Footy Quatrains



The First Game of the Season

A wife in marvellous Melbourne

may well be tried for treason

if she tries to stop her man attend

the first game of the season.



When a player’s down on confidence,

when a forward’s shooting blanks,

there is an ancient remedy:

it’s called the Half-Back Flank.



The Marquee Player

On the field he played it hard––

a ruthless Genghis Khan,

but off it he aspired to be

a dashing Don Juan.



Richo Redeemed

And he could neither fathom, nor

believe the crowd’s behaviour,

a week ago, they hated him,

but now he was a saviour.



The Pig-Headed President

The pig-headed president

is like a politician,

he will play the public game

with intricate precision,


always wears a flashy suit,

always wears a tie,

always shakes supporters hands,

and gives a toothy smile,


but if his Board dismisses him,

he departs in haste,

and even if the team succeeds

he will not show his face.



The Rising Star

The one-hand scoops, the one-armed marks,

the precision of his kicking,

when one discovers genius, one

forgets the clock is ticking.




The Navy Blues required a spark:

Eddie was the answer,

he was moving like a butterfly––

that Prince of Insect Dancers,


he raced towards the tumbling ball,

and scooped it off the turf,

like the hungry swooping eagle scoops

a snapper from the surf,


he dodged and turned, then spun around––

a carnival of tricks––

then slammed the ball onto his boot,

and thread it through the sticks.



Corporate Grand Final

Why should a diehard footy fan

sign up for a club membership

when he’s no chance of being there,

if his side wins the premiership?



Geelong Hymn # 5

Sport is Barwon’s medicine,

football is our tablet,

we don’t care for Jesus Christ,

we have Gary Ablett.



The King’s Last Days

It seemed like only yesterday

his grand career begun,

yet now he wanders Football Park,

the sperm of youth has swum.

About Damian Balassone

Damian Balassone is a delusional Collingwood supporter who writes poetry and fiction. He is the author of 'Strange Game in a Strange Land'.


  1. Andrew Starkie says

    Damian, beautiful stuff.

  2. great stuff damian.
    would love to see more of these.
    especially liked ‘the first game of the season’, ‘Leon’ and ‘the rising star’.
    and i would send ‘corporate grand final’ straight to afl house.


  3. Peter Flynn says


    Can you please do one for Ramsay Bogunovich (#29)?



  4. Damian – keep ’em coming. Great stuff.

    Geelong hymn number 5 needs up update. What rhymes with ‘Bartel’?

  5. Love it Damo. The idea of the quatrain works beautifully within the four quarter prism of footy. Genghis Khan would be apt for a number of coaches just as Don Juan would for players. Great stuff. More of this please :)

  6. Peter Flynn says


  7. Another example of well crafted word smithery from the gifted small forward.

  8. DBalassone says

    All, thanks for the feedback. Peter, there are a couple of ripper rhyming possibilities for Bogunovich…though I don’t remember him. Have just looked up Encyclopedia of League Footballers. Did he play in those Preliminary Finals circa ’80-81 under the underrated Billy Goggin?

  9. Bogunovich – Russian for ‘Son of a Footy Show Watcher’?

    I vaguely remember Boggers as one of those interstaters of the time who made a lot more headlines on his way over than once he actually arrived.

    From Swan Dists, 6 games in two years. Ramsay’s only claim to fame was having the street in Neighbours names after him.

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