Great Loyalty, Motivation and Striving for a Flag

One day in the end of 2012 or early 2013, an online promoting advertisement of The Game, A Collection of the Best AFL Stories had attracted me. Thanks to my friend who lives in Sydney and has given me as a birthday present for 2013, I enjoyed reading it.

The stories in the book are fantastic. These include coaching, leadership, Grand Final and personal issue stories. Encouragement, emotion, passions are filled with the great stories.

The best story in the book for me is how a group of St Kilda players have reinforced big goals to strive a flag in the early 2000s, originally published just before the 2009 Grand Final of Geelong versus St Kilda in the Age newspaper.

After sitting at the bottom of the ladder in 2000, Nick Riewoldt was recruited with the No.1 pick and was Justin Koschitzke with the No.2 pick at the National Draft in that year. Brendon Goddard (2001) and Nick Dal Santo (2002) followed them.

Riewoldt was sharing a house with Koschitzke in 2003 when he was interviewed by the Age. He told the newspaper that they often talked about their plans and believed that they would take the club to somewhere else with success.

What an inspiring story! They had been recurited only a few years earlier and going through a tough path (being in the lower positions of the ladder), but already had strong belief that they would go up the ladder to the top.

The Age article reports that former coach Grant Thomas has encouraged his players to invest themselves. His great attitudes helped then young players stay positive and gain loyalty.

A group of then young and now veteran and retired players including Riewoldt, Koschitzke, Lenny Hayes, Dal Santo, Luke Ball and Leigh Montagna vowed to stay at St Kilda in order to achieve the big goal winning a premiership and not to take an offer with big money from somewhere else.

Sadly, Ball and Dal Santo have left the club as well as has Goddard, but Riewoldt has been a captain for nine seasons including being a co-captain and still is with strong passion and commitment. Hayes retired at the end of the season this year as a one-club player. Montagna is another great loyal St Kilda player.

Now the club is on the tough situations again, unfortunately. But young good players are expected to join the Saints. I hope these blokes will gain loyalty and get motivated well in order to achieve the big goals, winning the second flag by 2020.

Riewoldt and Montagna will not only train young players and take the leaderships but also pass big loyalty and strong passions to them to rebuild the club, I believe. Also I hope Hayes will come back to the club as an assistant coach in 2016 to mentor young players.

Recently I have found that St Kilda Football Club was seeking host families for new players from other states to help them settle down with the new life in Melbourne and playing for the Saints. It is a good program and I hope Riewoldt can help them as he has lived in a boarding house as a young Saint.

Loyalty and commitment to the club with strong passions are gained through great people at the club, not only players, coaches, staff members, but also fans and host families. I am very proud of supporting the wonderful footy club, St Kilda Saints.

As a new St Kilda fan, it is tough for me to see the current position in the competition, but like our champions, I need to believe that St Kilda are going on the top in several years. Meanwhile I show strong support to the club with passions.

To be honest, my personal circumstances have been tough, but I should adopt St Kilda players’ positive attitudes in order to achieve my goals. My articles are online now and I believe this will lead to me getting a fulfilling job where my skills and talents are used fully. I gain confidence thanks to great and loyal readers and my supporting friends including Yvette who invited me to the wonderful community here. Also I should apply these positive attitudes to personal life with a fresh start in Australia or moving back to New Zealand (I want more opportunities to socialise with great people in person too and more).

I am loyal to mighty Saints and believe that I deserve what I want in my life and St Kilda will win a flag by 2020.

Go the Saints!

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. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi Yoshi well done again and I think you are correct- good positive goals for you and the saints. I hope you can find work in New Zealand or Australia so we can support the saints together at a match! If anyone in the almanac community knows Kevin sheedy personally, I hope they tell him about the Japanese Sapporo man that wants to live in Australia to work and go to the footy, or at least be involved in the international cup in Japan . Follow those dreams Yoshi . Yvette

  2. Hi Yvette,

    Thanks for your compliment on my article again. I also hope my dream working and living in Australia or New Zealand becomes reality and we can go to a game together! I’m very happy to be here and to write articles and comment on articles which our great authors write.

    Have a good time in Tokyo :)


  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Keep ’em coming Yoshi

  4. Keiran Croker says

    Love reading your articles Yoshi.
    Good luck with finding a job. Stay positive!
    Regards, Keiran.

  5. Hi Mark and Keiran,

    Thanks for your compliments, wishes and encouragements. I will keep positive to find a fulfilling and right job as well as the right place to live (hopefully Melbourne or Wellington).



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