Purpose of the NAB Challenge Cup

After a job interview on Thursday, I got on the train heading to Coolabah, the footy pub in Osaka.

Having asked the Kangaroos supporting owner if they would broadcast the Richmond vs Port Adelaide game, the friendly young barman accessed AFL Global Pass on my arrival for the live coverage.

Then two young Aussie blokes came and we started chatting. I just stared the screen and saw some marks and goals. Opposed to my prediction and expectation, Tigers were behind.

Even Damien Hardwick was on the boundary line. His coaching in the bench did not bring bounce back.

Siren sounded and Power song was played at Docklands.

Due to tiredness from this week’s hardworking and the job interview, I fell asleep at the bar. After having left the pub, I slept at an Internet cafe.

Waking up on Friday morning, I found Richmond lost four players due to injuries during the match. Then shocking articles grabbed my attention. Hardwick wanted early end of the preseason match by leaving three players on the bench to avoid further injuries.

I understand that one of the responsibilities of AFL coaches is that they have to coach in the best methods.

Hardwick had to concentrate to create the best match he can offer.

However his concern losing more players and worry of not having best players in the home and away season is reasonable.

Tuning in SEN’s Run Home listening on the train going back to Kyoto, Harf and Marko discussed the NAB Challenge Cup.

Meanwhile AFL’s football operation boss Mark Evans slammed Hardwick’s attitudes with the comment “it should be the intra-club match in such circumstances”.

My idea popped up with the preseason competition should be organised based on clubs’ needs.

For example, developing clubs such as St Kilda, Carlton need to give young players opportunities to gain experience before the proper season.

On the other hand, powerhouses such as Hawthorn and Fremantle can use the preseason matches to see how young and inexperienced players play and to seek who can fill in when key players are not available.

In my opinion, clubs should be able to choose if they want preseason matches or not, too.

As Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley suggests, two NAB Challenge games are enough, clubs can choose number of preseason games.

Thursday’s game and what Hardwick wants shows the AFL needs to re-think about the preseason competition.

It should provide opportunities to all clubs to form best teams for the home and away season, and be flexible.

PS. I was about to express my opinion on Soap Box on the Run Home program, but it was not successful because my phone call through Skype did not connect with SEN.

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. aussiegus says

    Hard to understand that Yoshi understands the fact that the nab challenge matches are just glorified practice matches and the afl can’t work that out

    By the way Yoshi. If you do get down to see nick reiwolt play I would suggest that falling asleep in a bar is not the best thing to do in Australia

  2. Scott McIntyre says

    Very sensible words, Yoshi. The self-righteous and pompous verbiage that this minor incident produced were out of all proportion to its significance.

  3. Thanks for your comments aussiegus and Scott.

    aussiegus – The preseason competition issues are complicated. I agree. All clubs are facing different circumstances such as new play list and changing generations of players. Then they all should opportunities to form best teams for proper season. Indeed I would not fall asleep at the stadium while watching a St Kilda game. Responsibilities of Footy spectators should include Footy audiences at the stadium have to provided best conditions to cheer up their favourite club. Falling asleep was happened over midnight on Thursday.

    Scott – Thanks for your compliment on choosing words in my article. I try to see things from different angles with being reasonable. I have learned through an online English writing course. I am happy to keep in my mind whilst writing articles.



  4. Good job Yoshi, I think your article is well considered. I hope you get your wish to come and see St. Kilda and Nick Reiwoldt play. Keep writing mate, it is great to see people from around the world enjoying AFL. Your English is better than my Japanese

  5. Cheers Jason for your great compliment! And thanks for your warm wishes for my wish to watch a St Kilda game and seeing Nick playing! Have a god week mate! Yoshi

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