He stands at the intersection of four courts, with just a wheelie bin for company. T-shirt, shorts, runners, backpack hanging off his shoulders and a cap (it pays to be sun-smart at Saturday netball).
His focus is fixed firmly on one court, completely oblivious to everything and everyone around him. The match, between two clubs who share a postcode, can often be a grudge one at open level, but is rarely enthralling in u13 section 3.
His daughter is a goaler, or maybe a defender. Wherever she plays, she’s stuck in the goal circle, under his watchful and indignant gaze.
“Hold your position, don’t let her through! Push her back, push her back! What? You’re calling that obstruction?” His chest swells with indignation.
“Well sweetie, you’re just clearly going to have to stand FOUR feet away, aren’t you, if that’s the distance we’re now playing with! Didn’t realise the DISTANCE HAD INCREASED!”
The umpire, an experienced woman who has given more than her fair share of this sort of advice as a coach, runs on unperturbed by the gestures and clapping, shrugging and scoffing coming from the corner of the court.
The other parents, well aware of his behaviour, huddle under a bus shelter on the other side of the court, but he relishes in his self-inflicted isolation.
“That’s disgraceful, the worst decision I’ve ever…THAT’S IT! That’s what I call a comeback! Come on North, you can do WHAT? WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?
He sighs, exhausted by his own abruptness, shiny with sweat and sunscreen. This guy’s an Oscar-worthy actor, he can change emotions at the drop of a hat.
“I don’t even know anymore. Decision after decision, it’s all a joke,” he mutters.
But he doesn’t realise in this performance for one – on the unlikely stage of the intersection of four netball courts – the joke’s on him.