Archer steeled to beat fate

WINNING TEAM: Wayne Carey and Glenn Archer in happier days after a Kangaroos win and, right, the man at the centre of the Arden Street angst.  
Archer steeled to beat fate

Friday, June 7


AS opposed to popular theory, the last thing Glenn Archer has tried to do this season is forget about Wayne Carey. Pictures of Carey still adorn the walls of Archer's house. They have remained untouched despite the happenings of summer.

The subject is far from taboo in the Archer house. Carey's wife, Sally, is still good friends with Archer's wife and regularly calls around for dinner.

On ABC radio last week, Glenn admitted: ``He (Wayne) wasn't just my teammate, he was my hero.''

He also described the loss of Carey as more like losing a father figure than just losing a centre half-forward who was a cherished friend and a pivotal part of his life on and off the field.

Archer has not seen Carey since the season started.

Sally visits the Archers on her own. But Glenn plans to see his old mate before too long. He is unsure exactly what he will say. Perhaps when this season is over they will sit down and discuss, over a beer, the most tumultuous year of their lives and the effect it will have on them forever.

But Archer has some more important business to attend to first.

He wants to turn this season into one of life's great tales of triumph over adversity. His immediate loyalty is to his current teammates, Anthony Stevens included, who he has no problems admitting he more than bleeds for.

``Yeah, I love my teammates,'' he said candidly from the heart.

``Anthony Stevens is just a freak to have been through what he's been through and play the footy that he has,'' Archer revealed.

He also explained how the whole Carey affair has been used as a spur by a club whose players had forged a reputation for their closeness.

``Something like this happening to the club just brings everyone closer, and hopefully that brings everyone closer towards the end of the year and we can pull off something special,'' Archer said.

He also admitted that on-field success will have a cathartic effect for the players.

``Something like this is pretty hard to put behind you but footy's the best medicine for that. Just to get out there and take your frustrations out on the footy field.''

The Kangaroos' self-belief grew enormously with last Friday night's tough win over recent nemesis Essendon. In Archer's words: ``We definitely could be in the top four at the moment.

``I think we've proved this year that we are good enough to beat anyone . . . I think we're a finals team for sure.''

He was also quick to stop any speculation that Carey could be back alongside him for the Roos before the end of this year, but in the same sentence, did not rule out next year.

``If it happens, I don't think it will happen for a while,'' Archer stated.

Instead, Archer admitted that it was much more likely that he would be playing against the man he called his hero next season.

``I think he will definitely play again, he's keeping himself fairly fit, but where he plays I'm not sure.''

It is not that Archer doesn't care. The opposite is actually true, and he is man enough to admit it, and not run from the trouble with a ``don't mention the war'' mentality.

But right now he is more passionate about something else - beat the Tigers tonight. Beat the odds, beat the doubters. And by staring it in the face, beat fate, which has conspired against the Roos this year.