Local Footy: Waaia win tops off a perfect day

By Josh Barnstable

I wake up early on a Sunday morning and find the sun is shining brightly. I get up, get dressed and prepare for a day of watching footy. Not AFL, though. Country footy. Finals. Yesterday I’d gone to Numurkah with Dad to see Numurkah play Congupna. Ron Barassi was making an appearance at the newly developed ground, and I got the picture I had taken with him five years earlier signed.

Waaia is playing Dookie United in the seniors Elimination Final. Dad stops in Numurkah to go to the supermarket. He put $10 on North to beat St Kilda. What a stupid way to get rid of $10. We arrive at the destination of the finals today: Katunga. We grab some food and watch the reserves battle out the last quarter. We go into the Katunga home rooms, which is where Waaia are getting ready. I listen intently to the pre-match rev-up given to the group by Jon Varcoe. Ever since losing their star goalkickers, Mark and Greg Meyland (Mark after rupturing his ACL and Greg after switching to Numurkah), Waaia has stumbled towards the finals.

Mark looks on, disappointed that he can’t be out there, and also disappointed the under-17s side he has coached is not featuring in the finals. Also looking on from the stands are David Gilmour, Sean Carey, Luke Bradbury, Mark Counsel, Jarrod Brooks, Steven Pugh, Nick Guerra and Drew Mackey, all of whom have featured in Waaia’s best players this year. Dad and I clap the boys out onto the field. I have a feeling that this may be their last game of the year.

We find some seats and watch as Waaia (Bombers) kick the first two goals of the match. Dookie (Power) reply with two, though, and they go goal for goal before the Bombers break away, thanks to a four-goal opening term by Sam Richardson, they lead by 13 points at quarter-time, 8.3.51 to 6.2.38.

We decide to go have a look at the big truck, holding the 98.5FM commentary team for this game. They try their best at successfully naming each player, but more often than not they have no idea.

The second quarter begins and Waaia comes out firing early, but some strong fighting by Dookie keeps them in the game. The Bombers pile on the goals, though, and lead by 33 points at half-time, 15.8.98 to 10.5.65. I pull out my phone and rely on the old, trusty pocketnews to tell me the score of the North game. Up by 14 points. Jeez!

As the commentary team takes a break, Dad tells them about my radio show with Crackers and writing for the Almanac. They are impressed, and give me their number and want me to do some commentating with them. Dream come true. I’m also approached by the boundary rider. He wants me to give a quick idea of what Jon Varcoe wants the boys to be doing in the final quarter, so I ready myself for the three-quarter time huddle.

The third quarter starts, and Dookie get off to a great start. They claw their way back into the match, and I’m reminded of the only other seniors game I had seen this year:

Waaia v Shepp East. I only stayed and watched it because there was no AFL footy on in the afternoon because of the split round. I also had waterboy duties.  Waaia had gotten out to a 7 goal lead in the third quarter, but Shepp East clawed their way back and ended up comfortable winners. That was the day Mark Meyland did his knee. Sydney hosted Collingwood that night at ANZ Stadium. Today, the Pies are playing the Swans at the MCG. Weird how things like that work out.

Back to today’s third-quarter action, and Dookie had taken the lead thanks to the help of Chris Payne-Crosten, Dale Osborne and Peter O’Donnell, the Power leading by 9 points at three-quarter time, 17.12.114 to 16.9.105.

After a tense three-quarter time address, the coach wants 30 tackles for the quarter, a higher intensity, attacking the ball hard and some confidence in front of goal.

The final quarter starts, and I’m convinced that Waaia can’t win. Dookie kick some early goals, and the margin is out to 20 points. The Bombers retaliate though. Neil Walker the Enforcer starts having an impact. His small height but bulky frame is useful in the stoppages. Brayden Carey boots two goals in succession. Waaia have a spring in their step. Walker kicks a goal with his trusty left. Waaia by under a goal. Then Walker, after gathering on the half-forward flank, runs forward and spilts the middle on his non-preferred from the boundary line. He salutes the crowd, Waaia in front.

Stephen Scott, the winner of last year’s Picola league Pearce Medal (our equivalent to the Brownlow Medal), goals on the run. Dookie peg one back, but a late goal after the siren sees the Bombers cheering hard, on the field and the supporters. The crowd goes wild. Waaia celebrates like they have won a Grand Final. They have experience in how to win those.

I check my phone. North won by five points. It couldn’t have been a more perfect day.

Waaia 8.3—15.8—16.9—22.13.145
Dookie United 6.2—10.5—17.12—20.13.133


Waaia-Sam Richardson 5, Brayden Carey 3, Christopher Armstrong 3, Jason Verhoeven 2, Neil Walker 2, Lachlan Henderson, Stephen Scott, Robbie Bradbury, Nick Tyack, Mark Shelton, Joseph Richardson, Matt Brown

Dookie United-Dale Osborne 5, Jason Morrison 4, Chris Payne-Croston 3, Simon Berry 3, Raymond Berry, Jeremy Campbell, Dale Baulch, James Armstrong, Tom Dickins


Waaia-Sam Richardson, Mark Shelton, Joseph Richardson, Chris Armstrong, Neil Walker, Stephen Scott, Matt Brown

Dookie-Peter O’Donnell, Jason Morrison, Cameron Ross, Nick Mckinley, Josh McPhee, Gavin Kitto



  1. Cool write-up!
    bad day not to have watched the footy :P
    Looks like you’re making it big Josh, just dont forget the little us people when you become famous!

  2. Josh Barnstable says

    Haha thanks Danni. :)

  3. Damian Watson says

    Nice work Josh,
    I remember going to the truck at an EFL seniors game a few months back and talking to the commentators on our local radio station Eastern 98.5 FM.

    Although I think you have to be a Uni student around our area as they explained they were studying Media and Journalism at Uni.
    They made mistakes sometimes as well, pausing and looking at the players list before naming them, but what can you do!

    Anyway congrats on your big break and good luck! I’m guessing you’ll be starting next year?

  4. Josh Barnstable says

    Thanks Damo.

    I’m really not interested in Uni and so on, it really confuses me just talking about it. At the moment, i’m just looking for as much experience as i can.

  5. Josh Barnstable says

    And i dont know about starting next year. I rang the station yesterday (well, Dad did, i dont have a voice at the moment due to a cold) and they said they would ring back but are yet to do so.


  7. Josh Barnstable says

    Well im definately changing my tip from Hawthorn to Essendon. Buddy and Roughy out, who’s gonna kick their goals. Renouf? HAHA!

  8. ..well i was thinking of grabing ajumper and getting out there myself.
    lol imagine that
    Commentators: “Whats Danielle doing..why shes chasing Sam Mitchel!”

  9. Josh Barnstable says

    Well Sammy isn’t the fastest player going around so im sure you would catch him :)

  10. lol..perfect and when i do ill shower him with cuddles!!! lol hes so cute!

    theres online bidding for collingwood stuff and worn jerseys are up there!!!
    Suopermans and i think Nathans bid is at like 200 dollars so far.
    lol id blow all my money if mum wasnt so:
    “Danielle who cares if (insert name) has worn the jumper, you already have your own and its brand new…..”

    she doesnt understand!!

  11. Josh Barnstable says

    I’d rather a brand new jumper than a pre-worn one! It’d be all sweaty! I still think of that poor girl that Fraser Gehrig gave his jumper to. Poor girl would have taken a whiff of it and imagine what it smelt like after a game!?

  12. serious?
    well to girls its diff.
    you know in romantic american movies where the guy gives the girl his jacket?
    id like die to have Superman or Nathans jersey..omg it would smell like them!!

    STATUS:dyinggggg!! :)

  13. Michael Allan says

    I bought Andrew Collins’ worn jumper this year. My mum understood Dani.

  14. ohh COOL!
    nah id be like broke if i was able to get all the ones i want.
    pendles and Swan’s are at $400
    Didak and Dale are at like $300-350
    Medders is at $200.
    i dotn think my mother understands my connection to the players. your dudes you wnat the jumper cos ur idolise the players. i want the jumpers cos im in love! LOL

  15. Josh Barnstable says

    Well it’s a Richmond jumper so it’d be worth what? $50? Nahh just joking Michael :) $20! Hahahahaha

  16. Michael Allan says

    lol yeah. ALl the good players were too expensive for my liking. Cuz went for $700 I think.

  17. Josh Barnstable says

    Collins is a good young player though. Well he showed good signs.

  18. LOL my parents are SOOOO lucky i havent got my own credit card :P

  19. Michael Allan says

    No Josh I said Andrew Collins. Not Jordan McMahon.

  20. Josh if i were you i would be after Swallows jumper! he looks like hed smell nice.
    he prob wears Versace Blue Jeans purfume.
    (not that i would know, but thats my favourite for men! :) )

  21. Josh Barnstable says

    I think i’m happy with my current jumper! Actually, no i’m not when you think about it. I bought it like 6 years ago and it doesn’t fit me anymore. I’m eyeing off the North Melbourne clash jumper with Jack Ziebell’s number.

  22. lol really?
    my jumper is still like big lol
    i can get away wif wearing layers under it too! :)
    nah number nine looks nice on the North Jersey.

  23. Josh Barnstable says

    Perhaps number nine is the pretty number at North. First Jess Sinclair, now Swallow lol

  24. Anyone smelled David’s purfume for men:
    ‘Beckham Signature’
    i was out with friends at Myer and i was like spraying it all over me!
    im like..”ooh snap.. i hope mum doesnt think that i was with guys, cos i smell all guyish form this purfume!”

  25. Michael Allan says

    BREAKING NEWS – Hardwick new coach of Richmond.

  26. omg LOL EXACTLY
    looking fine in number nine!
    lol josh if u wanna be pretty you have to get number nine :P

  27. ohh yeah..i read that a few mins ago.
    are you happy Michael?

  28. Michael Allan says

    Very. For the first time in my short life I will witness Richmond with a decent coach. I would’ve been happy with either though to be honest.

  29. yup..once again my coaching dream is shattered. first at Collingwood, then North and now at Tigerland.

    just sad…

  30. Michael Allan says

    Why on earth would you want to coach Richmond?

  31. two words
    if i were coach at Richmond the whole team would be so pretty!
    Plus no one has seen me when im angry!
    Trust me, they would be too scared to lose even ONE game.

  32. Michael Allan says

    I think Richmond would have mixed viewws on you Dani. While they would be pleased with strict attitude I think they would be worried that your not thinking of the future of the club, and selecting the team based on predjudece views.

  33. lol well i that may be true but look at it this way.
    i am thinking of the future of the club.
    without members there is no club right?
    so with all the pretty players will come the chasing girls which = MEMBERSHIP BOOM

  34. Michael Allan says

    I would’ve thought so too Danni. It doesn’t look like it’s wiorked for Richmond. Cousins, Deledio, Brown, Cotchin, Rance. What else do you want?

  35. LOL..yeah i guess.
    its not fair! Richmond had the Prettyest players yet i still go for Collingwood.
    Call me when you get Nathan Brown & Jack Anthony, ill come runing over in a Richmond gersey!

  36. Michael Allan says

    Wel then I guess your staying with the Pies then. One Nathan Brown is enough for me. I’d just get confused with two in the team.

  37. Steve Healy says

    Hardwick is the new coach at Richmond?

    Where did you hear that Michael?

  38. Michael Allan says

    It was a heradline on a show called The Back Page on fox news.

  39. Michael Allan says

    It’s also on realfooty.com.au

  40. Steve Healy says

    Ok, thanks I saw. It’s ridiculous how it gets out in to the news when it’s meant to be revealed at 10:30am tomorrow.

  41. Michael Allan says

    Yeah it alwasys seems to happen with Richmond. Heaps of leaking went out with the wehole Terry Wallace thing with Morton and Newman.

  42. hey Josh,
    i know you were interested in having a look at the live coverage of a game by a journalist from the herald sun.
    They are covering the Bombers-Hawks game live on their website at 2:00PM.
    hope you get this message in time.

    Danni :)

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