A short passage from Mongrel Punt – the novel

Mongrel Punt is a new novel by poet, author and former footy player Ged Zochling. This is his first novel, launching on Thursday 20 September at Gertrude’s Brown Couch in Fitzroy at 7:00pm. This story follows three players on a top grade footy team as they enter Grand Final week – the biggest week of their lives. Things are complicated by the revelation that all three men are in love with the same woman. Will this derail their chance at Premiership glory?

Enjoy the following passage:

From Mongrel Punt…

I walked out of the changerooms, down the stairs and lent against the fence, the light from inside catching my tracksuit pants halfway up. My head was in the darkness watching the players, the boys, now civilians, men of a different kind, dressed in real world clothes, off home to their girlfriends, wives, mums and dads. There they would eat steak and mash, veggies and , drink cordial, milk and water and have detailed discussions of their big week ahead. They will be scheduling meals, scheduling visitors, scheduling sex, scheduling shaving days, organising the lucky undies and lucky socks to be worn in the correct order, even detailing when the phone should be off the hook and even listing who they want to talk to. Yes, these small points, these little things acting as additions to the big score. Everything counts. Every rest, every bottle of water, every extra piece of fruit, some extra honey on the toast – a thumbs-up to a teammate as you drive out of the car park or even a late night call to pump him up and settle your own nerves:

“Hey mate you’re going to be so calm kicking that footy through the big sticks this week. And remember how you felt last week when you kicked the first goal of the game and I came over and hugged you and all the boys went mad. Well let’s do it again Sunday. You kick the first one and let’s start that great feeling early. You be the one.”

And the call will fuel the imagination, send sleep away just a little longer, as the game plays over in the mind – all these little points adding to the big score, all these little things, all these sacrifices adding to the probability of winning the big one – of winning the Premiership.

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