The Albatross Rules, Chapter 12- Round 5, Gunundurra–Heathvale Roosters (home): Shut the Gate

There was the distinct whiff of scandal in the area after Tex’s ten mile streak. Apart from the Albatross’s injured small man another of the neighbourhood blokes had been on a spree and the guardians of local virtue were up in arms. In fact this second incident had a lot to do with Tex’s exploits. [Read more]

The Albatross Rules, Chapter 11 – Round 4, Mt Desperate Desperados (away): On a Hiding to Nothing

The climb up Mt Desperate was the first major obstacle the pioneering miners had encountered after two hundred miles of flat land as they headed into the gold bearing hills. Not so much a mountain as a steep rise to an elevated plateau it claimed numerous diggers who failed to heed the need for caution. [Read more]

The Albatross Rules – Chapter 10: Round 3, Hellenswood Saints (away): Old School

Con’s chat with Des and Maree about the town’s footballing history set a nostalgic tone for the week. There were a number of things to be learned from that first epic Mt Logan encounter. Con had, from it, a keener sense of how deep the passion for the game ran. He also understood, even more [Read more]

The Albatross Rules: Chapter 9- Rosie

The Albatross Rules (a football chronicle) (The story so far) Con’s been brought in to resurrect the Albertville Albatrosses, otherwise the league will force them to merge with arch rivals, Mt Logan. Though they’ve started the season with a couple of wins Con is still at a loss to understand exactly what motivates his team. [Read more]

Poem: Ode to the Crackling Transistor

Ensconced we sit in contoured plastic seats, our floggers banned, our brollies not allowed, with leg-room our desire for comfort meets and yet the advertising’s way too loud. Where thermos flasks of soup once warmed us up and pies were cheap, or peanuts from a sack, We queue for coffee now, five bucks a cup, [Read more]

Chapter 8: Nambool Ravens (home): The Rumble in the Jungle

The Albatross Rules (a football chronicle) 8. Round 2, Nambool Ravens (home): The Rumble in the Jungle Con was never quite sure now, when Caz and Maur got together, whether the two of them were just talking or if they were cooking something up. But unexplained things started to happen around the Prof—insignificant things on [Read more]

Chapter 7: Off the Interchange

The Albatross Rules (a football chronicle) (The story so far) Last week’s first up win came at a cost. The team arrive back in Albertville suffering from the effects of the stink of dead fish in the team bus. 7. Off the Interchange A sorry bunch of footballers arrived back in town that night in [Read more]

Chapter 6: Round 1 v Dwights Mill

The Albatross Rules (a football chronicle) It’s been a long pre-season. After the recruiting dramas and the dramas of last week’s family day finally it’s time for the season opener. Will this be the beginning of the Albertville Football Club’s resurrection, or the first game of their last season as a stand-alone club? 6. Round [Read more]

The Albatross Rules, Chapter 5: A Pleasant Sunday Arvo

The Albatross Rules (a football chronicle) Con and the Prof have been putting the team together. With the season fast approaching it’s time for the social club to play its part in the Albatrosses’ revival. 5. A Pleasant Sunday Arvo The boys had been training hard and the recruiting effort, though at times unconventional, had [Read more]

The Albatross Rules: Chapter 4, Team Building

The Albatross Rules (a football chronicle) The season is fast approaching. Coach, Con Filipou, is still looking for players. Meanwhile the Professor wants to implement a few more changes around the club in the hope of turning its flagging fortunes around. 4. Team Building The league had been pressing hard for a merger with Mt [Read more]

Chapter 3: The Kid

The Albatross Rules (a football chronicle) If Con Filipou accepts the offer from Barry (the Professor) Massey to coach the Albertville Albatrosses it will mean big changes for both the club and the coach. Con has seen enough to know that without a few new players the success the club craves is unlikely. 3. The [Read more]

The Albatross Rules- Chapter 2: Duck The Fish

The Albatross Rules (a football chronicle) (The story so far) Club President, Barry (the Professor) Massey, is determined to turn around the fortunes of his beloved Albertville Football Club. If they can’t improve on the field they’ll never turn their ailing finances around. If they can’t do that the league will force a merger with [Read more]

The Albatross Rules. Chapter 1: Barry’s Dream

The Albatross Rules (a football chronicle) by Richard Holt 1. Barry’s Dream Boof McKenzie was cleaning glasses as usual, wondering if anyone would be in for lunch. For the moment he was his only customer. He wandered over to the jukebox with coins from the till. A doleful cowgirl voice crackled from the speakers, singing [Read more]

Short Story: A High Country Nativity

By Richard Holt They called it The Grand because no-one ever called a pub ‘The Dilapidated’ so it was to The Grand that Barry Massey went to drown his sorrows on Christmas Eve. As he trudged up the muddy cow-track of a main road towards the fifty metres of pitted bitumen that counted for the [Read more]

Short Story: Harder to Whisper

By Richard Holt I wasn’t the only one. Chook hit the bottle … bad. He hadn’t worked for five years and he only saw his kids at Christmas. Johnno had lost everything on some property deal in Queensland. He was living in a caravan up on the river. At least he’d stayed out of prison. [Read more]

Short Story: Grace

By Richard Holt “Good onya, Davo.” The old backman looked up and smiled. Dave Sendon had been around during the glory days when the Reds had reached three grand finals and snared two premierships in five years. The team had been the most feared in the league back then. Wozza’s Warriors, they’d been called and [Read more]

AFL Round 7: Paddy Ryder has legs like springs

by Richard Holt Paddy Ryder has legs like springs. He’s one of those rare players who doesn’t so much climb opponents shoulders when he takes a screamer as land on them. From the time he leaves the ground, to when he returns, ball in hand, somewhere in the world someone has taken their first breath [Read more]

Luck of the Draw

by Richard Holt By the time they found Cornell’s body, dumped in a laneway near the Perseverance Hotel, I’d landed in Bangkok and taken the first bus south. Later, when I learnt the result of the game and heard about Cornell’s demise, I guessed what had happened. But the homicide boys would never figure it [Read more]

Bombers Lift to the Hallelujah Chorus

How much warm inner glow can a person stand. The kids, a whole mob of them from across four families, have just returned from hunting Easter eggs. It’s a pagan pleasure that manages to retain an element of celebration. They’re all buzzing with an excitement that belies three holiday late nights that have left them [Read more]