Old Dog’s Footy Team of the Century (On-ballers, interchange and coach)

Matt Zurbo (who has played over 500 games of local footy) has picked his Team of the Century of blokes who haven’t had a run in the AFL. He invites you to nominate a few champions you know, have played with, have seen. Today he’s after ruckmen, ruck rovers, rovers, a coach (and he’s nominated a few on his bench as well).

How Lucky We Are

Matt Zurbo knows what footy means to people.

Fred Wooller – Part 2: Premierships and Teammates

In this second part of Old Dog’s interview with Fred Wooller he hears of Polly, Bobby and the 1963 Grand Final victory.

Fred Wooller – Part 1: Bowling Alleys and not so Sleepy Hollows

Matt Zurbo with the first part of his chat with Geelong premiership skipper Fred Wooller. (Note the unlikely reference to ten-pin bowling.)

Season 31, and all the very best to those strapping on the boots this year

Matt Zurbo is working his way into his 31st season. And his enthusiasm has never waned.

Born Working. Billy Williams.

    Let’s get this straight, Billy Williams is a champion. You think so the minute you meet him. Triple South Melbourne best and fairest, Bloods Team of the Century member, Australian Rules Hall of Fame. The only surviving Swan from the Bloodbath Grand Final. A ripper jag of titles, but there’s something more to [Read more]

A Damn Good Backman

Matt Zurbo has a chat with North premiership player Ross Henshaw.

Give me your tragic stories

Matt Zurbo can spot a footy-lover amid the ordinariness of routine life. He explains how. And he’s keen to hear other spottings.

Our Town is a Small Thing

Our town is a small thing. Three shops and an empty pub long. The centre of our rural community. Dairy, logging, and a sprinkling of vineyards. It has double the population most people think it has. But nobody sees the tree changers.

Imagination and Footy

    Kids books are funny things. Sometimes I write a few on days I get rained out in the bush. It’s all stories. Footy, playing it, is full of experiences, stories. So is going to a game to support. You want to write. Do. Live life and stories will follow. Sometimes, even, the inspiration [Read more]

A Home of Passion

Matt Zurbo discovers the birthplace of Nick’s Collingwood page and a few things about Joffa, Bucks and Eddie.

Off Season Odyssey – Part 44: The Final and Opening Siren

It’s the last stop of our encore performance of Matt Zurbo’s Off Season Odyssey.

Off Season Odyssey – Part 43: Larry

Junior legends: If I had a drink in my hand, I’d raise it to all the former champions. To the places life takes them. To people already past their prime, which they reached as young teenagers.

Off Season Odyssey – Part 41: Friday on Thursday

Rugby is tough, relentless. Teams run to patterns and plans. Weaknesses are exposed. It’s hard man’s chess, where players like the Storms’ Billy Slater are knights, able to cut at angles, and jump over you to find space.

Off Season Odyssey – Part 40: The Suns and Cruising As If In Commodores

We continue the encore series of Off Season Odyssey, with Matt Zurbo in the Islander community of Umagico, where language carries a culture.

Off Season Odyssey – Part 39: Cargo Barges Passing

There is no worse feeling in football. None. To be left on the woodwork. To be unspent. Even injury is better. Coaches who leave kids on the pine for all bar 15 minutes don’t understand the game. They aren’t coaches. It’s that simple.

Off Season Odyssey – Part 38: The Wet

In our encore performance of Off Season Odyssey, Matt Zurbo lobs in Port Douglas for footy training.

Off Season Odyssey – Part 36: Phil

Continuing our encore of Matt Zurbo’s Off-Season Odyssey, the old dog finds himself in Port Douglas, training with the Crocs.

Off Season Odyssey – Part 35: I’m Stuffed

Continuing our encore of Matt Zurbo’s Off-Season Odyssey, the old dog finds himself in the Daintree with six dollars to his name. What’s worse, there’s nobody to have a kick with.

A Beaut Old Ute

A Beaut Old Ute.   Guy drives a faded cream WB Holden ute, with a motor that sounds like knuckles and oil. It’s been used, abused, for work, for fun, yet has a shiny steel skull for a gearshift, and little shiny skulls for door locks. He maintains the thing. Hard work and function, the [Read more]