Leigh Montagna: Blossoming Legend

Footy Season is so close now as Wednesday. One more sleep to the season opener played between Carlton and Richmond.

The mighty Saints starts their (I would prefer to say our because I feel belonging to the club as a member even not playing or coaching) season three days later.

Round 1 against Port Adelaide is a milestones’ game for Leigh Montagna’s 250th and Nick Riewoldt’s 200th as a captain.

But Joey says he is just focusing on the win over Power rather than his playing milestone.

Being drafted in 2001, he played only 20 games in his first four seasons. Montagna faced tough times at St Kilda being coached under Grant Thomas whom I admire for introducing loyalty and faithful to players.

His positive attitudes, strong minds and loyalty were built in such times, I think and believe.

Joey is looking back now to 15 years ago, he is blessing the sky and being a better player.

After the tough four years, he runs well. Having researched YouTube to see his highlights, Mr inside 50 attracts me. He kicked five goals at Round 10 against Adelaide. His marks and goals inside 50 are brilliant. Getting the right angle is wonderful and his kicking from the boundary line can be done as a small player or as a part of the wing?

Also the proof of his good runs is how he kicked the winning goal in the close game against Melbourne at Round 11 last year. He picked the ball nicely and scored the goal close by the goal posts.

Looking back on his career, Leigh says playing Grand Final is very special and winning the first preliminary final against Bulldogs feels better to play the biggest game in the footy.

At the end of his interview, he is looking forward to form a strong midfield with the top Armitage, Jack Steven, and Jack Newnes and Seb Ross around and Jack Lonie and Jack Billings cracking. Like Riewoldt, Joey is doing different roles in the 2016 season. Boys will be delighted with his mentoring.

In addition, he is still hoping to win the flag before his retirement. I feel his positive thinking is reinforced from his tough young days and being loyal with his current and former teammates including Lenny Hayes, Stephen Milne, Nick Riewoldt and Justin Koschitzke. Sadly Nick Dal Santo departed to Kangaroos considering the team for the future. But I believe they are still mates as well as with Brendon Goddard.

Such a positive thinking is similar to Bob Murphy who is not giving up winning the flag. I still remember his positive column in The Age newspaper. Murphy became a skipper last year and then the Doggies finished top eight last year.

Joey prioritised the win over Port rather than celebrating his milestone. He says he can look back on what he has done after he hangs up the boots.

Four years ago, St Kilda had been predicted to win over Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium. But we unexpectedly lost under then first year coach Scott Watters. And then the club faced the end of era.

We are underdogs for Sunday, unfortunately. But Joey is not the only one to be honoured the milestone. Nick is with Joey. Combining creates more power than two singles. That is what I learned when my friend and I climbed up the steep hill in Kobe last year.

Our man Alan Richardson will start a new era with Montagna and Riewoldt at Round 1 as upsetting, I strongly hope. My heart will be in Adelaide and I will get power back to improve my life.

Cherries are blossoming here in Kyoto. Leigh took years to blossom and is still blossoming. Young players are blossoming as in Joey’s recent comments (see above). I need to blossom to the bright future.

It will be the time to all Sainters to blossom. To the mighty Saints, let’s do together to achieve our goals!

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

    Lovely piece Yoshi. Go Blossom in your life too. Go out and show the same positivity and spirit that our two leaders of the Club do. Put adversity behind, and find a goal and just work towards it. Go Saints.

  2. Hi Yvette,

    Thanks for your comment with positive and warm words.

    Probably I should send pictures of cherry blossoms to our boys??

    Our club legends’ passionate and attitudes are to adopt, aren’t they?

    I wish you all the best.

    Go Saints!!


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