A Relaxing Sunday and The Womens Footy Almanac

Sunday just gone and I am lying by the pool. I’ve managed a good 10,000 steps, had yum cha for lunch and finally, I got around to washing my car.

 

It’s a Ford Focus hatch back with a Tiger sticker upon the back bumper. It is black, but soiled with grease, dust and bird droppings…plenty of it, and you know what that’s like to remove once the sun has baked it into an impenetrable crust…stubborn.

 

By mid afternoon I find some time to chill, poolside and with a yearning to read. I rummage amongst the ever-growing pile of dust covered books (unread) beneath the bed.

 

And so I happen upon the bright and glorious cover of The Womens Footy Almanac 2018; that, I must say, is not covered in dust, it is new, fresh, shiny and most importantly, inviting.

 

Hannah Scott graces the cover in a moment of jubilant glory, with both hands firmly grasping the glistening cup. Hannah has been set upon a dark background by the artist Kendra Heil, so she literally jumps towards you inviting you, the reader to look within and delve into the season that was the AFLW 2018.

 

The Womens Footy Almanac 2018 is a follow up to the inaugural text that covered the first ever AFLW season last year, round by round.

 

Given that this second season was much anticipated by players and fans alike, it was also one that held in suspense a high degree of unknowing for all areas of the footy industry.

 

Yvette Wroby introduces the book, warmly inviting the reader into the womens footy fold. She is able to elicit the character and atmosphere in an honest overview that sets the tone for the following weeks of the season, and the following chapters.

 

In her foreword, Kate O’Halloran speaks of the difficulties that the competition faced regarding the lack of advertising early on, leaked AFL memos that advocated a certain style of play and pay issues that had the subsequent effect in the way that rough conduct charges were penalised, and the way in which this played out in the lead up to the grand final.

 

These were issues much debated in many public forums but to have them documented in this manner adds a deeper clarity to the way the events unfolded and we are able to contemplate these same issues through the eyes of other writers throughout the book. Same issues but from different perspectives.

 

We are able to grasp the delight of young girls as both youthful fans and players participating in what could be described as a grassroots movement that welcomes women onto the playing field as active participants.

 

Bonnie Norman, an avid Lions fan and representative junior footballer, speaks of her excitement gathering signatures on her new flag at open training one night; she speaks of the new season arriving “yellow and red Sherrins filled the sky, bird-like whistles blew and the freshly mown field smelled beautiful”.

 

Each round begins with a few lines of verse by Damian Balassone. It is a lyrical touch that slows the readers mind as they embark upon the various happenings from one week to the next.

 

The writers are adept at conveying not only the sporting details of wins and losses, achievements and disappointments, but also in conveying the sense of community action, and community co-operation that has in many ways been the trademark of the AFLW competition.

 

Kasey Symons tells us how she was lured away from her Almanac coterie with the offer of a writing job for The Guardian on grand final day. Her match report of the Bulldogs v Brisbane final was enthralling. As a writer she describes her fear in having to file her words by the time the siren has sounded. Throughout her article the reader is able to feel her concern not just for the supply of words, but for the difficult conditions she faced.

 

Ikon Park was saturated in a deluge of rain just prior to the game commencing. Kasey takes us through her day as she ran between pre and post match interviews and navigated some fairly primitive working conditions, all the while trying to keep track of the score.

 

This added to the drama of her match report by giving the reader a wonderful insight into the process of filing a sporting article for publication.

 

The Womens Footy Almanac 2018 draws to its close with reflective words in an essay by Verity Sanders and a delightfully contemplative piece by David Wilson as he takes us on journey through a lazy Saturday afternoon in the company of his two daughters.

 

I particularly like the way The Womens Footy Almanac 2018 is able to collate such a variety of written pieces, analytical, creative, documentary etc. that when read post-season often shines a new light upon issues faced.

 

Given the short nature of the competition so much takes place within each day and each week that it can be easy for the fans to have difficulty keeping up with the minutiae of various happenings, arguments and discussions.

 

Given that womens football is in the process of establishing itself within the AFL, it really is a fascinating time and one that does call out for our attention.

 

Here, The Womens Footy Almanac make it possible to reflect and relive, now and into future generations, the highs and lows of this AFLW season 2018.

 

With long weekends and holidays approaching, and with the 2019 draft in full swing I can highly recommend The Womens Footy Almanac 2018 as terrific read to both reflect upon the season that was and to contemplate that which lies ahead.

 

 

Read about The Women’s Footy Almanac 2018 HERE.
Copies of The Women’s Footy Almanac 2018 are available for sale via our online store.

 

 

Comments

  1. Yvette Wroby says:

    Terrific review Kate. I am half way through reading it again. You capture the character of The Women’s Footy Almanac 2018 so well. Thank you!

  2. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday (besides the calcified droppings on the car!), what with the AFLW draft and fixture announcements, it’s as good a time as any to reminisce about last season…

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