A couple of snippets from The Footy Almanac 2014

G’day Sportsfans

There have been a lot of late nights for co-editor Rob Bath, designer John Kingsmill, and me over the past month as we bring together the words of our many contributors to The Footy Almanac 2014.

It’s a big job, but a very pleasant job.

There’s always moments which charge the batteries; moments where you are reminded of the breadth and depth of talent there is in the Almanac writing community. I also find it very heartening that people feel free to write so personally.

Here’s one from last night when I was casting my eye over West Coast Dave’s cheeky Round 23 report of Gold Coast v West Coast. In setting the scene he writes:

“Traditionally around now the Football Gods are fully engaged devising ways to torture Richmond fans, achieving near perfection last year by having them knocked out of the finals by the team that finished ninth.”

Yes, exactly Dave!


Also from last night:

Gigs is well-known in these parts. He is a former assistant editor now doing terrific work in the footy information field which includes some writing.

Sadly, his father passed away in late August. Gigs wrote about his Dad (who did not like football)  in his Round 23 report of the Western Bulldogs and GWS:

“But [Dad] did always support my love of footy (and cricket), and never failed to show an interest. On Saturday night, he’d always ask, “And how did Footscray go today?” Or in later years, “How did Bulldogs go today?” It was never, “How did THE Bulldogs go?” Dad had a pretty strong command of the English language when he came to Australia from Czechoslovakia in 1951 but there were always certain nuances he didn’t get quite right. Sometimes he struggled with order. Instead of trial and error, it was error and trial. And with him it was the Bad Big Wolf. And I remember him talking about the seven lives of a cat.  Perhaps in Czechoslovakia things were so bad that cats couldn’t afford nine lives.”

This is just a snippet of a mighty fine piece from Gigs.

And there’s many like it.

This year we have changed the format of the book ever so slightly. Apart from the traditional 700 word match reports, I have invited some writers to produce longer pieces, of 1200-2000 words, which are sprinkled throughout the book. They include Kerrie Soraghan’s magic two-game Footscray day, Mathilde de Hauteclocque on matters of home, Brisbane-resident Sasha Lennon on bringing his son to Melbourne, Mickey Randall on a footy pilgrimage, Fitzy on an AFL match in Alice, and some others.

You will enjoy them.






About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au. He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. G’Day John,

    It’s interesting to read not only about footy but also English grammar. As speaking English as the second language, I do very hard to improve English skills, but sadly I need to gain more vocabularies and to gain skills to use preposition properly. When I am not sure about preposition, I use an online dictionary to check what it should be. Even though my English is not perfect and I appreciate you to tolerate my imperfect English.


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