August 10, 2014, 1:03PM

More comments

Comments are now closed
Featured advertisers