Flamboyance in goal umpiring; efficiency in junior team management.

by Jill Stoll

Kurt has wanted to play in a ‘proper’ AFL team – “not Auskick, Mum!” – for the past year. We signed him on for the Under 9’s at our local club, the Everton Wolves, in Brisabne’s north, in March. Good decision. The first date for the ‘cubs’ was a ‘Meet the Pack’ fun day at the ‘den’ with rides and a free sausage sizzle. The club officials and other families are all very friendly and easy-going and it has been a fun experience attending games there. Once a week we receive an emailed copy of the club newsletter “The Howler”. Every player is a winner according to the match reports. Brilliant stuff. During the first match Kurt spent more time fiddling around with his mouthguard than going for the ball. Thankfully he has stopped talking so much during the game now and is a keen hand baller. He has even kicked a goal. Our team manager is super-efficient and we have been provided with a brightly coloured grid of parent jobs for the season. I was the designated flag/goal umpire for the first half of the match last Saturday. Even after watching those five years of Geelong matches at Accession St, I wasn’t 100% sure of the outcomes of balls going through goals. Two of the dads had to coach me a bit before I took possession of the calico flags (…”The more flamboyant you are, the better…”, they advised.) Nevertheless I got a bit stressed that I would wave the wrong signal at the wrong time. I didn’t even know that if the other team kicked a ball through, it was a point for our team. Luckily the umpire signalled me every time a ball crossed the goal line and I waved my flags correctly. Relief. I think the week I do Oranges and Jerseys will be more my thing. At training tonight, I cooked sausages and onions on the BBQ and served in the canteen for a while: my dress rehearsal for official rostered canteen duties on an upcoming Saturday match day. Sadly, I have already managed to ruin Kurt’s footy socks. After a rainy and very muddy training session last Thursday I soaked them in Napisan overnight. They are now aqua/blue swirl with yellow tops instead of blue. That didn’t worry Kurt though – he just loves every minute of his time on the field. He wears the lucky number 13 jersey.

Wolves Chant
Blue and gold upon our chest
We are here to do our best
Rules the game
Wolves our name
We are here to play the game
Go Wolves!


  1. Andrew Fithall says

    This is wonderful. I was at some drinks last night put on my local junior basketball club with which I have been involved for more than ten years as an administrator and coach. However hard we try, it is almost impossible to build a “club”. It always seems like a bunch of separate teams that just happen to have the same name and wear the same uniform. Junior football on the other hand is an excellent entry into a community. And “chores” participation is a vital part. Well done.

  2. johnharms says

    Magnificent Jill, I never thought those years of insisting you watch Geelong matches with Sparrow and me and the Wesche girls would serve you so well. From opera to the Wolves. Please send photos of you waving the calico. (How did you know they were called calicos?) Also photos of the sausage sizzle (is it as good as the West Toowong Bowls Club sausage sizzle?)

  3. Rick Kane says

    Good point AF re the difference in ‘belonging’ at the kids footy club vs. (in our case) the netball club.

    And Jill, I really like that, regardless of your knowledge going in, you have leaped (maybe slightly pushed) into the thick of the team needs. I run the water for my boy’s under 9s. I stress I’m not a water boy (think Adam Sandler movie) I’m a hydration technican (who sometimes ties bootlaces).

    Yes, some video of the flag waving would add to the story indeed.


  4. Alovesupreme says

    As the laundry manager at our place, I want to see Kurt’s socks, so that I will have a visual reminder of the dangers of careless Napisan use.

  5. Jill Stoll says

    Thanks for everyone’s kind and encouraging comments. It really is a terrific little club and the field is beautiful – surrounded by large gum trees. It is just fantastic to see the young ones so passionate about the game.

    JTH: I had no idea the flags were called calicos – that’s just what the fabric looked like. Ha ha.
    No sausage sizzle will ever be better than ones at Accessions St or WTBC.

    Rick: Alas, there is no video footage of my flamboyant flag waving. Tee hee.

    Alovesupreme: If I can post a photo of the sock mess, I will. So much for ‘colourfast’ powder!

  6. johnharms says

    WE can get an Almanac fil mcrew there.

  7. Go The Wolves, A wine or light beer might be on the cards I hear

  8. Welcome to the real world precious!

  9. Hi Jill, thanks to John Harms I only just came across your article now after a brief email conversation this morning. I’ve been trying to decide which local club to send my 5 year-old to play Auskick. The Everton Wolves were the at the top of my list. Your article has confirmed it for me. Wolves it is! Cheers, Sasha

  10. @Sasha.

    That is so lovely to hear Sasha. I am sure you will love the club and the very friendly and community nature of the place.

    My elder son Jed has started with the Wolves this year too, after hanging out there with his younger brother all last year. Jed loved helping out with Kurt’s training and serving in the canteen with me, and often doing the flags when it was our turn at the games. Jed’s U12 team have started training already and he talks about it all week. He says it is the best sport he has ever played and he loves every minute of the two training sessions he has each week.

    Hope to meet up with you this year.



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