Written by Neale himself, here’s a humorous update on his health and attendance on the Drive.
As you know, the four-day, Daniher’s Drive is like a grand final for me.
Like you, it is the culmination of a year’s hard work fundraising, shaking the can, and hitting your mates up to buy raffle tickets.
So I have been busy, doing the hard yards. I thought I was a real contributor, a real team player.
At no stage did l think that my spot in the grand final Drive event was in jeopardy.
But, last Friday out of the blue, I was told to meet with the boss (my wife Jan) the following day.
I bounced into the meeting, fully expecting some encouraging words, maybe some final instructions on my role on the Drive.
Well, was I in for a surprise?
Jan’s first words were ‘Sorry, Neale you have been ruled out.’
She continued ‘Basically, it is a fitness issue. We just can’t carry any passengers. Unless you can be up and going from early morning to late at night, three days in a row… well you know we don’t want a Sam Reid Sydney Swans moment, we all know how that ended and we don’t want to go there!’
Well, it was ruthless from the boss.
I pleaded my case. Gave her my saddest puppy eye look but to no avail. ‘Team first’ was all she said as she swiveled, walked out and the meeting came to an abrupt end.
Well, I was gutted. (I totally ignored the fact that I currently need all-day carers and specialized equipment that doesn’t travel well).
I immediately had a dummy spit.
I locked myself in my room and didn’t speak to anyone for two days.
It wasn’t until my three-year-old granddaughter Rosie asked “Why is poppy locking himself in his room?” that I started to think maybe I wasn’t being a great role model and I started to pull myself together.
The good news is I have clearance from the boss to be in the rooms before the big event. So I will see you all at the MCG from 7am, Thursday 13 October to see you off. I also plan to be in the rooms to celebrate the famous victory, Halloween party night, Saturday 15 October. It should be great fun. Jan and I already have our costumes sorted.
Until then, I’ll keep my chin up and… play on!