Potential NZ Blockbuster between Saints and Blues

Actually I had spent a lot of energy during the week last week thanks to many things to do including writing articles here (but I love this community and authoring) and tried to relax last weekend, I postponed reading footy articles published at the weekend.

Then I visited the Age footy website (realfooty.com.au) on Tuesday when Melburnians enjoyed the Cup Day and one of articles got an attention from a St Kilda mad Japanese bloke (me).

Jon Pierik reports that Carlton is open to play as an opponent club annually at Anzac Day matches which St Kilda are hosting in Wellington, New Zealand.

St Kilda and Carlton have played Monday night games over the Mother’s Day weekend for five seasons until this year. Monday night footy games were unpopular and controversies amongst fans in the 2014 AFL season.

Also Carlton was unhappy with the 2014 fixture where they played three Sunday night matches as well as annual post-Mother’s Day clash against St Kilda.

Then AFL has demolished all Sunday and Monday night games in the 2015 season. Instead the league has provided St Kilda a great opportunity to take Carlton to an Anzac Day clash next year in Wellington.

For the last two seasons, St Kilda hosted games in Wellington against Sydney Swans (2013) and Brisbane Lions (2014). Attendances at these matches were 22,546 in 2013, but dropped to 13,409 this year.

I have taken surveys on attendances in St Kilda home games between 2010 and 2014. Surprisingly Annual Monday night matches against Carlton attracted more spectators than average of home games.

2010         42,866      4th biggest spectators for St Kilda home games

2011         41,576      3rd biggest spectators for St Kilda home games

2012         38,823      4th biggest spectators for St Kilda home games

2013         34,054      3rd biggest spectators for St Kilda home games

2014         26,708      5th biggest spectators for St Kilda home games

Saints’ Monday night game has been only against Carlton each year for these five seasons.

This year, 26,708 people attended the annual St Kilda’s Monday night footy while only 24,460 were at a Sunday night Carlton’s home game against Port Adelaide at Etihad Stadium at Round 1 this year.

Those data show that many spectators are attracted to St Kilda’s home games against Carlton although numbers were dropped. Also many people go to games St Kilda hosting against big Victorian clubs, Essendon, Richmond and Collingwood as well as recent powerhouse, Hawthorn.

As long as Carlton is one of big Victorian clubs, St Kilda is likely to attract more people to a home game against the Blues.

When St Kilda hosted a game against Sydney Swans at Etihad Stadium at Round 9 in 2012 – 34,737 people attended. In the same year, 38,823 people went to the game against Carlton at the same venue.

Even the Australian Rules Football is not new anymore in New Zealand, I think St Kilda Football Club and AFL will be able to attract New Zealanders to attend a game with attractive slogan appealing that big Victorian AFL clubs are playing. Also Carlton Football Club can encourage Blue fans to travel to New Zealand for unique experience and to explore the country, as well as can St Kilda to Saint fans. Then the annual game over in Wellington will be played in front of 27,000 people or more possibility and a blockbuster for both clubs.

While big Victorian clubs enjoy annual clashes such as traditional Anzac Day clash between Essendon and Collingwood, Dreamtime between Essendon and Richmond and Queen’s Birthday clash between Melbourne Demons and Collingwood, both St Kilda and Carlton should enjoy blockbusters which I hope become impressive games in the AFL history.

Also I hope the Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne will host big games annually to attract more spectators to improve financial situations.

I believe strong passion and a bit rivalry have been already laid between St Kilda and Carlton. Let’s keep emotion and play well to create blockbusters in Wellington. I have to take responsibility as an author of this article and a crazy St Kilda fan, so must move to Melbourne or Wellington to get easy access to the game.

Next year, I want to see Saints go marching in Wellington!

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. Lose no sleep over missing out on a Carlton powerhouse gate in Melbourne Yoshi. They haven’t generated enough charge to run a kitchen clock since the dying years of the last century. Take the AFL money and develop a following over on the Shaky Isles – the other Shaky Isles. And dragging the Blues along as a sacrificial lamb sounds like a good plan.

    But better not travel in the Leafy East if they ever find out you’re the bloke that wrote ‘recent powerhouse Hawthorn’. Out there they think the Hawks have been a powerhouse since 1961.

  2. Neil Anderson says

    Thank you Yoshi for bringing some football discussion back to the Almanac. I have been scanning the papers for any news of any teams and all I can find are the results of the two kilometre time trials for the first and second year recruits.
    I must confess I did find your statistical analysis of which teams would draw the best crowds etc a bit overwhelming but I suppose it’s still early November in the off-season, but thankfully in Victoria it only runs for about four weeks.
    You really should be thinking of moving here permanently and applying for a job at AFL House.
    When you do get to talk to Gillon about the the likelihood of the Bulldogs and Kangaroos playing blockbuster matches, be prepared for a very Aussie answer. I suspect he will say, “”Tell em they’re dreamin’! “”

  3. Yep, I think you’re right, Yoshi. The AFL has given St Kilda an opponent they hope will draw a bigger crowd. Given they almost suffered the indignity last Anzac Day of two state league games in Adelaide drawing bigger crowds than the Wellington game. AFL has avoided that next season by scheduling Port Adelaide in Adelaide on Anzac Day too, depriving the SANFL of its traditional Anzac Day Grand Final rematch (which would also have featured Port Adelaide) which would have drawn 15,000-20,000. Well that’s what the conspiracy theorist in me thinks, anyway…

  4. Hi The Wrap.,

    Thanks for your comment and I didn’t have enough knowledge that Hawthorn has been a powerhouse since 1961. If I offend you and other readers, I apologise for mentioning it.


  5. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for your compliment, positive feedback and advice. I would like to take a job at AFL House or St Kilda Football Club. Indeed Melbourne is my first choice where to start afresh in my life because I believe I can use my strengths, talents and skills fully. And I am prepared to get a response from Gillon!

    I’m glad that you enjoyed reading my article discussing about footy. As you say, AFL media focus on young players because of off season. I will keep an eye on footy news and write articles.

    Do you support plans on Good Friday and some Ballarat games for your Doggies?


  6. Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your comment and I’m impressed with your point of view. I didn’t know that SANFL had Anzac Day Grand Final rematch. It sounds like AFL gives SANFL a good opportunity to attract crowds for an Anzac Day match.

    I hope people can enjoy both AFL and local footy as well as Anzac Day AFL matches.


  7. Neil Anderson says

    Yoshi I am a diehard Doggie supporter but even I need a break from the footy routine on Good Friday. All other Easter days have footy scheduled. Speaking of Fridays, once again the Bulldogs do not have one Friday night match even with our emerging young talent on show and the number one draft pick from 2013 (Boyd) ready to start his career with the Dogs.
    When you start working at AFL HQ and after they show you where the lunchroom and toilets are, could you please ask Gillon to schedule some Friday matches for the Bulldogs. Perhaps Bulldogs versus Saints like they do for Rivalry Round for some reason.
    And yes, I would really like to see Ballarat developed for the Bulldogs to play some of interstate sides. At the moment the Western Bulldogs often lose money playing at Etihad. Also Ballarat and Geelong are only two hours away from where I live in western Victoria so either venue would suit me very well.
    Nice talking to you Yoshi.

  8. Neil , can you envisage a Bulldogs V Saints match in Wellington. Wellington is a nice town, and I for one could be tempted to attend a footy match there. Friends of ours plan to follow the blue baggers over for the 2015 game.

    Keep up the good work Yoshi, you’ve created a good discussion here.


  9. Neil Anderson says

    Glen, Bulldogs versus Saints in Wellington sounds OK if the Dogs have to continue playing away from Melbourne so Godfather AFL can call in its favours. Better than Darwin in the heat or even Cairns where they return after a six-day break before playing again.
    I like the Ballarat idea if they can build a stadium to handle the 20-30 thousand crowd. Why go to Cairns or Darwin when you only have to travel hour and a half?
    What I would really like is to continue developing the Whitten Oval for AFL games particularly after the success of the Footscray Bulldogs in the VFL.

  10. G’Day Neil again,

    It’s nice talking to you mate. I will ask Gillon to have a Friday night footy for the Bulldogs and create a blockbuster and hope I can work at AFL headquarter. But I must show big enthusiasm to the league.

    I also suggest AFL to purchase Docklands Stadium (Etihad Stadium) as soon as possible so that its tenants won’t pay expensive rents. I don’t understand why small Victorian clubs pay more to the home stadium (Etihad Stadium) than big ones to MCG. I understand why Mick Malthouse wants to play more games at MCG.


  11. Hi Glen,

    Thanks for your comment with compliments. I’m happy to get involved in footy discussion.

    Have you been to a footy game over in Wellington?

    Cheers :)


  12. G’day Yohsi, no i’ve not been to a match in Wellington. Friends plan to attend the Anzac Day clash in 2015, so i’m thinking about it to.

    Wellington is a friendly little town, so the idea of going to a footy match there appeals to me.

    Keep up your good work, it is greatly appreciated to be able to share your perspectives of this game.



  13. G’Day Glen,

    Thanks for your compliment on my work.

    I hope you will make a way to Wellington to watch the Anzac Day clash next year. As I have mentioned in the previous article, I have lived near Wellington for several months and miss the lovely town. I must go over there for a St Kilda match before Nick Riewodlt retires.

    Cheers :)


  14. Ta Yoshi, who knows maybe a whole bunch of Almanackers may catch up there together. Now that’d be an idea. As they say, the future is unwritten.


  15. No worries Glen! Yes, socialising in Wellington amongst Almanackers is a great idea! I hope the unwritten future will be positive. Have a good afternoon mate!


  16. G’day Yoshi. While we’re talking about football(ers) from across the Tasman you might be interested in looking at a posting of mine from 27/8 where i selected a side of players who were born, or whose parents were born, in New Zealand. Have a look to see if it’s of any interest.


  17. G’Day Glen, I had read your article about footballers from New Zealand before I read your comment here. Thanks for telling me about it and it’s interesting to read. Cheers mate. – Yoshi

  18. Peter Cresswell says

    Not just a friendly little town — Wellington is (officially, mind you) the Craft Beer Capital of New Zealand. And last year, Anzac weekend fell on the same weekend as the Hopstock festival — twenty new beers in nineteen craft beer pubs celebrating the season’s new hops!

    I hear the same thing is happening again next year.

    If that doesn’t get a few of you out and about and across the Tasman, then nothing could.

  19. G’Day Peter,

    Thanks for your comment and I didn’t know that Wellington was the Craft Beer Capital of New Zealand. I wish I could go back to Wellington next year when St Kilda and Carlton play footy!



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