Footy is back soon – What Yoshi missed, got and had to hold on in the last three months

Finally footy is back. We all had longed to see our favourite sport. It’s not normal in our daily life yet, but things are back slightly. Before witnessing the welcome back footy starting on Thursday playing between Collingwood and Richmond, I would like to review my life on what I missed, got and had to hold on in the last three months.


What I had to hold on – Job

The restaurant I have been working at for three years has been less patronised since coronavirus had broken out. As the premise has more tourists to dine, profit plunged. Another premise in the same chain was in the same circumstances. Therefore on 3 April, the management decided to close some premises from the following day to 12 April. Then it extended to the end of April. And furthermore, it became indefinitely even without official notice.


That means I have not worked for the restaurant since 4 April. Luckily I get paid from the company under a similar scheme to Job Keeper. However it is not enough to feed myself, so I go to temporary jobs when available. Also I do a freelance job on occasions the employer offers me projects. But as I get peanuts from the freelance job, I still need a full time work.


What I missed – Footy

I missed footy a lot – supporting the mighty Saints with massive passions, and playing and training footy for the Osaka Dingoes. AFL has lost 11 rounds and the Dingoes had to cancel the AFL GO League match on 28 March and the Anzac Day Cup Tournament on 25 April. I can’t believe I’m not watching footy at this time of the season. The last time was 2010 when I didn’t follow footy. Playing the Anzac Day Cup Tournament was supposed to be three years in a row.


Even though we were under the state of emergency (declared on 18 April and eased on 21 May in Kyoto; it was depending on Prefectures and Osaka and Hyogo was declared on 8 April and eased on 21 May), I kept doing footy drills. But I missed kick to kick, handball cricket and intense drills. And socialising is another activity that I missed.


As AFL Japan eased restrictions on any club activities for their official clubs on 27 May, we are back on the training track since that weekend (30 May). I was so relieved to hit the proper footy field as there is no good spot in Kyoto unfortunately. Also it was good to train with other players. Last weekend’s one was the best for the last two years as eight players turned up.


What I got – opportunities to think about career

Being out of the job is the point I need to find a new job. At first I thought that I could go back to work in just eight days, I just tried to get daily basis temporary works to fill in small shifts. But the closure turned into indefinitely, I started seeking a permanent full time one. Even if I may go back to the restaurant job once coronavirus issues are settled down, I take it as a great opportunity to start a new career. Also I cannot rely on a job that is affected much by social circumstances and tourism markets.


As I have already mentioned above, I started a freelance blog writing job (in English) in late April. Although payment is small, it brings me good experiences and a good opportunity where I can utilise my skills. I wish I could get another one with better payment (full time would be the best).


I am currently looking for a full time job, but admit it is hard. I am willing to do an administration job where English skills are essential, as well as writing and translating. Even I am targeting a job not only based in Kyoto but also Osaka, and the metropolitan area between two cities. Like an AFL coach, I see further on the goal posts with binoculars – as the metaphor of seeking a job for a bit further west to Osaka (Amagasaki and Nishinomiya in Hyogo). If the door for a public relations or sports organisation or a charity is open, I will knock on the door!


What I got – Column and podcast

As I have already featured in other articles, I had good opportunities in writing and being interviewed. My column has been published on St Kilda Football Club’s website and I have been interviewed by AFL Asia on their #howgoodsfootyinasia Podcast Episode 2. I am really happy with these media appearances and proud of what I have done. My big thanks go towards St Kilda Football Club and AFL Asia.


A published article on the official website of the professional AFL club and being a guest speaker on the podcast are reflections on passions and efforts to media works. Good opportunities give me an idea that I could try a public relations job because I like talking and appearing in public. I would not think it if I kept working in the restaurant.


What I got – Thoughts on importance of vote

Firstly please take my apology for talking about politics. But seeing dysfunctional Japanese politics during the worldwide crisis, I realised the importance of vote. From my views, politicians blame each other and just want power. They never do their proper jobs and even some members of Parliament fall  asleep at the Chamber. And I have been fed up with the Liberal Democracy Party led Government and citizens keep voting them. Without a hope, I hadn’t voted several times.


Coronavirus hitting the country and the world negatively, the LDP led Government acted extremely slow and are reluctant to help citizens and businesses financially. And Prime Minister Abe has scandals and controversies. I can’t stand the PM, his party and horrible politics, and really want him to resign right now!


What I realised was that even if one person can hardly change the Government, I should vote with a bit of hope. I will do the best to put LDP down from governing and get a fresh government for the bright future of Japan.


What I got – More appreciations and importance of humanity

Like many say, I think such hard and tough times bring us more opportunities to appreciate other people, goods, businesses and etc. Essential workers are doing brilliant jobs to keep the community and society alive. Shopkeepers, doctors and nurses take risks to get infected and work hard for us. Without them, we can’t live. My appreciation goes to essential workers.


Sadly when I had some daily basis temporary jobs, I could not sense valued or appreciated at work. Even I felt I was not treated nicely. No greetings in the morning, being instructed with rude and arrogant attitudes, having to wear shared boots and helmets made me sad working in such hard and tough times. If I were a boss, I would appreciate others for coming to work and their services even if some of them only worked for a day. People are stressed and frustrated more during the crisis with limits, therefore I think humanity is more important than ever.


As I don’t go to the restaurant job, barely work and live alone, I have much fewer human contacts. It’s not in a good form of health. Good connections are needed, I really sense. I wish I could share my life with a nice lady. Living alone is so hard and stressful, especially when a pandemic occurs. I think it would be a good opportunity to change the lifestyle and people to learn to treat us with warm hearts. It’s another importance of humanity.


What I got – Additional proud of supporting the Saints

Last week, St Kilda legend Lenny Hayes was inducted into AFL Hall of Fame. It is a great news for the footy club and we St Kilda supporters are happy with his induction. His friend and teammate Nick Riewoldt tributes Lenny in a video clip and he has done a wonderful job. I am impressed with Lenny’s services by watching highlights on the tribute and Nick’s great contribution.


As Rooey says, Lenny is a courageous player and a good bloke. He showed bravery on the field and it started his first game when he collided with North Melbourne’s Glenn Archer. Also Lenny laying tackles was courageous action and his accurate kicks helped the team booting goals much. In addition, his hardworking is respected as well as his great personality. Lenny didn’t like I love Lenny T-shirt but it shows how much he was loved. His induction to AFL Hall of Fame added pride of supporting the mighty Saints.


At the end

There are both good and bad things happening, and it’s often hard to keep positive. But footy is back now! And I had/have good opportunities, it’s a good time to lead towards uphills. Actually I still have some uncompleted tasks, but why not get on the high tide and grab new life opportunities for everything – professions, footy career and personal life?


Brett Ratten urged his boys that it was a good time to realise how much they loved footy before lockdown. I sensed how much I love footy in such hard times and hope players get more motivated with more love, and they climb up to win the flag.


Door closes and another door opens. My boys would open the door for the premiership after the former door closed in 2010. I sort of closed the door with the restaurant work and try to open the door for a new career. Tough time is nearly closed and another brand new door opens for footy. Footy is back so let’s get motivated to support your club!


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Love, passion and pride are seen on the footy that is the biggest part of my life. 1. St Kilda Club member: I am a passionate and crazy Sainter. Just hope we will win the second flag soon, especially after Dogs and Tigers having ended long premiership draughts. 2. The Osaka Dingoes Player and Public Relations Officer: Player number 44 that I chose to honour Stephen Milne with my wish being like a small forward like him. Lenny Hayes' hardworking attitudes are adopted on my trainings and practices. Nick Riewoldt's great plays are in my player audiobook too. 3. Writing: Here on the Almanac and also on the World Footy News. My skills utilise on great footy websites.


  1. I enjoy reading about your life in Japan and your love of Aussie Rules.
    Hang in there and keep smiling Yashi. Things will improve and Footy is COMMING. Go Cats

  2. Hi Thea

    Thanks for your comment and encouragement!

    I admit that there are some negatives, but there are also positives. Difficulty in getting a new job is a hard thing to have, but I keep focusing on finding footy and kicking. I do the best to launch the one that I will lobe in the near future.

    Getting footy back is the time to bounce back my life, I believe…

    Hope you are well and enjoy footy. You must be excited to the Friday night footy against your biggest rival of Hawthorn.



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