How to watch footy, part 17: FIDA, Freo and flags at the Fearon



Kenny FIDAGoalUmpire

Kenny, in official coat

By Vin Maskell

Williamstown FIDA Seagulls vs CBC Fremantle All Abilities team. Exhibition matches, Sunday 14 July. Fearon Reserve, Williamstown.

Duties: goal-umpiring the seniors game

Dress code: top notch white coat (courtesy of FIDA), tracksuit, footy boots

Ground and behind the goals: wet, muddy, soggy, slippery

Colleague: Kenny, 160 metres away, a man who loves to wave – and wave and wave and wave – the white flags.

FIDA: the Football Integration Development Association, a league for footballers with intellectual disabilities.

First quarter: the Seagulls, bigger and more experienced than their interstate guests, kicked to Kenny’s end in the first quarter. With four goals in the first few minutes, Kenny was especially busy. I did my best to keep up with his flamboyant flagging of the scores.

Second and third quarters: I’ve got the scoring ends for two successive quarters (having swapped with Kenny at half-time) and the Seagulls keep me on my muddy toes. Goals over my head, goals past my feet, goals off the mud, points left and right. Kenny’s a long way away but I can see he’s enjoying himself too.

Goal of the day: CBC’s Matty Barbaro, for the third quarter kick that he checksided high out of the sea-side forward pocket at the Botanical Gardens end and let the strong breeze bring back the yellow ball through the big sticks. I watched from the other end and was more than happy to give as good as I got when Kenny waved his flags with extra flourish.

Final scores:

Seniors: Williamstown 17.10 (112) CBC Fremantle 4.1 (25)
Reserves: Williamstown 4.12 (36) CBC Fremantle 2.7 (19)

Williamstown coach’s comment (Rob Klemm): The Freo boys showed that although their club is still growing and developing, the Western Australian competition will be a force to be reckoned with in future interstate matches. The scores didn’t really reflect the effort and endeavour of the CBC players, who stuck to their tasks all day [and who had played the previous day against Mazenod].

Votes: 3 to CBC Fremantle, 3 to Williamstown Seagulls, 3 to Kenny the goal-umpire, 3 to the goal umpires’ white coats – quality lining indeed.

Rob Klemm’s full match report is at

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. Did you use the controversial (but I think correct) line-straddling technique?

  2. Vin. Did you or Kenny have to refer any close decisions ‘upstairs’? Perhaps to that bloke standing behind the snacks and refreshments table?

  3. ‘Upstairs’ at the Fearon would either be the currawongs in the pine trees behind the goals at the Botanic Gardens end or the residents in the apartments overlooking the crickets nets.

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