AFLW Round 1 – St Kilda v Western Bulldogs: Old Ground, New Life

Girls first Game, Moorabbin


The last time I visited the Moorabbin Oval at Linton Street, it was a chilly, desolate spot.


It was winter and, a heavy mist enveloped the ground.


The buildings were dilapidated and run down. A lone black dog ran about the place, in search of someone, or something.


And an empty beer can rattled about upon the the stony, fractured asphalt, haunted by spirited gusts of cold wind.


Yesterday was different.


The air was warm.


It was summer, and the atmosphere, celebratory.


A multitude of footy fans streamed into the park in clusters, lounging about on beanbags and picnic rugs upon the grassy terraces, eating gourmet sausages, with sauerkraut and mustard, or pulled pork tacos, with sour cream, perhaps; or standing, up closer, hanging about the fence for better scrutiny of the on-field action that was to come.


The crumbling, grafittied remnants of the old G. G. Huggins Stand, the rusted turnstiles, the wired enclosures, the old signs, the cold slabs of dated concrete and the poky, grilled ticket windows had gone.


The hollow sound of that one empty can blowing in the wind had dimmed, and the mist had lifted.


A clean, modern shape in the form of a new pavilion had taken their place.


With crisp fresh lines, the building slotted itself comfortably into the surrounding suburban landscape, whilst the various combinations of red, white and black; blue, red and white created a sparkling, festive view of the crowd moving about us.


Before an enthusiastic crowd the Saints girls took on the experienced Doggies with courage and excitement. They were defeated by twenty five points.


Moorabbin Oval, it is an old ground in a new decade. It has a new name, new fans, and a new generation of players and stories to come.


It is also footy on a Summer’s day, and I quite like it.


image: Girls first Game, Moorabbin

ink and watercolour on A4 paper


More from Kate HERE



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  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Brilliant Kate

  2. Colin Ritchie says

    Fab story Kate! Last time I was at the Moorabbin was the day Phil Carman head-butted the boundary umpire, not pleasant memories! Always a hostile ground for the Bombers when they played there.

  3. Careful KB or you might turn into a St.Kilda fan! Like most people loved going to the footy at Moorabbin.
    Ahh! the good old days.
    Loved your story and it was not a bad game either with some great players, Dare i say it but Ellie Blackburn plays just like Greg Williams – love her passion.

    Great Kate!

  4. Thanks col and Yvette..

    Something about the grounds I haven’t experienced that make them intriguing. In the years before they redeveloped the buildings and all its infrastructure just hung about and was either gradually removed or destroyed.. the venue sat like a carcus despite still being in use.
    The G.G Huggins Stand read as G. Uggins for quite a while.
    Picturesque in its own way. But it seems to be in the process of being improved and becoming a great local asset.
    (Always thought a restaurant over looking the oval would be great!)

  5. No chance Bob.. but I do love that ground.

    I’m not up to date on player names except for a couple of the bulldogs so I thought I’d leave that commentary to others.

    It was definitely a better game than Friday’s with the tigers who really struggled to get the game into their forward. Saints played a good game. I could be wrong but is Moorabbin a significantly smaller ground than Ikon park?

  6. My other old footy home.

    Great stuff, Kate.

  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Good stuff Kate. Last time I was at Moorabbin, the Waverley Reds were playing. It is a handy ground for me; it was fun wandering through the back streets from the station, finding that narrow laneway that opens out to the world’s most miserable light industrial area off Linton St.

    The Saints kept with the Dogs after quarter time, but that pesky wind didn’t help proceedings, although the numerous family groups in attendance didn’t seem to mind.

  8. Well said & fabulous memories when we could walk to Lintern Street from our place. Moorabbin was iconic in so many ways.

  9. Yes Swish,, stumbled into same lane way,, thx to the painted path signs.. that was a surprise..

    Thx Brendan.

  10. Luke Reynolds says

    Lovely picture Kate.

    For some reason Moorabbin is the only old VFL ground I’ve never seen a game at or visited. Have even been to many of the old VFA grounds. A trip to Moorabbin is in order to right this wrong!

  11. Lovely Kate, and that’s probably my favourite non-Tiges painting of yours

  12. Beauty, Kate.

    Each part tells me a story. The whole so much more.

  13. I hated attending most of the old suburban grounds as an opposition supporter, but find myself feeling nostalgic for them now.

    Lovely words. And a beautiful image also.

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