How to Watch Footy, part 10: Glimpses

Vin Maskell

Saturday 18 May and Sunday 19 May: Auskick in Newport, Under 19s Amateurs in Williamstown, Essendon v Brisbane, Collingwood v Geelong, Richmond v Melbourne.

Saturday 9.15am: I buy fruit and vegies from Merlino’s in Newport – bananas, mandarins, potatoes, silverbeet, cauliflower, corn. At the end of the side-street I glimpse Auskick at the Bryan Martin Oval (named after local benefactor and father of Mick, the former North Melbourne – and Carlton – player). It must be a decade or more since I’ve watched Auskick so I pull over and join the kids and parents enjoying the sunshine. One of the dads recalls how he played here 20 years ago for Newport Centrals before the club closed down after being kicked out of the league. The Auskick program here is a rejuvenation then. 150 kids.  Netball too.  And now a junior footy club going all the way to Under 18s. No interest in becoming a senior club.  If there is any trouble with the Under 18s, the dad tells me, we’ll just shut them down.

Saturday 9.45am: I pop down to the Fearon Reserve in Williamstown and catch 10 minutes of an Under 19 game between Willi CYMS and Old Xaverians. It’s four points to four goals already, the visitors’ way. After the Old Xavs’ fourth goal the field umpire pings one of their water-boys for, I think, abusing a CYs player. She tells the water-boy to get off the ground, and awards Willi CYs a free kick at the centre-bounce. “Ump’s laying down the law early,” says one of the dads. “Twice as hard for her,” I suggest, while wondering what drives a young bloke whose team is four goals up to be abusing another bloke at quarter-to-ten in the morning. I’d like to stay to learn more – there’s a lot about footy I don’t understand, especially the need to abuse, from either side of the boundary –  but there’s a family drive to Kyneton on the agenda.

Saturday midday: It takes a while to get the family organised – two-week old babies tend to do things in their own time. Olive Susan starts crying before we’re even out of the driveway but I keep driving  for five minutes – as far as Altona. Crofts Reserve, exactly (closest ground to Ted Whitten’s grave). “We’ll just pull up near this ground,” I say to everyone. “You’re obsessed,” my wife says. The ground’s empty. Our daughter consoles her daughter in a matter of seconds and we’re off to an art gallery in Kyneton. Hip, groovy, Kyneton. Historic Piper Street Kyneton.  Struggling footy club Kyneton. We see plenty of hip, groovy things in Piper Street but the only goalposts I glimpse are those at the high school. We head off at 4pm.

Saturday 5pm: The Bombers are at home against Brisbane. I’m at home on the couch, groggy from the snooze in the car. The delayed broadcast is on the telly. Jonathon Brown takes that mark that, if he’d been any further over the boundary line, he would have been climbing aboard that big white wheel at Docklands. While cooking pasta I re-enact the mark in front of my eldest son, the kitchen doorway being the boundary line, point post and goal post and the family room being out of bounds. I’m practically on the couch when I take the mark. The pasta boils over.

Saturday 9pm: Collingwood and Geelong are on the telly but so is Julia Zemiro. No contest. She’s only hosting Eurovision but give me Julia Zemiro and all that cheesy music over 36 blokes at the ‘G any day. Or night.

Sunday 5.30pm: Sunday nights are becoming pie nights lately. Potatoes, silverbeet, cauliflower, corn. Fetta cheese. Mix it all up, pat it all down between some sheets of pastry and bake for a quarter and a half. Richmond and Melbourne are on the telly but I’ve had enough glimpses of footy for the weekend. Still, in-between mashing the potato and steaming the silverbeet I see that the Demons are not too far off the pace. Then the blue automatic energy-saver thing blinks and the telly goes black early in the last quarter. Game over.

Votes: 3 to the Auskick program at Newport, 3 to the umpire at the Fearon, 3 to the Inner Biscuit café in Kyneton. 3 to Julia Zemiro.

About Vin Maskell

Founder and editor of Stereo Stories, a partner site of The Footy Almanac. Likes a gentle kick of the footy on a Sunday morning, when his back's not playing up. Been known to take a more than keen interest in scoreboards - the older the better.


  1. Andrew Fithall says

    My football watching on the weekend was a contrast to yours Vin. Saturday morning was in Geelong for school footy. Saturday afternoon in Werribee for CY’s U/18. Saturday night at the MCG. Saw each game in full. Mixed results. Fine finish. Sunday was a couple of games of lacrosse (again as a spectator). Throw in a few full and partial games on TV and I think that just about filled my weekend.

    I am booked in for this Wednesday evening for the Willy Lit Fest session. Will be giving the session a push in the lacrosse club. A note went out to the Willy Juniors email distribution list.


  2. I reckon there’s a whole lot of articles about our respective footy weekends, and I love reading yours Vin (and I disagree, respectfully, with your wife, you are not obsessed)

    Sat am watching the Trinity Year 7s (a win), tuned in to games on the TV Sat arvo and evening, Sunday am doing the water running and training duty for the U13s vs Glen Iris and then doing the week’s worth of ironing shirts (ambitious and optimistic some woudl say) and making fish pie watching the Tigers eventually throw off the Dees


  3. As you correctly report, Vin, Willy CYs got off to a slow start against Old Xavs, but produced a memorable third quarter and eventually hung on to win by 6 points. I actually thought the umpiring was excellent…the best I have witnessed this year. I thought it was brilliant how the ump displayed her authority in the water-boy incident. I was later informed that the male and female central umpires were actually a husband and wife team! The family that umpires together stays together, perhaps?
    As Andrew F would no doubt concur, the umpiring at the U-18 game was not quite to the same standard. It is not good for footy when the whistle blows and no-one knows which way the ump will point! But a good win for Willy CYs nonetheless.

  4. daniel flesch says

    @Smokie you say “It is not good for footy when the whistle blows and no-one knows which way the umpire will point!” Ha ha ! It’s going on at the ” highest level”. Just last night on Foxtel on that hard to watch show with Mark Robinson , Brad Sewell said it’s happening in his games .

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