Go North, after a long drive south

by Josh Barnstable

“Josh wake up”.

That was Mum, coming in to wake me up at 7:30; 7:30 on a Sunday morning. I would have thrown something at her if I had not already been awake, already thinking about the day ahead.

I got up, grabbed a yogurt from the fridge and settled down to watch Sunrise, just coming in to see the sports news finish. I would have to wait another half an hour to see that again. But I have more important things to do. Grab my Blue and White Guernsey out of the dryer and finish the rest of my breakfast. So it’s 8:15 and it’s time to go. Dad and I jump in the car and prepare for our drive from Waaia to Melbourne, 220 Kilometres away.

We buy a Sunday Herald Sun and I attempt to read it comfortably, even with all the extras falling out at every bump. We leave Shepparton at about 9:30. I am occupied by writing down footy scores in my notebook that I bought recently. Time flies when I’m doing that. We arrive in Melbourne and I’m eager to get to the MCG, but a quick stop at the Flinders Street Station won’t hurt. Dad has decided to surprise my Nana and two aunties who are arriving there from Bendigo at 11:35. We meet them and go for lunch. Afterwards we walk back to where we parked the car, right on a brilliant view of the Telstra Dome, that’s right the Telstra Dome. Not that Etihad Stadium name which I can’t pronounce without saying it slowly. We get in the car and face a monster traffic jam approaching the MCG. I start to worry. Its 12:35 and we’re still stuck in the car. Usually we would be halfway through the Footy Record by now, sitting in the forward pocket. Dad finds a small side street and we park there. We get out and face a short walk to the MCG and I can hear the crowd. We get to the ‘G and I see a long line outside the Melbourne membership tent. Nice to see the Demons getting some members, although I can’t really talk. Dad buys the tickets and we come into the ground, just as North begin their venture out onto the ground through the banner. We go to sit behind the goals but are told to sit somewhere else so we rush off through a crowd of people and find some good seats on the Half-Forward Flank, right in the sunlight. It’s only 26 degrees or so but it feels like 35 sitting here.

Finally the bounce. The season gets underway for North and Melbourne. I am cheering as the Roos rush the ball forward and Matthew Campbell and Lindsay Thomas combine to kick the first goal of the game. For some reason though, the MCG have given the goal to Scott Thompson, something they still had up on the big screen when the final siren sounded. The Roos goal again through Campbell, the two young Aboriginal players getting the goals early for North Melbourne, opening up a 13 point lead. The Demons answer back though, and the scores are level at quarter time, 3.3.21 apiece. The second quarter saw more of the same, with neither team being able to open up a comfortable lead. Neville Jetta pounced on a ball to kick the first goal of his AFL Career. Andrew Swallow, Gavin Urquhart, Hamish McIntosh and Leigh Harding were showing some signs of taking over the match for North Melbourne but Nathan Jones, Brent Moloney and first gamer Kyle Cheney were providing the touches in the midfield for Melbourne. A screamer to McIntosh on the 50m line provided one of his three goals for the match. The Roos led at half time by 7 points, 7.6.48 to the Demons 6.5.41.

The third quarter got underway and the Demons showed some real grit, coming out and closing the gap. Ricky Petterd kicked a nice banana goal while Cale Morton gathered the ball 50m out from goal. He stopped and from a standing start, drilled another classy goal for the Demons. The Roos fought back though with goals through McIntosh, Petrie and former-skipper Adam Simpson putting through a brilliant goal from outside 50, North Melbourne going into the final break with a 14 point lead over a determined but tired Melbourne outfit, 11.8.74 to 9.6.60. The final quarter saw the Roos take full control of the game. Daniel Wells started gathering more of the ball, he finished with 8 touches in the final quarter. Daniel Pratt started running the ball down the wing and kicking, hoping for David Hale or McIntosh to mark it. If McIntosh wasn’t marking and goaling, he was roving his own ruckwork and feeding the ball off to the likes of Swallow, Urquhart and youngster Jack Ziebell. Those four names should propel the Roos in years to come. Hale finally got on the board with a goal from 20m and Petrie bagged his second for the match and the margin got out to beyond 6 goals before a late goal from Paul Johnson cut the margin back. The siren sounded during the 28th minute of the game, ending the nerves I g

before a Round 1 game. North Melbourne had defeated Melbourne by 34 points, 15.11.101 to 10.7.67. It was a rather unconvincing win though, and if im to have any great hopes for 2009, I want to see a defeat of the Western Bulldogs next week at this same ground. Sadly I will be reduced to watching it on the TV with a 60 minute delay. Harding shone for the Roos, picking up 28 touches while McIntosh had 21 disposals to go with his 21 hitouts and 3 goals. Youngster Cheney finished with 22 possessions in just his first game of AFL while Moloney picked up 29 disposals, a good sign for him. Dad and I leave with no real hassles and arrive home at 8:15, just in time for a shower and watch a bit of TV. I sleep brilliant that night.

Melbourne 3.3—6.5—9.6—10.7.67

North Melbourne 3.3—7.6—11.8—15.11.101

MCG (28,707)


Melbourne-Petterd 2, Green 2, Bate, Davey, Moloney, Jetta, Johnson, Morton

North Melbourne-McIntosh 3, Thomas 2, Campbell 2, Petrie 2, Harvey, McMahon, Simpson, Firrito, Hale, Harding


Melbourne-Green, Moloney, Petterd, Cheney, Bartram, Warnock

North Melbourne-McIntosh, Harding, Swallow, Firrito, Wells, McMahon, Simpson, Rawlings


  1. Wow that seems like a long time ago

  2. nawwww LOL
    Joshy was still 14 back then..ohh and i was still 16 and didnt hate Riewoldt! :)

  3. And i thought North could win the premiership!

  4. Hahaha Josh I was about to say the same thing about the Dees on this.

    I’ve finished my fixture- no mistakes, I’m about to send it in.

  5. That’s good Steve, look forward to reading it. I’m with Paul now, editing some of the reports for the book.

  6. Nice, is the book being put together at the moment?

    Have you seen my Melbourne V Adelaide one?

  7. Nah i haven’t Steve, i’m working on Round nine at the moment.

    It’s in the process

  8. Awesome, that sounds fun

    Is the editing hard?

  9. Nah, not yet anyway lol

  10. Michael Allan says

    Sounds good Josh. You should get your name on the book. Edited by John Harms, Paul Daffey and Josh Barnstable.

  11. True Michael. :)

    im in a singing mood :)

    Turn up the music
    Let’s get out on the turf
    I like to move it
    Come and give me some more
    Micks yelling getting crazy now,
    Out of control
    We love Jack Anthony
    He never misses it.
    Steal the ball
    Kill the umps
    Feel it, were gonna win
    Time is right
    Keep it tight
    Cause it’s pulling you in
    Wrap it up
    Can’t stop cause it feels like a Premiership!
    Oh, oh, evacuate the goal square
    Oh, oh, kick it to the goals
    Oh, oh, stop Toovey is killing me

  12. I’ll change the subject.

    It’s my birthday tomorrow everyone!

  13. OMG REALLY!!?
    happy early birthday STEVE!! :)
    any plans?

  14. Michael Allan says

    Young Steve is growing up so fast. I’ll remember to wish you it tomorrow Steve.

    While we’re on Birthday’s Danni your birthday is two days before mine. I went to see when the St Kilda v Colliungwood game was and found it. So there you go.

  15. Really?
    so are you on May 13th?
    so your a Taurus too?? :) :)

  16. Michael Allan says

    Yup. I’m not sure the star sign means much though.

  17. Thanks,

    I’m growing up very quickly, I’ve gotten to the stage of my life where I start making fixtures.

    I’ll be off to the movies with a couple of friends

  18. Thanks,

    I’m growing up very quickly, I’ve gotten to the stage of my life where I start making fixtures.

    I’ll be off to the movies with a couple of friends and I’m having lasagna for dinner.

  19. LOL yes it does!
    dont you notice how we never agree on much.
    thats because The Taurus is kinda stubborn minded we listen to others views well but we never really agree with anything that its our own.
    we are also very debatable.
    and ill bet you are not a morning person right?

  20. Kool Steve.
    ive got a freinds birthday on the 10th.
    its a late night thing in the city but im not sure if im going or not yet.

  21. Danni, can you give me information on Libra?

    That’s my star sign.

  22. sure thing let me do some research.

  23. Michael Allan says

    Danni just because you may have those things right doesn’t make it true. You should stop taking not of that horoscope crap.

    Shame on you for encourageing her Steve!

  24. Late night thing in the city? Is that one of those things that turns into a fight and then it’s on the news? That always seems to be the case lol.

  25. Michael Allan says

    Danni’s gonna be the next Chk-Chk Boom girl!!!

  26. LOL well in that case ill wear my super high heels!

    Haha Michael being all Taurus on me now! :P


    Libra characteristics deem them often good looking and Librans are among the most civilized of all the zodiac.
    Librans are famous for being peace-loving, idealistic, sociable, easygoing, charming, romantic, soft-hearted, urbane and diplomatic. Librans make the best organizers and the best masterminds behind strategies. They can be always counted on to make peace and douse conflicts between team members because their sense of unprejudiced justice and fair play is acutely strong.

    They are curious by nature and knowing little tit-bits of information about people around them satisfies their curiosity. Some other positive traits of a Libran are love for art, neatness, desire for popularity, attention to detail, love for public service and charity, dressing up for occasions and planning ahead of time.

    He is also a bit of a perfectionist. People are easily attracted to them through their irresistibly charming and gently affectionate nature. They are warm, jovial, energetic, gregarious, polite to everybody and lovable. They are lovers of good food, good wine and living in style – epicureans par excellence.


  27. Yeah lol that’s what I was thinking.

    Sorry Michael I don’t like horoscopes much either I’m just interested on seeing what it is for fun

  28. Gee those things really work that sounds exactly like me hahaha.

  29. When i read attention to detail i was like OMG THATS TRUE!!!
    i didnt know you were a wine drinker. :P

    guys for that party thingo should i go short red dress or short black and whitish dress?

  30. Wear your school uniform lol see if that goes down well with everyone.

    I didn’t know I drink wine either- It looks like I have no choice though hahaha

  31. Haha nah if im gonna be the next chk-chk boom girl i have to look the part. :)
    ill sort our the dress problem wif my friends.

    i think the wine thing will show once you get older.
    nawwww lol my steve is growing up so fast!
    Soon he will be making the real footy fixtures.

  32. Lol thanks Danni.

    I think I’ll be more of a beer drinker though

    My fixture is up on the website by the way.

  33. Michael Allan says

    Haha Steve when you do start making the real fixtures let Richmond play Fremantle twice. I reckon we can beat them. And try not to give Richmond too many Sunday twilight games. I don’t like getting home from the footy on a Sunday night with school the next day. Saturday night’s a good time for me.

  34. Richmond do play Fremantle twice in my one.

    Round 6, Sunday afternoon at the G and Round 19, Saturday afternoon at Subiaco

  35. its so..wow LOL
    in the time it took u to do that i would have given my self a full manicure, pedicure, cleaned my room, put out laundry, packed up some books and maybe get arrested. LOL

  36. omg..im on the Herald sun website ( you know where i happen to work)
    and ..i just have to say that MICK IS THE BIGGEST IDIOT EVER!!
    i just read something and nearly died.

    Chad Morrison to Collingwood from West Coast for pick 37 (Mark LeCras)

    we could have had LeCras!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Here’s some inside info for you guys.

    The book launch is on November 19, starting around 6pm at a place in/near Fitzroy and will run to about midnight. Thursday or Friday.

    Steve he was teaching me how to put things up on the website and he used your story as an example. I came up with opening line to your story that’s on the home page! :D


  39. If anyone cares, which they won’t, i’m outside the Coburg leisure centre. God Melbourne is a different place!

  40. OMG Josh ur in my territory!!

  41. mum just called to ask me if i wanted to go down to coburg but i cbs getting dressed.
    since your in coburg you might as well go to my school. :)

  42. i went past your school Danni, it’s an absolute hole haha just kidding :P

  43. Now im stopped outside Coburg Tile Gallery haha

  44. Josh!!! DONT BE MEAN
    my school isnt a HOLE
    its more like a prison. LOL
    Only because of the wall, gate thingos.

  45. Lol isn’t every school a prison?

    Anyway im off now, my laptop battery is almost dead. Talk tonight all

  46. Yep, thanks Josh great title.

    Are you driving home?

  47. Just got home then, and yes we drove Steve.

    Great fixture, very fair as well. Definatly send it to the AFL lol

  48. im sorry.. but im still stunned at the fact that we could have had LeCras.


  49. I did lol, I sent it to [email protected]

  50. you know what annoys me is that those emails dont go directly to them.
    ive emailed Sam Lane like twice and no reply.
    then when i emailed Jon Ralph I Wrote
    ‘if this isnt Jon’s direct email, please send it to him.’
    i got a reply from some office person saying that they sent it to his direct one.
    bloody hell!

  51. Time for me to bombard the AFL with abusive emails haha

  52. lol Joshy! :P
    atleast i got some form of reply when i wrote to Jon.
    The Age left me bodged TWICE.
    I should write another one and be like
    ‘just incase you didnt get the other TWO emails, heres a third!’

  53. Lol Danni.

    I bought the new Specky Magee book today. And finished reading it. Thought it was a bit dull, but still entertaining. Surprise twist at the end though!

  54. lol im a good reader but ive never really been sucked into that specky magee stuff.
    a few days a ago i bought the complete dvd set of Pride and Prejudice, you know the Colin Firth one that im obsessed with.
    it cost 40 bucks, just for a dvd.

  55. Hmm i’m not a DVD watcher, give me books anyday!

  56. Danni, just cos you work for the Herald Sun it doesn’t mean you bag The Age (which is better)

    I accidently saw that twist at the end Josh. I hope I get the book for my birthday tomorrow. I think I will cos I asked for it.

    I reckon Demetriou will reply and agree. He’s that sort of guy

  57. I don’t like Demetriou, he never faces the problems the AFL has, just brushes them off.

    The place i bought it at (Book City in Shepparton), they said Gary Lyon and Felice Arena would be at the shop on December 12 so i’m gonna go see them.

    These books are getting too predictible though

  58. Nice name for a book shop hahaha.

    Josh, about the book launch on November 19, It isn’t on Thursday is it because that means I’ll have school the next day

  59. LOL, im sorry but ill have to back the paper that replied to me. :)
    but i will try again, ill send ANOTHER email to Sam.

  60. Paul said either a Thursday or Friday, funnily how he said 19th and i haven’t even checked my phone calender and saw what day the 19th is lol i’ll do that now…

    The 19th is a Thursday, maybe you’ll need to get a day off Steve, i know i will be!

  61. what you guys are taking the friday off?
    ohh wait…dont tell me its 6:oo AM??

  62. Yeah Danni 6AM in the morning. Haha nah Paul said 6PM of the 19th and it’ll run to midnight. Dunno why you Melbourne kids need the Friday off, i would seeing as i wouldnt get home until 3AM

  63. LOL okay.
    nah i wont take friday off.
    my friends will kill me if i havent got photos to show em of the launch.

  64. hah ‘you melbourne kids’
    seriously how could u live outside the city?
    i dont think i could survive!
    where would i plug my straightener?

  65. Um we do have power points Danni lol

  66. ^^^ Thats probably the weirdest comment i’ll ever post haha

  67. Lol yeahh dont lie to me!
    ill get there to plug it in and the police comes in and says:
    “Im sorry mamm, these are illegal down in this part of town”
    “Mamm, hand it over now, slowly.”
    “Im sorry mamm you gonna have to come down to the station with me.”

    ^^^ my wierdest comment?

  68. Sorry guys it’s taken me ages to get on to this thread because of my slow internet.

    I’ll probably end up taking the day off.

    Yeah Josh, I didn’t even know they had computers in the country hahah just kiding

  69. The police? Don’t you mean the sheriff? He’ll come in to your house riding a horse and whip you

  70. Danni, you already have plenty of weird comments haha

    I’m not using a computer Steve haha we are very high tech in the country that i even have a laptop with wireless broadband.

  71. Speaking of horses, i’m getting 4 baby goats tomorrow haha

  72. lmaoo, thats true, im wierd comment central.
    thats good thing right?

    OH Steve’s right, i meant the Deputy Sheriff! looks like i wont be out for a while, hairstraightening is a serious offence.

  73. ..josh, are you being serious?
    cos thats believable.

  74. Yep,,only cost $200 or so bucks as well…do you get that in Melbourne?? NO!

  75. Oh wait thought we were talkin bout the laptop haha..

    the goats cost $80 lol…gotta bottle feed them.

  76. ..why would I want a goat? LMAOOOO
    A PONY sure! but a GOAT!?? lmaoo
    make sure you call one Travis.
    in melbourne 200 would buy you one shoe.

    lmao Travis! :)
    hes a real character.

  77. Travis?

    Goats are better then Ponies. Goats bleat, Ponies make a weird noise. Haha

  78. If 200 bought you one shoe then I would have had dirty feet for all of my life.

    Josh, name the goats: Neita, Yze, Robbo and Davey

  79. Nah the goats are black and white so i’m callin them:

    Dick, Cox, Goldsack and Possum Eyes haha

  80. ROFL!! now that is you best comment:
    Ponies make a weird noise!!

    seriously, its such a cute name for a goat.
    On Before the game they make Travis Cloke seem so bloody funny! hes so cute but!
    so then whne you call the goat you have to say: ‘TRAVISS!!!!”
    lmaoo :D

  81. If I had a pet possum I’d call it Toovey.

    I can’t believe it, it’s my birthday tomorrow and I have to get up at 8 to go to the dentist!

  82. agghrr i hate dentists.
    i have two cousins, they are both dentists.
    dont worry steve my day is just as crap, i will be cramming form the moment i open my eyes for thursdays exams. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  83. I’m removing furniture from a house tomorrow haha.

    At least the rest of your day will be good Steve.

    I used to have a pet possum, it lived in our loungeroom haha

  84. LMaoo Josh, sometimes ur more random than me!
    bye all ive got to go and get my notes in order. ARGGHHHHHH
    ill say it now incase i cant tommorrow.
    happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!! :D
    despite the dentist thing i hope you have fun.

    night Joshy & Boost

    Crunchieeeeee :)

  85. Night Crunchieeeeeee

    Sleep tight don’t let the bed bugs bite, coz they do hurt quite alot.

  86. I hope I’m not like that in year 11- always worrying about exams and sacs and stuff like that.

    I’ve got a sister who’s in year 11 as well and she doesn’t worry so much about work.

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