An open letter to Nick Riewoldt on retirement

Dear Nick,


I am a Japanese St Kilda club member and writing to honour your playing career and to appreciate you for your great services at St Kilda.


Being still upset from Saturday’s last seven second’s loss to Port Adelaide, Monday morning’s media report saddened me. But I hoped positive news would come.


Watching your press conference on the AFL app, my eyes were a bit wet when you announced your retirement. But you are positive on your future life that motives me well.


You show proudness of playing for St Kilda Football Club and acknowledge your coaches, teammates, club staff and members. I am proud of being a part of the club as a member too, and believe we have strong supporter bases in the competition.


The reason why I am supporting St Kilda is because the club have played footy in my favourite New Zealand city of Wellington. I have lived in New Zealand for four years and been impressed with the club’s commitment and connection with New Zealand.


Having watched footy at Australian pubs in Japan (TK6 in Sapporo and Coolabah in Osaka) and through Watch AFL app, I find you are a true champion. I am always excited to see Nick shows of taking chest marks inside 50 and scoring goals.


And your long running on the footy field is so impressive too. And your selfless play, such as taking a mark inside 50 and kicking to a teammate helping scoring a goal, is a proof of being a great leader and champion.


You have been my favourite player since I had started supporting St Kilda in 2012. Your remarkable 21 marks and nine goals at Round 23 last year were stunning and kicking the first goal at MRV Match this year was impressive and honouring to Maddie.


I just can’t believe you are ending amazing career soon even your career highest numbers of marks and goals were recorded only last year. But you have the right to decide your life and career, so I respect your decision to hang up the boots.


Your loyalty to St Kilda is priceless. Having read a story in a book of collection of positive footy articles published in The Age, I learnt Grant Thomas suggested you and then young Saints to invest themselves. Thomo is a great bloke and I am sure you are happy to be coached by him. I admire what Thomo implemented at the club and you followed.


Such loyalty must have been motivated you to play good footy and to lead the club. Also forming great friendships and being surrounded by good teammates are bonuses at the footy club.


I guess you encouraged and motivated each other to a big goal of winning the premiership. It is sad the Saints missed opportunities in 2009 and 2010, but I hope St Kilda can achieve soon.


Still having four matches in this season, I just hope the boys play good footy and secure top eight for you. I really want you to play final footy this year.


Not only on field, but off field is the place where you are a good role model. Your commitment to MRV is incredible and help to get fund for further researches on the disease that cost Maddie’s life.


And you are a good husband, dad and son. I am impressed with your cooking skills shown on Channel 7’s Game Day programme. You look after your family well. I am happy that James loves footy.


Your relationship with Catherine is what I admire and find interesting. Meeting her in a off-season trip to the US is so unique. Such a unique relationship is my role model in personal life.


And I am happy to hear you are interested in American sports and having American friends. Watching different sports would be great text books for your on field performances. And talking to friends from different countries and cultures widen your views in general, I think. Luckily I have got many friends from various countries and talking to them is so fun.


Your press conference was so impressive and I find your speech is so great with confidence and positive thinking. You say you are excited with your future. To be honest, I want you to be in a coaching team at St Kilda. One day I wish you are working with your long term friend, Lenny Hayes to create strong and solid cultures at the footy club.


Clapping hands by journalists and shaking hands with Alan Richardson were other proofs that you are the champion in the club and the competition.


Also your good speech skills can be used fully in the media although the formation of the industry is changing these years. I am wishing to be a professional writer authoring stories in the English language.


No matter what you do in the future, I wish you all the best. Enjoy playing the rest of the season and bring us the miracle to play footy in September.


Go Nick, go the Saints!


Yours Sincerely

Yoshi Imagawa




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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

    Well said Yoshi

  2. Thanks Yvette :-)

  3. I agree with Yvette; not for the first time and probably not the last. I hope this finds its way to Saint Nick. Well done Yoshi!! Go Saints!!’

  4. Thanks Braham! I hope Rooey finds my letter in some way and reads it. And the Saint Nick focuses on playing the very best footy to end his playing career. And we St Kilda supporters are encouraged to support hard. Go Saints!!

  5. Hi Yoshi
    You’re spot on! I was also saddened to hear Nicks announcement to hang up his boots. I remember Nicks 1st game at the Saints it was the year I was pregnant with my 3rd son Nathan I took him into the cheer squad when he was just a baby. My family and I absolutely love Nick what an inspiring individual both on and off The field. Hopefully the Saints can still make finals especially for Nick – he always did his very best for the club! Shame he didn’t get the ultimate prize but he’s nothing short of a champion that’s for sure. Hope he find a cure for bone marrow disease which took away his dear sisters life – Maddie ?

  6. Hi Anna,

    Thanks for your comment and nice story how you and your family love the Saint Nick and taking Nathan to the cheer squad. How did he react as a baby? I admire cheer squad to support boys so hard. Rooey has never won the Blownlow medal but is a champion. Let’s hope the Saints play final footy for him to honour him and celebrate his great career.



  7. Hi Yoshi,

    I just came across your St Kilda articles, as a fellow St Kilda fan – but also as a Japanophile.

    It’s amazing to see my team supported in one of my favourite countries in the world!

    I’m probably going to be in Japan around December/January, it would be great to meet in person and chat all things St Kilda.

  8. Hi Jordan,

    Thanks for your comment.

    Yes it was be great if we meet up and talk about the mighty Saints when you come here. I look forward to seeing you and hope you are making the way to Kyoto.



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