Chasing the Bush Premiership- Pt. 4

It’s been a while since I updated Almanackers about my pursuits for the Imperial Footy Club and for those that care I thought I’d get off my arse and update my half a dozen or so fans about where my chase for a premiership stands.  Truth is I’ve started a new job and been telling myself since mid-April I’ll write it tonight!

So far, so good.  During the month of April I played in 3 wins.  Prior to the 2011 season I had played in 3 wins since Round 1, 2009!  So three wins in a month wasn’t something I had done for a few seasons.

About a month ago I started in the seniors in the forward pocket against Meningie, a town on the lower lakes at the mouth of the Murray River, 70km south of the Bridge.  I’d put in a solid pre-season and warranted my spot and as the back-up ruckman to our star recruit from Sturt I was to change from ruck, to the pocket, to the bench- as my team needed.

For those that care, Meningie wear the colours of the old Brisbane Bears, it’s a footy jumper you don’t really see these days and their oval was in mint condition.  As I was playing seniors I didn’t get to sample their famous Coorong Mullet sandwiches with a West End to wash it down.  The Coorong Mullet and West End Draught were a reminder I was no longer home in the land of the burger with the lot and Carlton Draught stubbie.

After a sluggish start the boys didn’t really hit their straps until the 2nd half.  With some key outs the local rag actually had it pegged as a 50-50 game.  Meningie the 4th placed team from 2010 were a team on the rise, Imperials the 3rd placed team from 2010, were the perfect opportunity for Meningie to make a statement.  It was tight in the first half but I never felt in danger throughout the match as we romped home by 9 goals.

My contribution till 3 quarter time was pretty minimal.  I was still plagued by the back injury I sustained a week earlier and whilst I could run I was incredibly stiff.  By half time I was thinking why the hell I didn’t sit it out, my senior career at Imps could end before it even managed a stat.

After spending the majority of the 3rd quarter on the pine my only contribution had been 3 disposals, a behind, and a few ruck taps.  I thought the coach may have had me figured and I was going to sit it out where he could give me the flick for round 2.  To his credit, I started the final quarter back in the pocket and we looked to have iced the game when I dished off a handball for a goal assist- finally a meaningful contribution.  A few minutes later Meningie gave us a bit of a fright with consecutive goals, a hurried ball into the forward line found it’s way into my lap and I snared a gimme goal.  Not the way you want your 196cm blokes kicking them but I’ll take what I can get.  Immediately we won a clearance and one out I clunked a contested mark 20 metres out and kicked my 2nd in a minute and we were back with a 6 goal buffer.  We finished up with a 9 goal win and it was a great feeling to win again.

As a first game player I spent the team song in the middle being doused with water from the ice bath so I spent the song with my eyes shut basically hyperventilating at how cold it was.

Round 2 I held my spot and we were at home for Saturday night football at Johnstone Park against the Chris Ladhams-led Jervois.

Night football was a great experience.  The crowd was huge- at a guess I would say roughly 1000 people were there for the game and it’s a little more slippery and with our floodlighting which isn’t quite the quality of the MCG it’s bloody hard to see who’s who up the other end of the ground.  I started well this time around and dragged an opponent down with a holding the ball tackle which I converted into a goal.

Throughout the night Jervois challenged us in patches and hit the lead midway through the second but we were too consistent and had a little too much depth.  We held Ladhams down well but they had a player by the name of Josh Coulter who had played a bit of footy at North Adelaide who cut us up a bit.  Midway through the last we were 10 goals up and finished up with a 28 point win as we took our foot off the pedal.  Ladhams bobbed up with a few during this time and finished with 5 goals to show his quality if you relax on a player like him.

Again I contributed solidly with a few touches, and won myself two free kicks with holding the ball decisions , rucked reasonably well and snagged a goal to have 3 goals in 2 matches.  Prior to 2011 my role had been ruck-bench so I was relishing the chance to have a run up forward.  I had 2 career goals at senior level to my name and now 3 in 2011 so it’s good to show a little versatility, even if it’s a glimpse.

Night football in local leagues?  I found it to be an awesome experience.  Huge crowds, good atmosphere, it allows other clubs to come down and have a look which raises gate takings, I’m led to believe the club almost ran out of booze too.If you are a club president and have a decent set of lights look into night footy for your club.  It was a great evening and game I’ll always remember.  Waiting around all day made for a long day but I’d love to be part of a night game again down the track.

I’m up to 1000 words so I’ll submit a further update early next week about the next 3 games.  It isn’t all beer and skittles either.  We followed our great start with a flogging and I managed to find myself in the reserves the week after and round 5 which is this week we’re also playing a fired up Mannum who are mourning the loss of one of their 2003 premiership players who sadly passed away during the week when he should’ve been enjoying his wedding.

Local footy is never dull, through all the good and bad there’s just as much theatre as the AFL.


  1. Coorong Mullet washed down with West End? Sounds like a punishment Jared.

    While I am tempted by the Meningie colours, will stick with the Imps for a while longer. If you get up to date! I know what it is like, some of the Falcon game reviews didn’t get done for a while. Remember you have a fan base to provide for. (No pressure :)

    And the 1000 words thing. If you don’t count them, I don’t think anyone else will…

    Looking forward to the rest!

  2. Jared Newton says

    Cheers Gus. Actually Coorong Mullett is actually a nice fish- not sure in burger form though!! Yes I hate West End Draught too. I went to the beer tent after the game last week and all I had on offer was Mid Strength, Light and West End Draught in a can. It’s tough, no wonder I’ve drank considerably less since moving over.

    Will update on the next three games early next week. We copped an 11 goal hiding in round 3, then I found myself in the 2nds the following week where I played an exceptional game and I’m in the ressies for tomorrow against Mannum, Clive Waterhouse’s mob.

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