A great night. (At least that’s the Waaia remember it.)

by Josh Barnstable

It’s Wednesday. I wait for Thursday to come. I have been waiting since Daff told me that the launch would be on the 19th of November. It’s the 18th. I’m at tennis training, wearing my Waaia guernsey, I’m in full concentration with my coach, we are doing some work at the net (known as a volley.) I hit each ball down hard into the court, ball after ball, I need concentration so I don’t cop a tennis ball to the face. It gets easy after a while. I just repeat the process: jump, smash the ball down, reach right, smash the ball down, reach left, smash the ball down. My stomach drops, I lose my breath, I fall to the ground. I’ve been hit in the groin! After a while I recover, down a can of Fanta and I’m in the ute with Dad driving to Shepparton to stay at my sister Hayley’s place. I get there, and we have a shocking dinner of fish + chips. That night, shamefully, I watch Dodgeball for the very first time. It is a funny movie. Soon its morning, Thursday. I have a quick cold shower, and get my hair cut. I also buy a $20 footy from the Sportsmans Warehouse. Red. Finally the time comes, Mum and Dad pick me and Hayley up and we are off to Melbourne for the launch of the 2009 Footy Almanac, but not before a quick stop at Maccas. I’m freezing in the car with the air-con on, and I read about how Liam Anthony has sliced open his finger in a shocking incident involving a lamp. A freakin lamp! We arrive in the outskirts of Melbourne, I see Danni’s school. I later get told by her that I should have waved to it. Oh well, next time. We do a bit of shopping in Coburg, and are soon at Vibe Hotel, which is across the street from Visy Park/Optus Oval/Princes Park. I get ready, and soon our taxi is here. We pile in, the four of us, and soon we are outside Clyde Hotel. In we go.

The first people I see are John Harms and Pamela Sherpa, both give my family and me warm welcomes. My nerves calm a bit. Looking for the rest of the Fab 5, I see that none of them are here yet. I grab the allocated number of Almanac books and start reading mine. Danielle Eid arrives, I get nervous. Steve Healy is texting me, I want him to get here fast so my nerves will settle. He has arrived, we shake hands and start talking, rather awkwardly but it’s a start. Then Danni approaches and greets us. Gigs talks to me, Damian Watson turns up and we get chatting. Bob Murphy is standing behind us, drinking a beer. Damo, Steve and I choose to go have a kick outside. As we walk out, I notice Michael Allan coming with us. We meet in the alleyway. We have a small square of handballing going, silent handballing. That is until some crazy lady floors it into the alleyway and tells us to move. So we go back inside and start signing books.

Anson Cameron, the launcher, starts his speech. I am rocked by it; it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. JTH follows it up with more humour and Gigs has once again amazed everyone by finding an anagram to do with footy for Stealing Picasso, the name of Anson’s latest novel.

After the speeches, Damo, Michael and I go outside for another kick, this time around the corner from the alley. Danni has left, so its just 4 of the Fab 5 remaining. Steve is eating with his Dad. The three of us start kicking the footy around. Damo tries a banana kick. Michael decides to do the same. The ball subsequently lands on a balcony of a university. Damo has to leave, Steve comes out, and we try to get the ball down but to no avail. To anyone in that uni who opens their window and finds a footy, please call 0400275465 with your details hahahaha. Its soon time to leave, and just like on the website, Steve is the last of the Fab 5 to remain, albeit only for a sure time after me and Michael left. Dad and I venture up the street to Percy Jones’ pub, and I get his autograph, and also get annoyed by a very, VERY drunken Italian man. Dad and I make it back to the hotel in tact though, and I’m soon asleep in the clothes I wore that evening.

Friday morning and it’s a hot one. A very hot one. We drive to Arden Street where I get into the change rooms and get a heap of autographs. Liam Anthony is there. In a huge cast. Robbie Tarrant is a man monster. Hamish McIntosh is gigantic. And Boomer Harvey is tiny, almost as small as Danni. We have to leave unfortunately, and as we leave Melbourne, a huge storm hits. I see Danni’s school again, and I wave frantically. I looked like an idiot.


3: Anson Cameron

2: John Harms

1: Michael Allan (you beauty!)


  1. lol Josh!
    everytime i read it i cant help but laugh! :)

    ohh and im very offended at Gigs! lol
    he hasnt put my piece on the launch up! :(
    he obviously didnt like me when we met at the launch or something! lol :(

  2. Danni,

    Not true. Everyone else submits their pieces by email. I just noticed today that you had two pieces pending and I asked Daff if this is what you normally do. Haven’t received a response from him but now I know.

    Your piece will be up tonight. Sorry! I did like you at the launch and I still do – but not your team…

  3. Steve Healy says

    Ah, home from exams. We’ve a;ready started a new conversation after 51 comments on piece.

  4. lol okay Gigs! :)

    Steve!! how did u go on exams?
    do i want to know? lol

  5. Steve Healy says

    I went pretty well I think.

    I don’t like your team either Danni.

  6. you know, ive always know that Collingwood is like the team everyone hates but ever since i came on here its been even more obvious!

    ohh steve i thought of u the other day in the cinema cos in the movie there was a scene-

    JACOB (a few years younger then bella but him and his friends all secretly like her)
    *tells her that his friends like her”

    BELLA *Laughs* “im not into the whole cougar thing”

    JACOB “why is age such a big deal to you?!”

    “If he mentions something about a pizza ill be a little feaked out!”

  7. Steve Healy says

    Oh by the way Gigs great title.

    lol, I wonder if he goes for the Dees.

  8. doubt it steve, they are American which means they all go for Collingwood!! :)

  9. Steve Healy says

    If they went for Collingwood age would matter to them lol

  10. lol if u say so!

  11. so that means
    Bella- collingwood
    Edward- collingwood
    Jacon- Melbourne

  12. for anyone interested!

    FROM 6.30pm Thursday night, SuperFooty will have every angle of the 2009 AFL Draft completely covered. With complete analysis of every pick, SuperFooty is your No.1 destination for the draft.

    thats right from THE BEST PAPER EVER!!

  13. Steve Healy says

    Wrong, the AFL website is the best destination for the draft, followed by Realfooty!

  14. have to disagree steve!
    Superfooty is the BOMB!!
    or as the oldies mights say, ‘groovy!’

  15. Steve Healy says

    Hang on Danni, why did you copy and paste that off the website? stop advertising the Herald Sun lol

  16. lol hey i can adverstise that place i work at! :)


  17. Lol in that interview i did with the Shepp News yesterday, i named Mark Stevens and Jon Ralph my favourite writers from the Herald Sun.

    Gigs, love the title

  18. ……..
    GIVE ME AN ‘R’!!
    GIVE ME AN ‘A’!!
    GIVE ME AN ‘L’!!
    GIVE ME A ‘P’!!
    GIVE ME AN ‘H’!!
    GIVE ME A ‘Y’!!



  19. Steve Healy says

    For gods sake Jon Ralph is worse than any writer from THE AGE!

  20. ………


  21. That’d be hard since all the writers from the Age are pretty damn bad

  22. Steve Healy says

    Are John Harms and Paul Daffey bad?

  23. minus SAM LANE!!
    MINUS SAM LANEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. They used to write for the Age right? Or do they still do it? If so, they arent bad. But Paul’s remembering skills arent the best haha he sent me an email today and some of it said “Say hi to Jill and Terry” haha my mum’s name is Jenny

  25. LMAOOOO!! hahahhahah!!!
    hes soo FUNNY!! lol
    HAhahhahahahahah!!! :)

  26. Steve Healy says

    Daff’s fine with me but John has got problems with remembering as well. Since when do I do scoring on whiteboards? and now the whole of Australia will say “scoring on whiteboards, what a crazy young fella that is”

  27. And he also got the wrong amount of money that i get for my pieces in the Almanac. lol

    Did the beep test today, got 5.2 haha. We did it on the polished gym though and i slipped near the start so i was behind the rest of the pack lol. The winner got 11.2 i think.

  28. Omg whiteboards Steve? That’s rather unusual, but good on ya

  29. Steve Healy says

    I need to count my scoresheets. I’ve got 150-200 but I don’t know the exact figure

  30. lmaoo!! i recon steve would make a good teacher. you know with his whiteboard stuff!

  31. Lol next year he’ll be doing his scores on blackboards

  32. Steve Healy says


  33. …gee chilax Max!!

    ..(someones cranky…..)

  34. Never heard that saying before. Chilax max lol

  35. lol yes thats an oldie.
    breathe steve came around after we meet this guy at ball practise called Steve, he was weird.

  36. Steve Healy says

    Did he look like me? lol

  37. ewwwwwwwwww no!!
    he was…like SUPERNERD!!
    like you cant even COMPARE HIM to you…
    ohh godd!!

  38. Haha lol today in English we played celebrity heads and the hot teacher was up the front being a contestant and one of the kids in the class wrote a dirty word above her head haha

  39. Steve Healy says

    hahaha I love celebrity heads.

    Next time you see the hot teacher say that Steve says hi

  40. ohh god!!
    i feel so bad for that teacher

  41. Steve Healy says

    Have the hot teacher and the Maori b*itch ever had a fight? lol

    Hey Danni did you know that Dustin Martin is part Maori?

  42. then josh will show her steves photo in the almanac and she’ll say:
    “awwww look HES SOO LITTLE AND CUTE!!”

  43. really? ohhhhhhh
    i like em exotic!!! Heheheheh!!!


  44. Lol its funny coz a kid in my class has the absolute hots for her and his name is Steve! But this Steve kid is a tiny bit “dumb”, or you can use the R word

  45. Steve Healy says

    Yeah Danni.

    Is he that kid who likes rugby that you told me about Josh?

  46. Yeah lol i have to do a presentation with him tomorrow, no doubt he’ll be swooning over the teacher

  47. is there any meaning or reason behind why you guys have the names u were given?

  48. My Dad came home from a pub one night and said he’d heard the name Joshua while there and wanted it for me

  49. Steve Healy says

    lol, there’s something about low scoring sports I don’t like.

    I love footy (obviously) but I really find sports like Rugby, NFL and Baseball hard to watch cos there too boring.

    But I love watching cricket and some NBA as well

  50. Steve Healy says

    There’s no reason why I’m named Steve (Stephen), actually no one else in my family has a really behind their name, apart from my parents liking it of course

  51. lol thats cute!
    i was named after an author! Danielle Steel, no joke.
    mum used to read her books when she was single and when she had me :)
    Joshua is a cute name.

  52. Thats why i dont like Soccer, way too low scoring. I love high scoring AFL games, but low scoring ones between good sides i like as well, but if two low sides are having a low scoring contest, i dont like watching

  53. Lol Danielle Steel Sidebottom

  54. Steve Healy says

    Well i’d still love watching footy if a game was 0.0 0 to 0.0 0 cos I love the sport.

  55. Steve Healy says

    Yeah lol Danni you’ve told us that you were named after an author before.

    So it’s just the 3 of us until Friday isn’t it? Michael’s on camp and Damo said he won’t be on until friday but didn’t say why

  56. I would love watching it for all the controversy and confused commentary haha.

  57. lmaoo JOSH!!
    hmmm…well you never know!

    what..come on a game without any goals is bodgey!! i need a goal to celebrate!!

  58. i miss the pretty rangga and damo already!

  59. Think so. Tomorrow is my last Newspaper class, thank god, its so hard.

    Apparantly if Year 9’s from my school did exams, we would have to wait till 3:22 to go home so we wouldnt get off early

  60. well i dont normally finish till 3:30 everyday! how annoying is that!!

  61. Steve Healy says

    Yeah these would be Robert Walls’ special comments:

    If each side can penetrate into their forward zone some some scoreboard presence may appear for both teams

  62. NOOO DUH!! lmaooo
    how about Luke Darcyyy????!!
    hes looks so bloody good on a bilboard!

  63. Steve Healy says

    Luke Darcy: Both coaches need to sort things out with their teams, the defensive, keepings off style isn’t working.

  64. ……
    “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! its really him!!! omgggggggggggggggggg ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i love u mr.dracyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!”

  65. Steve Healy says

    I’ll do a Jon Ralph

    Jon Ralph: Yes, the allegations were true and it’s now up to the club to decide whether he plays or not

  66. …..
    “ralphyyyyyyyyyyy!!” :)
    OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  67. Pamela Sherpa says

    Very amusing report Josh. What a classic losing the footy. I reckon your “That’s the WAAIA remenber it” is brilliant. You should use that everytime you do a radio or written report. Even Rex Hunt couldn’t come up with something that original.

  68. Pamela, thanks but i’m afraid to say that the local newspaper is headlined “The Waaia See It!” So it is definitely not original :P but it is a clever use of the word, considering half of the Knackers wouldn’t know how to prounounce Waaia.

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