It Was a Very Good Year… The 2014 Footy Almanac

from Rob Bath

It was a very good year

What happened in AFL season 2014?

Fish and chip shops began selling Dimmy Bartels, according to Peter. Oh, and Mark shared his recipe for footy stew.

Josh wandered a long way from Waaia and the boys from Wagga came to Melbourne, while Kerrie made a pilgrimage to Whitten Oval. Paul found hawks on a plane. Nick, and then Dave discovered their inner Harry Potters. Mathilde bought a house but lost a Grand Final. Jonathan looked on the positive side, Sam kept on trying to.

The Nallei-Jerring kids had a chat with Brett Goodes and Molly met Peter Hudson.

Footy-starved fans followed their teams via iPhones, pads, dodgy TVs and diplomatic pouches, in 5-star hotels, sleazy bars and leaky boats around the world: Carl in Stockholm, James in the Big Apple, Mickey in Singapore (in a bar called Dallas), Brad in Washington, Sal in Vietnam, Trevor in Toronto, Peter in NZ (right, the game was actually played there), Richard in Ensenada… and Tim in Cape Bridgewater, Dave at Mount Remarkable.

Cheryl remembered Tom Hafey. Nicholas and John farewelled Auntie Mary and Paul remembered Furio.

Mike remembered the late, great Doc Neeson, and others sang us a few numbers by their favourite artists: Luke, Hunters & Collectors… Mickey, You am I… Matt, George Harrison… and, OK, John hummed the theme from Cannonball. published its 10,000th reader contribution.

Bob wrote 23 tiny little poems (from his home in Sweden) while Dave wrote a great big long one, as Beth and Danielle impersonated Lois Lane and Yvette did a perfect ‘Yvette’…

I could go on, but I’m only up to page 286. There are 258 more pages and 116 writers to go…

I know these things because it was my great honour to perform the co-ordinating editorial role on this year’s Footy Almanac. It’s been a privilege to work with sports-media professionals like Editor John Harms and designer John Kingsmill (these guys raise the bar, set the standards to spur us on, much like Paddy Ryder will inspire Westhoff and Lobbe as the mighty Port Adelaide continues its irresistible stately march to the 2015 flag).

Mostly, it’s been a privilege to work with the 154 writers who share their on-field opinions and off-field adventures with us in this edition of The Almanac (even if I did seem to get a little grumpy as deadlines loomed). Thank you, one and all.

And to the rest of you reading this, three words of advice:

Buy. This. Book. The thing’s a national treasure.


Order your copy here.



  1. Good on you Rob. Outstanding work.

  2. John Kingsmill says

    … and, as always, an absolute pleasure working with you, Rob Bath.

  3. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Bravo et merci, Rob!

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