Round 1 – St Kilda v Gold Coast: Unpredictable and New Stephen Milnes

St Kilda v Gold Coast
Sunday 24th  March 2019
1:10 pm
Marvel Stadium, Melbourne



Many people said, “Footy is back”, but for me, men’s professional footy is added into my footy calendar with the Dingoes and AFLW.


Watching a St Kilda game for the first time in Kobe, and as the first game of the Home and Away season for 2019, wasn’t fun but we just won the bitter game by a point.


Unexpected and unpredictable hours before the match affected the game, I reckon. Match highlights come first with these details.


Then I would like to present positive stories of new Stephen Milnes.


Unpredictable Saturday Footy


Melbourne were defeated by Port Adelaide at MCG. The Western Bulldogs beat Sydney Swans with their controversial Thor jumper at Docklands. Even the reigning premiers West Coast lost to Brisbane Lions at Gabba.


My tipping at the time was only 2/6.


Unexpected circumstances on Sunday morning


I have liked the Dogs playing Swans since the sons of the West won at SCG in 2015. Then why not watching the replay while travelling to Kobe for the Dingoes’ team training?


But unfortunately a wifi equipped train fleet was not served the 8:27 am Osaka-bound express service. My disappointment number one of the day was made.


Wanting an English book, I had found national book store chain Kinokuniya provided English books on their website. Arriving there at 10 am, I was unable to see any of them.


Finally I have asked a shop clerk if they had English books or not, but she said no coldly. I was really annoyed with false information on their website and told her my disappointment including the fact I had travelled far, but her response was like those made by umpires who don’t listen to voices raised by players, coaches or fans. I felt I was not being treated nicely.


My decision was made that I would no longer purchase any books from that retailer.


Unpredictable Saints’ on field performances


With two wins at the JLT Community Series, I had expected the Saints would win comfortably against Suns.


The mighty Saints dominated footy much at the beginning. We demonstrated attacking footy.


First goal kicking opportunity was missed by the skipper, Geary.


The mature rookie forward, Matty Parker’s kick went right rather than left. No score was given.


Ben Long was pushed by an opponent and paid a free kick in the goal square. He’s done his job as the team’s and the game’s first goal.


Here is the player’s note book – At the contested mark, don’t push. Otherwise opponents will be awarded a free kick.


Playing footy under the sun (roof was open) and with the hot weather (28 degrees to 30 degrees) is what the Suns are used to. Tides have changed rapidly after Long’s goal.


Wright won the two on two contested mark. And he scored a goal.


Sexton and Miles followed. We needed clearances to dominate footy.


Wright kicked a goal again. Almost three goals behind for the Saints. Unbelievable!


But young Saints helped each other to bounce back. Parker’s handpass to Newnes and his kick towards Membrey brought an opportunity. Number 28 has done his job easily.


Before these actions, Gresham fumbled the footy, picked up and played on. I need to adopt such attitudes on the field.


Then Burgess kicked a goal.


Unselfish kick by Lonie was delivered towards Membrey who raised an arm asking him to kick. His set shot was kicked between main goal posts.


Membrey’s performance was a good example of leading footy. Keep practising is needed for me at team training.


What has happened with the captain? He dropped the footy when trying to take a mark from Joyce’s kick.


After two Suns’ behinds, Parker kicked a goal beautifully. A celebration was held on field.


Saints  trailled by seven points at the first break.


At the beginning of second quarter, Fox Footy showed holes on turf at Docklands Stadium. The issue occurred at the Dogs versus Swans game too. It needs to be fixed.


Handpass, kick on the wing created another opportunity for the Saints. Sinclair kicked a goal easily with short distance and good angle.


A rushed behind afterwards set the score board level for both.


But once again, the score moved towards the visitors with Swallow’s goal.


Parker picked up the footy on a two on two contest and kicked a goal.


Both teams had opportunities, but no score was rewarded.


Pierce fumbled while trying to win a contested mark, and Bruce picked and ran backwards and turned towards goal posts. He kicked a goal.


Commentators said, “Poor Pierce,” and described him a hardworking player.


Lonie took a mark close to goal line and scored a snaking goal.


Once again I was disappointed with Geary. He couldn’t take a mark. Then why not jumping and hitting out?


Flares were seen on the field after Sexton’s goal.


After the opponent’s goal, Ross ran and bounced in a circle at the centre, and kicked towards Bruce. Bruce’s shot brought us six points.


Saints went to the main break leading by 13 points.


Third quarter started as an intense and tough one. Even umpires were unfriendly to us.


Then the Suns gave me a good example for my footy.


Collins ran towards Membrey’s kick.


My player’s note book – Lead opposition players too.


Sexton found open space and no Saint was at our defense line. His goal levelled the score at 9.4 each.


Gresham took a mark from a Kent kick but played on. He kicked a goal.


Steele showed a good lead and kicked a goal. Good hit out, handpass had kicks bringing us two goals in a row quickly.


But Sexton answered quickly.


Then Bruce was paid a free kick and scored a goal as a normally reliable forward would.


The last break went with Saints’ leading by 12 points.


Saints attacked at the last quarter, but wasted opportunities. My footy anxiety hit again. I admit I have never felt comfortable while watching St Kilda games.


I put my hands on my face at a Starbucks in central Kobe. My reaction was the same  Luke Beveridge did in the coaches box when his Bulldogs faced St Kilda last August.


Two goals kicked by Swallow put his Suns in front again. I was unhappy indeed.


Forwards worked together (kicks by Membrey, Parker and Kent) to relieve me. Kent’s goal brought us back in front.


Powell answered to switch the lead back to Gold Coast.


Geary’s slow reaction made me mad and I started wondering if he should be a skipper or not.


Some people think Alan Richardson would go if we lost to the Suns. But I would urge that Geary should step down from the captain. His performances were below than the average player performances. Then how can he be the on field leader?


Two behinds scored saved us.


Saints go marching in by a point. It was a tough game.


We have many lessons from the match. Otherwise we will allow Bombers flying high next weekend.


The game was tough but I have positive stories of new Stephen Milnes of two rookie players.


Matty Parker – mature aged rookie forward


He is walking into the similar path to Stephen Milne as a rookie forward.


His player profile at South Fremantle brought Nicky Winmar to the club handing his jumper number 34 before the game.


He runs with speed. Leading footy and scoring accurate goals. He has great skills in the forward line.


Even Matty helps on the backline was shown in the third quarter.


I am sure he will bring us some good wins. We would lose games without Matty.


Cullum Wilkie – Wearing Stephen’s number 44


He is a mature age rookie draftee. Wilkie is a defender but lucky to have number 44 on his back.


His intercept marks taken in the early and last part of the game tightened our backline.


While Carlisle and Roberton are unavailable in 2019, he will be a key defender.


He needs to develop but his winning premiership at SANFL is a good experience and to create a  good AFL career.


Yoshi ‘Milney’ – Dingoes’ number 44


We had a training after the Saints game. New bloke Jay had a first training with us.


Only four of us were there – Matt, Shane, Jay and I.


Leading the ball was one of the drills and Matt told me where to lead to the ball. Making V is the key, I was instructed.


I have done quite well and need to improve.


Having passions is good, but I need to train hard at the time rather than thinking next time I will be better.


ST KILDA 4.1 9.4 12.4 13.7 (85)
GOLD COAST 5.3 7.3 10.4 13.6 (84)


St Kilda: Bruce 3, Membrey 2, Parker 2, Long, Sinclair, Lonie, Gresham, Kent, Steele
Gold Coast: Sexton 4, Swallow 3, Wright 2, Miles, Burgess, Ainsworth, Powell


St Kilda: Ross, Billings, Steven, Newnes, Bruce, Steele, McKenzie
Gold Coast: Fiorini, Sexton, Witts, Ballard, Miller, Powell


3. Bruce (STK); 2. Sexton (GC); 1. Billings (STK)


Umpires: Dalgleish, Hay, Gavine


*You guys REALLY need to improve umpiring skills. Richo is frustrated with umpiring as well as are players and fans. Why can’t we be paid free kicks after rough conduct made by Gold Coast players while you would give away free kicks to the opponent. It is unfair!!


Official crowd: 20,291

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.

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