On Rohan Connolly’s departure from The Age

Yoshi is a Japanese footy fan who discovered the game and St Kilda a few years ago. He writes regularly for the Almanac in English, his second language.




On Wednesday night, a Facebook post shocked me. My respected footy journalist Rohan Connolly is taking a voluntary redundancy from The Age newspaper where he has been serving for 30 years.


I have been enjoying reading his footy match reports with great points of views at games. He analyses very well on games and writes articles reasonably. His detailing of games is so admiring and a good model of writing.


Also I enjoy watching his weekly tipping video entitled Footy Fix on Real Footy website. He has not got much good results in recent years, but I enjoy seeing his good analysis on games too.


Connolly was one of guest speakers at Sports Writers Festival last year. It is the proof how his journalism is great. In my opinion, he should have been a chief football writer for the newspaper.


Someone told us on his Facebook page that Emma Quayle who has been writing inspiring footballer stories is no longer at The Age. If so, I am sad not seeing her wonderful stories.


Now I am worried of how media is going in the future. Losing such great journalists is only shrinking the industry, I feel. The newspaper will be filled of  stories that journalists only write with humour and interviews with the third party.


Headlines can attract audience, but they doubt these are accurate and then don’t purchase the printed paper or subscribe the online edition.


Even some former footy players comment negatively on current football issues and performances on and off fields. I am sick and tired of reading these articles.


I admit here that I do not watch Japanese TV or baseball or read Japanese newspaper at all. I am so sick and tired of trash journalism here in Japan.


Their reports on devastating earthquake hit in 2011 are reasons I said bye to Japanese media. I found them too self-centred.


17 days before, a terrible earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand. Japanese media only informed us names of Japanese victims of the Christchurch quake. Then they only played the part of speeches then Prime Minister John Key and Princes William made at Christchurch earthquake memorial that they showed empathy to Japan.


They have no empathy to Christchurch. How selfish Japanese media is. I am so angry with them as a person who has lived in New Zealand for four years.


Then Japanese media is so self centred on sport news too. They only report how Japanese baseball and football (soccer) players perform overseas, but don’t provide much details of how games are played. Even no details of how local players perform in games. Ridiculous!


And one day TV station has prioritised crap variety show than broadcasting the moment a local baseball team won the season’s league competition.


These are reasons why I set a back onto these media platforms and the sport (for baseball, the sport was getting boring and powerless that are another reason not to watch any more).


I am so worried of Australian media is following the Japanese media. The Age should have lured Connolly to stay with the newspaper to provide good quality of journalism. If Quayle has left the paper, they should have offered to her too.


We can be good storytellers of inspiring and true footy stories rather than media, I think.


As a person who has passions on writing articles in English and wants to be a professional writing in the future even though I am 44, I wonder if I can achieve my dream or not. Also my wonder now is whether I should undertake a professional writing or journalism course, or not as there is no guarantee I can get a writing job after the completion of the study.


Maybe having a full time job in another industry as the main income and writing as a part time job can be realistic, I feel. But I should not give up my dream.


I wish all the best to Rohan and hope his works at SEN and Mangrook Footy Show are going well.


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

    Hi Yoshi, if you are going to a new country, do like others have done before you and work in any job to keep you employed and write as your passion. Once you are settled you can change course. One dream at a time!

  2. Peter Warrington says

    Thanks Yoshi, your internationalism is awesome (you should have been at the SFF showing of The Young Karl Marx last night, but that’s another story…)

    I like Rohan. He’s accessible via the Age fora etc. Will engage, and admit when he might have got it wrong. Wears an early Oils shirt to pressers. If only he didn’t support the red and black filth…

    He’ll land on his feet, somewhere.

    But the future for the old media looks worser everyday. My mate works for the SMH. I better give him a ring…

  3. Thanks for the first piece about Rohan Connolly leaving The Age, Yoshi. I have always enjoyed reading Connolly’s pieces whether I agreed with him or not. At least we still have Marngrook to get our fix.

    i look forward to seeing where he goes from here.

  4. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    I always enjoyed Rohan’s writing because he loves the game in the way a fan does, yet didn’t allow this to affect his objectivity. The Age Footy won’t be the same without him. Cheers Yoshi.

  5. Pete Granger says

    Rohan Connolly, Emma Quayle, Jake Nial, probably others. All great writers. The Age is becoming a community news sheet. Its enormously sad, but its the result of the Internet and very poor management by Fairfax in response .

  6. Peter Warrington says

    they will not survive if Baum leaves. at some point, what’s the point..

    but it’s interesting that sites like this are part of the decline. i read my match reports here, because they are flecked with honesty and either abject despair or delusional elation. as life should be!

  7. Pete Granger says

    It appears Fairfax will be sold off to overseas investment bankers. Their probable formula. Sell or close down the cross-subsidised loss making sectors (eg The Age), flog off the valuable land holdings, sit on the profitable sectors (the Domain) and sell it at a huge premium in a few years – as per Dick Smith.
    Just wonder why there is no ‘national-interest’ aspect to all this.

  8. G’day and thanks for comments folks!

    Yvette – thanks for your advice on working in another country (England). I will be discussing about our future with my sweetheart, Katie in August when I visit York to see her. And I admire your talents on writing and arts and indeed your publication of your own book.

    Peter W – haha I could have been at SFF. Maybe in the future? He is so honest and keeps integrity in his journalism. Rohan is really a role model in journalism. Yes I agree with you that he will be offered other media roles. The old media is declining thanks to the internet, but they should keep great journalists like Connolly to win the ‘competiton’. And our match reports are more interesting than provided on old media platforms as we can see what Footy tragic perceive on games. I am really happy to be the part of Almanac, and appreciate Yvette to invite me.

    Matthew – Yes we can see his points of views on Mangrook Footy Show. Also you can tune in SEN to listen to what he has to say. He was with Francis Leach this afternoon on his afternoon show. Some listeners wished him all the best for his future.

    Phil – exactly. He has been writing how fans see games. His detailing is really close to ordinary fans’ points of views. Yes, the Age Footy won’t be same without him.

    Peter G –

  9. My apology to having preses ‘Post Comment’ button before finishing my comment!! My bad finger lol

    Pete G – sadly Fairfax board seems dysfunctional or affected with politics?? Fairfax has been my trusted media since I had started reading the Dominion Post (Wellington’s daily newspaper which Fairfax publishes) in 2005. But sadly their culture seems to change now as 12 years have passed since then. More people read news online more and SNS has been developed. The old media seems not be able to adopt new age’s media platform. They only seek how to attract people with headline rather than writing accurate articles??

    And the editor of the precious Almanac site – I appreciate you a lot for providing the great introduction in this article with positive profile of myself.



  10. Newspapers are the new blacksmiths. I’ll be disappointed if voices like those of Connolly, Baum and Flanagan are lost, but doubt this will happen. Media will be unrecognisable in a decade.

  11. Pete Granger says

    In Australia the two principle news sources have been the Murdoch Press and Fairfax. The mainstream Murdoch press is either superficial or politically partisan – which they commercially exploit:

    ‘Abbott was never likely to be able to deliver to Murdoch’s satisfaction. This is especially so because the winds of change buffeting newspapers and working against the success of Foxtel in an era of internet streaming mean Abbott cannot solve all of Murdoch’s business problems through national media policies.
    ‘Abbott did reduce funding to the ABC, limiting what Murdoch views as a privileged competitor’.
    ‘And he did hobble the NBN, reducing the capacity for internet-streaming rivals. But there is still so much left to do and Abbott has been unable to deal well with what the Murdoch press repetitively calls a “feral Senate”.’

    Sally Young – Associate professor of political science, University of Melbourne.


    Fairfax provided a more progressive, thoughtful, objective world view free of political interference. However, they failed to exploit the competitive advantage they had from their ‘rivers of gold’ printed classified advertising and adapt it to the Internet. It was a huge mistake. This precluded them from cross-subsidising their digital journalism, whilst Murdoch did so from his many other global media sources. Thus, we are now denied the quality Fairfax journalism we had in the past. We live in a different era where individuals are (at no expense) gravitating to groups of like-minded individuals who (no matter how distorted their views) share similar prejudices and world views. Fairfax’s role as a giant filter, using quality journalists and columnists to provide a broader, reasoned, compromise point of view , is effectively over. The internet allows us, more effectively – and at no expense, to instead locally, regionally or globally seek out and consolidate our prejudices with like-minded individuals. A rather discordant fracturing of social communication, inclusiveness and cohesion. Fairfax newspapers are now effectively worthless. The company’s only value is in the Domain website, a few media assets and the land they sit on.

  12. Earl O'Neill says

    Fragmentation of print media and we’re part of it. Rohan said in his statement that the package was one he “literelly couldn’t afford to refuse.” Good luck and hope to read him elsewhere. He said on Marn Grook that he was thinking about having his own website.

  13. G’day and thanks for comments Micky and Earl,

    Micky – Sadly the traditional media platforms seem not to be able to meet current standards that are suited on online basis. Then you are right that great voices of Flanagan, Connolly and Baum can be disappeared from the traditional media in a decade. Even the newspaper and TV are replaced with the internet. I do hope crap Japanese TV are all gone soon lol

    Earl – yes the development of internet causes decline on printed media. Now people have wide ranges of choices. I reckon people prefer to read what real footy fans see about the game here than media reports which some of them are establishments’ favours. Poor Rohan that he couldn’t afford to refuse the reluctant package. I hope his future own website attracts many audience.

    And Pete G, thanks for your further detailed comments on printed media. Abbott seemed to keep distance from the media as they kept commenting negatively on his politics. It seems now media are required to deliver stories so fast to compete with rivals rather than delivering accurate stories. Then tricky headlines work and journalists just write stories with rumour and the third party interview. But what about audience? Do we want such inaccurate stories? Hell no! I hate reading speculation on veteran players for example. Then we can write stories telling from the bottom of heart to attract more audience. We will be good authors and entertainers



  14. Adam Fox says

    Martin Flanagan has, sadly, also written his last column for The Age. http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/the-power-of-the-game-and-its-people-make-me-forget-about-everything-else-in-the-world-20170609-gwnxdt.html

    Not only one of my favourite football columnists but one of my favourite writers along with brother Richard. It was through Martin that I came across the columns written by Brent Croswell which are all first class. Unable to find the elusive piece he wrote on John Goold though. Nor could Martin. I figured if anyone had one he would.

    That said I think we’re all lucky to have been around when their writings were still brand new.

  15. Hi Adam,

    It’s really sad to see Flanagan gone from the paper too. His broad writing is never forgotten.

    Even people in general want instant news on the internet these days, Flanagan, Connolly and Quayle should write feature footy articles as well as match reports for educated audience.

    Personally quality is much more important than speed. Now gossip writers dominate the Age. Bye the Fairfax media for me.



  16. Hi all,

    Yesterday I made a comment on Rohan’s Facebook post on his appearance on SEN evenings programme with Mark Fine. And then he responded to my comment thanking for this article.

    Connolly is a gentleman. I wish him all the best.



  17. Jonathan says

    Hi Yoshi,

    I’m an Australian who has been living in Yokohama for the past 11 years. I too am sad to see Connolly go. I’ve been watching his Footy Fix every week for the past several years and enjoy his articles. I also like his views on social issues. I am going to miss him but I will try to follow him on other news sites.

    I agree with you on the Japanese media, especially the Japo-centric nature of it. For example, everyone knows Kei Nishikori but there are many people who don’t know of Novak Djokovic. And with distasters (such as the Christchurch earthquake that you mention) you hear how many Japanese people were killed or injured but nothing else. I think in Australia they would at least say something along the lines of ” ‘x’ people injured including ‘y’ Australians” or something like that

    Also, when there is a major news story the same vision is put on repeat over and over and you don’t hear any other news.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Japan. It is the media and TV stations here that I don’t always agree with.

    Keep up the good work!


  18. Rulebook says

    Rohan Connolly is quality another sad day for sport re him leaving the age unfortunately the print media is dying by the day all the best Yoshi

  19. Michael Viljoen says

    Rohan Connolly made a dill of himself this week speaking on SEN when he questioned whether people were being tougher on Ali Fahour because he had a middle eastern or muslim sounding name. It’s Fahour’s actions that counted, not his background or personal beliefs. And up until this point, everyone in the football world had been focusing on just that, his actions. Connolly said that in an ideal world, that’s what we should be focusing on. So if his beliefs and background are irrelevant to the situation, why did Connolly have to bring them up?

  20. G’day Johnathan, Rulebook and Michael,

    My appreciation of your comments and apology for the late replying.

    Johnathan – Thanks for your compliment and I agree with you that Japanese media repeat big news all over. Such news programmes make me sick. And ads interrupting reporting news on Japanese TV are really annoying. Such very trash journalism never happens in Australia or UK or NZ. How are you following footy by the way? All the best mate.

    Rulebook – Yes the media is shrinking sadly…

    Michael – I think Rohan can be scared of racism attack on minotories in general. But Fahour is criticised on his actions on the local footy. Not his race at all.



  21. Daniel Flesch says

    Thanks to all of you commenting above. While Fairfax is dying a slow partly self-induced death , i’d like to recommend The Guardian website . https://www.theguardian.com/au
    I’m a big fan of the publication as a whole but if you’re just after good Aussie Rules coverage you can go directly to https://www.theguardian.com/sport/afl
    Bonus : occasional contributions there from a certain Craig Little , who -if i’m not mistaken – is celebrated Almanac alumusi The People’s Elbow

  22. Yoshi, I’m an Australian in Fukuoka and I’m a Saints fan – a tragic Saints fan since I was a kid. I was so shocked when I heard Rohan Collony say good bye at the end of his footy tips a few rounds ago. I guess we will have to find ways of keeping these talented people who have knowledge and passion, in our lives somehow, connecting the footy (or whatever ) issues connected to us and in a sensible informed context. I’m also worried about the future of media. Go Saints!!!

  23. G’day Dun,

    Thanks for your comment.

    It’s really sad that such good journalists had to leave the newspaper. The Age lost good quality of articles written by talented journalists.

    Connolly has launched his website called Footyology so we can read his great articles. His analysis is wonderful as always.

    How are you following footy in Fukuoka? Is there any footy pub over there?

    Cheers and go the mighty Saints!!


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