Footy Rich and Poor

An American cousin of mine lives in Pittsburgh, and is an avid supporter of that city’s baseball team, the Pirates. On a trip to the USA some years ago, I asked my cousin Jim how he rated his team’s chances in the Major League Baseball season which had just commenced. He looked at me incredulously. [Read more]

We Want Cossie

In choosing Mike Hussey as the replacement player for the injured Doug Bollinger, the Australian selectors have missed a big opportunity to mould the national team into a group with which the general public could more easily identify, and once again grow to love. Much has been written about the “disconnect” that the grass-roots cricket [Read more]

Selection frustration

by Darren Dawson The name Brett Forsyth would be familiar to only the keenest of cricket fans. Don’t fret if you have never heard of him. Forsyth is a batsman who plies his trade for Dandenong in Premier (District) Cricket, the level immediately below the Bushrangers. It is worth noting that Forsyth, with 632 runs [Read more]

Out of the Ashes…

by Darren Dawson Is there anything more depressing than an eagerly awaited sporting contest which is decided far too early? Three hours into Day 1, this Boxing Day Test Match was over. There would be no coming back from 98 all-out. I was despondent. And as Strauss and Cook plundered 157 by stumps, it was [Read more]

It’s all gone so horribly wrong

by Darren Dawson I would hazard a guess that there is not one Australian supporter out there who, prior to the Ashes series commencing, had the vaguest inkling that it could all go so horribly wrong. Sure, the batsmen were not exactly at the peak of their form and, yes, a few of them were [Read more]

’77 revisited

by Darren Dawson Last Saturday’s epic draw brought the memories flooding back. I had not revisited the 1977 game either via my old VHS tape in the cupboard or the fuzzy images in my mind for some time. But as an impartial supporter watching the confused reactions as the siren blared to signal the 2010 [Read more]

Silver lining in Kangaroos’ loss

By Darren Dawson North lost by three points on Saturday night. Yes, it would have been wonderful to win the shoot-out at Etihad. But I came away from the game feeling a sense of relief, and not disappointment, that the Kangaroos were now unlikely to be fronting up in the finals. I have long been [Read more]

“Football Williamstown”

By Darren Dawson There has been more than a little discussion about junior footy on the Almanac website recently, in part prompted by Paul Daffey’s piece referencing the Brunswick Junior Football Club: Was it mere chance that in the very week Daff’s article appeared on this site, that my old club Williamstown CYMS was [Read more]

AFL Round 2 – St Kilda v Nth Melbourne: Saints get the chocolates as North turn back the clock to the bad old days

By Darren Dawson Was it the anticipation of Easter eggs to be received the next morning that had me thinking of chocolates as I watched Nick Riewoldt jog to the St. Kilda goal-square? If so, a sudden vision of boiled lollies came to mind as I turned to see David Hale take his position at [Read more]

Footy: A blue and white trail to new grandeur

I marvel at the crisp, clean lines of North Melbourne’s new Arden Street edifice each time I pass. It is a truly impressive, and long overdue, development in the evolution of the club. Not having yet been inside the facility, I also wonder at the magical qualities which must surely lie within. For I have [Read more]

Cricket: Yeah, but is it cricket?

By Darren Dawson The movable feast that is the “20twenty Big Bash” is all but over for another season, and I am now feeling a little bloated from the viewing. However, a number of questions remain unanswered, and to me, chief among those queries: “Is it really cricket?” As a traditionalist, I have been a [Read more]

Cricket: Love of the game develops into family adventure

By Darren Dawson Cricket has consumed great slabs of my time over the past thirty summers. It’s cost me many life experiences: trips to the surf coast with mates as a teenager, weekends away with friends, long summer holidays with my young family. The only Derby days I ever attended were when the cricket was [Read more]

A wholly satisfying half-marathon

by Darren Dawson I will always be proud of the fact that I am a member of that small percentage of the population who has completed a marathon. In fact, I have competed in four of those 42.2 k runs, with a couple of half-marathons thrown in for good measure. And so it is with [Read more]

Local Footy: Oopy’s oration stirs players and supporters to score win for the ages

By Darren Dawson Almost two weeks on from my old club’s stunning grand final victory, it is only now that the hairs on the back of my neck have begun to settle down. Having been comprehensively defeated by D1-section rivals Peninsula Old Boys in the second semi, Willy CYs had fought back through the preliminary [Read more]

General Footy Writing: Full points for my mate the goal umpire

by Darren Dawson The Saints v Bulldogs prelim final was a cracker of a game. It was impossible even for the impartial viewer not to get caught up in the romance of two historically unsuccessful clubs battling it out for a spot in the grand final. The game itself did not disappoint. However, for me [Read more]

Local Footy: My love for my club grows stronger with age

By Darren Dawson It’s been eleven seasons since I last pulled on the boots for the Williamstown CYMS Football Club. As the years pass, the number of players with whom I played continues to diminish, but strangely my attachment to the club grows stronger as I get older. When I finally hung up the boots [Read more]