Message to Coaches



'Front Room; Out of Bounds.' Pen, ink and digital drawing on paper

‘Front Room; Out of Bounds.’ Kate Birrell, 2015. Pen, ink and digital drawing on paper



I really love it that you have taken the time and effort to coach our young kids this year. It can be challenging job and I know you can be pestered from the sidelines at times.

However, when the season ends and you are done with either celebrating, or commiserating, it would be greatly appreciated if you could clear all of the football paraphernalia that may have infiltrated your family home.

I know of many homes, my own included, in which formal lounge rooms, good rooms, front rooms, spare rooms, family rooms, bedrooms and even kitchens, have morphed into satellite club rooms.

It seems any redundant or vaguely empty domestic surface can become a receptacle for the myriad of things that make up the Coaches’ Kit; from wire crates, full of grubby drink bottles that need rinsing, to fluoro vests, footballs, clipboards, rosters and league guidelines to mention just a couple.

Coaches, please understand, that this footy stuff lying about upsets the aesthetic appeal of the carefully curated living area, with some becoming so heavily cluttered that they are ruled out of bounds for general use (see above).

In removing all this gear, you will restore your homes interior to its former, pre-season decorative glory, where cushions, only a few months ago sat nicely scattered, and throw rugs hung, artfully draped.

You may find also that any marital or partnership discord will resolve itself naturally as a consequence, and that your families will be able to move freely about the house again, with somewhere to sit, read, eat and possibly even, communicate.

Yours truly,

Coach’s Wife.

P.S. Forgive me if you think I am unnecessarily pestering coaches, but the season here in Melbourne has been relentlessly heckled by an antarctic chill. A lack of sunshine and Vitamin D may have affected my disposition.

Bring on Summer.


  1. Cat from the Country says

    In rhe 50’s when player’s boots had leather stops in th soles, my mum used to give over the area around the slow combustion stove to wet footy boots!
    Every wet Thusday training night would see as many as a dozen pairs of boots drying so they could be restored by Saturday’s game.
    Mum hated it but I never heard her complain to dad.
    He just loved the Castlemaine Magpies (no striped guernseys then!)
    Ah … the memories

  2. Cat from the Country

    That is a superb memory and recall of how your mother felt. Was your dad the coach, or did she have a dozen sons???

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Another ripper Kate.

    Cricket coaching next?

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Fantastic Kate yes Cat from the country I remember drying footy boots like that.Hey Kate cricket gear takes up more room ,our garage has never had a car parked in it

  5. Thanks Swish……i nearly had ‘Bring on cricket’ as my last line.

    Thanks Malcom, your garage would make good fodder for an artwork then. Ours has just been cleaned to within an inch of its life, hence the reason it’s all inside…maybe there is a garage aesthetic also

  6. Btw I think it should be Coaches’…….not coaches or coach’s. I thought it looked odd.

  7. Terrible precedent this using social media to send coded messages to spouses. Footy Almanac today. If he doesn’t listen its Ashley Madison tomorrow. Where will it all end?
    I hope the editors stop this sort of thing. I recall the Handicapper resorting to the website to send a not so subtle message to our exalted leader a few years back.
    Terrible precedent. I hope the Avenging Eagle never has cause to post here (other than to celebrate a Derby win).
    Sorry to hear of your home discord Kate. Lovely painting but.

  8. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Kate, the cricket ‘kit’ is still in the hallway from last season. Vacuumed around it just yesterday and thought to find it a spot on the everything back verandah but then again, training starts in a few weeks!
    I have terrible sympathy with this letter, as a Virgo and an aesthete.
    And your painting is just beautiful.

  9. Kate Birrell says

    Peter_B The post has been emailed to coaching headquarters for post publishing approval..awaiting reply (end of season sabbatical).
    And if you take another look at the random arrangement of it all and from a contemporary artistic point of view, you could almost call it an ‘installation’…In which case compliments for the painting could be passed on to the coach…the real artist behind the work.

    Thanks Mathilde, we are on the same page. Although I do hope the stuff goes back asap as the front room is the only TV-less liviingroom in the house

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