Did you bring a footy?

– Did you bring a footy?
– Yep.
– Where is it?

Nods towards his bike. One of those with a milk crate on the handlebars. Looped on with occy straps.

– Go on then.

Taz darts off towards his bike. It’s leaning against the barbecue. Barbecue made in Dromana. Nothing more certain. From Albany to Byron Bay, every public barbecue is made in Dromana.

Here come the Li sisters. They’ll be up for a kick.

– Hey! Jess! Sam! Wanna kick?!

Bung is miming the kicking action. Points his toe.
Feels a bit of hamstring tightness. No bother, no bother.

Taz has found the footy. Dingbat. What did he leave it there for?
Taz has a jog up. Side-to-side floats his hair; such a sure-footed bloke. Look at him there. Bouncing the ball in the long grass. It bounces straight back to him. Like a yo-yo.

– Taz! – Bung claps his hands now. Calling for the pill. Wants a nice easy one in front of the Li sisters here.

POOOONT.

And it’s a beauty. It’s spinning superbly; end over end. Good kick. He’s handy, that Taz. Hands are up, arms are up. THWACK. And it sticks. One grab.

– Hey Jess!

Looks over quickly. And he kicks the footy now towards Jess, on the bounce, lest it hurt her.
Jess swoops and collects it with a one-handed pick up on the jog.

– What do you call that kick, Bungman?

And she drills him with a low flat drop-punt; straight at the eyeballs.

– That’s how you pass a footy.
– Hooo hooo! Given a lesson there, Bungmeister!
– Thanks Taz. You should be on TV with those special comments.
– Piss off Bung. Taz is much too clever for those clowns.

He’s not sure how this has happened, but among four people here, Bung could have found himself to be the worst footballer.

– Come on! Are you gonna kick it or hatch it? – That’s Samantha Li now, weighing in. She’s got her arm up in the air. Like she’s Tommy Hawkins.

POOOONT

Bung roosts it high. Good shape. Though it could bring rain.
THWACK.
But that’s a fine mark from yer Samantha Li. Gotta hand it to her.
Look at her there pretending to play on and kicking… a drop kick!

– Whoah, Bungman! See that; Sam kicks drop kicks better than your drop punts!
– It’s the boots, Taz. I can’t claim the credit.
– What are they?
– Blunnies. The perfect drop-kick boot.
– Damn straight. The ol’ elastic-siders. Knew they would be. Can you lend them to Bung?

Jess is alongside Bung now. Right alongside. And Sam jogging up, too. Taz down the other end.
– Hey you can’t have three up one end!
Bung is pretty happy with three up one end.
– You’ll survive! More kicks!
– Righto!

POOOONT

Taz lopes after that one from Samantha Li. A bit skew-wiff.
– I’ll get it! No-no. No, I’ll get it!
Gets there. Effects an effortless pick up. Blind turns nobody. Thumps it long.

POOOONT

Sam and Jess fly for it. Eyes on the pill. Bung is out the back. Snaffles the crumb and feigns a handball to an invisible runner. Switches hands and offloads to Jess, who’s clapping for it.

This is good stuff.

POOOONT

Sits up perfectly for Taz. He skips for it; theatrically. Takes it from its arc in the air and throws it on his left boot. It’s a pretty good kick. Sam marks nicely.

– Show us another of your drop-kicks, Sam.
– Yeah? Alright. Watch this one.
– Here we go.
– Shut up, Jess.
– What are we watching?
– Howabout I pop this one into that bin over there?
– This’ll be good.
– Taz! Sam’s aiming for the bin!
– Get yer hand off it!
– Watch this! And with a drop-kick. Stand back ladies and gentlemen.

We’re all watching. It’s like a slow motion scene. Into the bin will be an amazing kick.

Samantha Li drops the footy. Exactly as the ball kisses the ground, she makes sweet contact with the leather of her swinging size 7 Blundstone.

POOOOONT

And there it goes.
In a perfect arc.
End over end over end.
A size 7 Blundstone boot.
Straight into the bin.

About David Wilson

@e_regnans

muddling along.

Comments

  1. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    OBP t recall one night at footy park walking back to the car after a crows game being greeted by 2 girls having a kick to kick we reacted with slight amusement to begin with upon watching further they were lacing each other consistently from distance and I grab we were very quiet there are some talented lady footballers around .
    Thanks OBP

  2. E.regnans says:

    No doubt, OBP.
    Love watching the beginning of ‘having a kick’.
    Who goes where?
    Does anybody lead?
    Is a lead honoured?
    Who flies? Who always crumbs?
    Is there a ‘good end’?
    thanks OBP

  3. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says:

    The Cygnet and I do a twilight session on the local league set up while Dad’s overseas. We start in the centre together and gradually, following the arc of the setting sun, he gravitates towards the posts, positions himself under the cross bar and I end up kicking goals. Always fancied himself as a full back. Makes for a stop start session – I chase my own kicks usually – but it says something about natural inclinations. Loved it Mountain Ash. Merci.

  4. Frank Gleeson says:

    Ahhh, the lost art of the drop kick. One of my favorite memories is a Syd Jackson drop kick on the run from about 50 yards out to the Punt Road end in the 1970 Granny – and I’m a Pies supporter. And what about the stab pass? Thorrel Merret, now that was kicking.

  5. E.regnans says:

    Grand scenes painted there MdeH and Frank.
    Good stuff.
    merveilleux. thanks.

    To kick around.
    To be.

  6. Earl O'Neill says:

    That’s a great piece of writing, something that should be included in an anthology of ‘Great Australian Sport Tales.’
    Onya son, played well, done fine.

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