The echo chamber

The rooms now empty, echoing again, his players long gone from their latest loss, The coach surveys the scene, once more his men have led, but coughed it up. Still, he’s the boss. He’ll have to take the blame although he knows his midfield’s soft, his forwards will not run Down back his boys won’t [Read more]

After the Siren (a sonnet)

It was a different era he was sure, when harder men went one-on-one all day, and some still claim the way they played more pure; You always knew the price you’d have to pay. He’d paid his price for just one shot at glory in ’78; they were unbackable. His shot from twenty would have [Read more]

The Albatross Rules: The Finale

30. Birth and Rebirth Loudest amongst the voices raised in celebration was that of Benny Cotton. Still coming to grips with the crutches he’d sported since the preliminary final, Benny half hopped and half swung down onto the ground before the siren had barely stopped ringing. Nobody begrudged him the chance to join his comrades [Read more]

The Albatross Rules: Grand Final vs Mt Logan

29. Grand Final, Albertville v Mt Logan (at Heathvale): A Note of Caution On the morning of the grand final there was a buzz of anticipation around town. For fans of the club the week’s training sessions had been boisterous affairs. In spite of all the fuss the boys themselves had remained composed and focused. [Read more]

The Albatross Rules- Chapter 28

28. Preliminary Final, Albertville v Nambool (at Hellenswood): Jimmy’s Gone A Fishin’ On the Monday afternoon following the semi-final win the people of Albertville, past and present, came together to celebrate the life of ‘The Tiger’, Jimmy Hyde. Among them were most of the players from the club’s golden era. During the seventies, with Tiger, [Read more]

The Albatross Rules, Chapter 27: Destiny

27. First Semi Final, Albertville v Gunundurra-Heathvale (at Mt Logan): Destiny The results of the last round had not gone the team’s way. While they sat out the bye Nambool had stunned Gunnundurra-Heathvale to leapfrog both the Albatrosses and the Roosters into second place. Albertville would have to take the tough road through the first [Read more]

The Albatross Rules: Chapter 26 – The Sour Cream Defense

26. Round 14, (Bye): The Sour Cream Defense Boof’s case was to be heard on Wednesday night in Mt Logan before a panel headed by Mt Logan J.P., Henry Parkinson. His impartiality would be sorely tested—his family had featured in The Eye‘s exposé earlier in the year. In Boof’s defense the Albertville brains trust could [Read more]

The Albatross Rules: Chapter 25, Good and Evil

25. Round 13, Mt Logan Cobras (home): Good and Evil On Tuesday morning Con went down to collect the papers as soon as the delivery came in, hoping there’d be something about Potter’s family connection. Thanks to the churlish behaviour of Sir Lawrence Turner-Brown the story was front page. ‘Lawrence of Cry-Babia’, you had to [Read more]

The Albatross Rules: Chapter 24

24. Round 12, Gunundurra–Heathvale Roosters (away): A Victory for the Ages Maureen and Con had now been in Albertville for five months. Con had come to understand Albertville’s passion for football. It was the passion of a town that has memories far grander than its current situation; a sleepy place that once bustled. For six [Read more]

The Albatross Rules: Chapter 23- Whatever it Takes

23. Round 11, Mt Desperate Desperados (home): Whatever it Takes Percentage was looming as a big issue for the team. The finals race seemed to be taking shape. Mt Logan looked safe in top spot. That was no great concern. Albertville had already shown they could match it with them and the animosity between the [Read more]

The Albatross Rules- Chapter 22, Spirit

22. Round 10, Hellenswood Saints (home): Spirit Rumours of ructions on the committee had started circulating during the Professor’s absence. On his return he received a few stony-faced stares in the main street. Edie had to handle the puzzled inquiries of those who felt an allegiance to the Secretary and the Treasurer. But the situation [Read more]

The Albatross Rules – Chapter 21

21. The Professor in the Wilderness After the dramas in the committee room the president could have been forgiven for staying in town to shore up support. He knew the street would be buzzing with half-truths. ‘The Profs trying to sack the board.’ ‘He’s gone power hungry.’ ‘Maybe he wants the merger… he’s been talking [Read more]

The Albatross Rules – Chapter 20 – Round 9, Nambool Ravens (away): Old Habits and Die Hards

by Richard Holt Nambool was an important match. The Ravens occupied the same middle rungs of the ladder as Albertville. Both teams still had a chance to force their way into the top two. There was also the likelihood of a meeting at some point during the finals, when having a bit of form over [Read more]

The Albatross Rules: Chapter 19- Redemption

19. Redemption Their recent disgraceful behaviour only confirmed for Edith what she already suspected; the past players were, on the whole, a completely useless bunch. Most years their only real contribution to the running of the club was to organise a pie night. It was not a difficult event to put together. But in the [Read more]

The Albatross Rules – Chapter 18: Birds of the High Country

18.            Birds of the High Country Con had woken up late on the Monday before the Dwights Mill game, flipped out of bed into the same pair of board shorts he’d kicked off the night before, and padded into the kitchen. Maureen was sitting at the laminex table staring into a half-full mug. He wasn’t [Read more]

The Albatross Rules: Chapter 17- Brothers In Arms

17. Round 8, Dwights Mill-Barcaroo Demons (home): Brothers in Arms After a glimmer of promise in the early rounds Dwights Mill-Barcaroo had once again taken their place at the bottom of the ladder. They were too proud to be dispirited and suffered a series of thrashings with stoic resolve. By comparison Albertville went into the [Read more]

The Albatross Rules – Chapter 16: Running Hot

by Richard Holt Before the bye Con had called the boys together to talk about the team’s progress. Three wins from six games and an ordinary percentage suggested they were nowhere near where they wanted to be. On the positive side they’d played strongly in recent weeks with close losses to both last year’s finalists. [Read more]

The Albatross Rules, Chapter 15- Holding The Man

15. Round 7, Bye: Holding the Man The Prof’s vision for a women’s footy carnival during the bye had stretched the resources of the town. To accommodate it, Boof organised a quick ‘once over’ for the old miner’s quarters at the Pilkington 3 site. There’d been no ore dug there for over ten years but [Read more]

The Albatross Rules, Chapter 14- Faith

14. Round 6, Mt Logan Cobras (away): Faith Albertville had its tiger back and Mt Logan had been humiliated on national television. Suddenly the stakes in the game between the two arch-rivals had been raised. No possible advantage was overlooked during preparation for these clashes. While Con could attend to fitness and hone the skills [Read more]

The Albatross Rules, Chapter 13 – Tiger

13. Tiger The first rumours of a cat-like animal, the size of a great dane, prowling about the hills behind Albertville had appeared during the town’s early days. Gold-miners had reported a sleek black beast patrolling the steeper slopes near the rocks now known as The Dentures. Some put the sighting down to the ready [Read more]