Round 10 – Western Bulldogs v St Kilda

Saturday, 27 May 2017
1:45 pm (4:45 am York and Manchester, 12:45 pm Coolabah, the Osaka’s hot footy pub)
Docklands Stadium, Melbourne

At first, I pray for Manchester. A suicide bomb at the concert killing 22 innocent people is absolutely heartbreaking and unforgivable. The city is where I have landed on my first trip to the UK and got a train to the lovely York, so I feel special to Manchester. It is extremely sad.

This week, AFL has indigenous matches to honour and respect indigenous people. Nicky Winmar was a respected player and hero at St Kilda. His famous stripping off his guernsey in 1993 was brave against racism in response to racist comments made by Collingwood supporters.

His great work post playing career has been mentioned on the club’s Facebook page and his action was mentioned on Footy Fix programme on SEN on Friday. These are reasons I named Nicky Winmar Match for the game.

And don’t forget Gilbert McAdam who was an indigenous player at the mighty Saints. He was a great footballer and I admire him being a co-host of Mangrook Footy Show.

Our young indigenous player Jade Gresham designed the guernsey for the match. Turtles are drawn as well as traditional Aborigine arts. He has good talent in art as well as playing footy (nice goal kicker). His design seems to show he and his club have a bright future and reflect on we are on the long and right process to win the second flag.

Respects and honours are towards our past and present indigenous players.

I always enjoy watching Saints playing Doggies so am excited to watch this game live at Coolabah. Before heading to the train station in Kyoto, I have a cup of iced latte at Starbucks in Gion. I talk to Australians who are Crows and Richmond supporters. Sadly they tell me they predict Footscray will win. Oh never mind, they have different perceptions.

Getting to the pub just after midday, even though they’re supposed to open at 1pm. I find the shutter is up so I think they might be open earlier, but I interrupt their preparation that I feel sorry to do. A barman tells me they open at 1pm. As the game starts at quarter to one, I feel sad because I can’t watch from the beginning.

Having a lunch and beer at next door, I decide to wait in front of the pub just after the ball was bounced. The bartender is there and lets me in. Immediately I ask him to turn on the game and a jug of beer.

It is the first footy game to watch at the pub since the first week of the final series last year the Bulldogs played against West Coast in Subiaco. At the time I wanted the Doggies to win, but indeed it’s opposite on my game today.

The guernsey designer (Gresham) misses a goal just after I started looking at the computer screen on the counter.

Saints push towards the goal square, but errors on handballs prevent my club from scoring a goal. Membrey marks a possession but tackled by opponents. Then Picken is 45 metres out of Dogs goal posts. Luckily he misses and even scores nothing. It’s good for the Saints.

Acres runs hard and plays good roles in the midfield. Once again Membrey is challenged and awarded with a free kick. He kicks towards Gresham who kicks towards McKenzie to avoid congestion. Then the young midfielder scores a goal. Saints lead by five points.

Billings, Acres, J Steven and Steele are playing constant midfield ball works as usual and B Longer takes a good mark. And the young Bulldog of Bont is tackled.

At 2:44 reminding of the first quarter, our man Alan Richardson shows worries on the upstairs workplace (coaches box).

St Kilda waste big chances in the last five minutes of the first quarter thanks to the Bulldogs being around us and playing hard in defense.

Meanwhile at the pub:
a) the Malaysian barman tells me not to roar. Why? It’s okay as I am watching footy, isn’t it? I am at the second Docklands Stadium.
b) a Japanese lady comes over towards me asking if I am joining a New Zealand fair or not. I respond with, “I am joining after watching footy”.

I admit that I am unhappy to be expected to behave in ways what majority of Japanese people do. Why can’t I be passionate of watching sports?

Well, I would be much more accepted in York. I can be crazy watching sports over in the city where Katie lives.

But the coach says his boys are making good movements in the interview on Fox Footy live coverage. I believe his positive feedback and we push towards.

Montagna, J Steven, Membrey and Weller kick and handball well, but no goal is scored.

Paul Roos commentates on the live coverage. I really liked him coaching on the bench while he was in charge of the Dees. I am like a bench coach as I often stand by the screen yelling at players expressing my passion.

But hard work brings positiveness to the Saints. Acres tackles Murphy and McCartin is tackled. The Footy field is so congested, but Membrey breaks the line and scores a goal.

Stringer plays very hard and attempts to score, but the ball is hit into the pole. We need to be around Stringer!

Stringer comes out snarling and keep biting us. All Doggies’ goals are scored by him.

Joey’s kicking error worries me. Footscray dominates, but our tall Carlisle punches the ball. He is doing well not to give the Bulldogs chances scoring goals.

Then the coach of the year in 2015 and 2016 (Bevo) is worried on the upstairs.

But his St Kilda counterpart Richo wonders what is going on after Stringer finds space and kicks an easy goal and Picken following.

Also Riewoldt who has been ruled out due to the knee injury is worried in the coaches box too. Poor Nick…

My perceptions to the games are written in my notebook for the article.

“Kicking needs to be better when opponents are in our goal square.

“Handballs are efficient to the close players.

“Shifting is needed.

These are essential to win in the congested footy field.

Sadly the low scores bore me. Then St Kilda admits the second quarter was sloppy on the club’s Facebook page.

Lin Jong takes a mark inside 50 at the beginning of the third quarter and I am nervous.

Stringer is tackled and Gilbert kicks over Bontempelli. Sam is a good boy!

But hardworking doesn’t make the Footy God give us goals. Instead Dale and Murphy kick goals.

Afterwards, Paddy’s mark inside 50, Carlisle’s mark inside 50 and Weller’s banana kick are the only positives for the Saints. Otherwise Bulldogs are too good for us. Stringer roars and bites loads.

Unlikely at the last time watching footy in Osaka, no one really fancies the game. As the NZ event is going on, it creates almost all of pub’s atmosphere. I admit I am not at the second Docklands at all.

Like the previous St Kilda match, I will see Saints go marching in against Footscray in York with my babe, Katie.

WESTERN BULLDOGS 2.2 5.6 10.9 13.12 (90)
ST KILDA 2.1 3.2 5.5 7.8 (50)

Western Bulldogs: Stringer 5, Dickson, Dale, Murphy, Suckling, Bontempelli, Johannisen, Picken, T.Boyd
St Kilda: Billings, McKenzie, Membrey, Gresham, Newnes, Weller, McCartin

Western Bulldogs: Stringer, Hunter, Johannisen, Wallis, Dale, Macrae
St Kilda: Newnes, Montagna, Carlisle, Stevens, Roberton, Ross

Our Votes
Stringer (WBU 3), Newnes (STK 2), Macrae (WBU 1)

Umpires: Hay, Meredith, Findlay

Official crowd: 34,685

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. Les Currie says

    It’s great that you are so passoinate Yoshi and that you can see the game overseas ina pub. I often leave my travelling to the non-football season so that I don’t miss anything but, as you say, with modern technology and the popularity of the game increasing, it is getting easier to see it overseas. I might re-think my travel plans. Being an old Doggies fan, I love that you and your pub companions still refer to the the Dogs as Footscray. I would love the club to take that name back on. I also enjoy Dogs/Saints games. Over the years, both teams have seemed to rise and fall at much the same time so the battles have been keen no matter the respective positions on the ladder. At this point in time I think you are a year or two behind us in your development but will soon catch up.

  2. Thanks again Yoshi for your insightful writing. I had your Saints down to make the 8 this year, but i’m unsure. Yet maybe i was a season early.

    The talent is there but there’s that something extra missing. With Reiwoldt and Montagna likely to be gone by 2018, i’m perplexed at where your team is going. Armitage, Steele, Carlisle, Stevens, Membrey all good players, but are they the chaps who can lead you to a flag? McCartin to me is a big mystery; he’s never come on. Sure he’s young but has his bad run of head knocks impacted his career to a level he shouldn’t play ? For akey forward to only average a goal per game there’s a problem. Maybe he should be used in defence. What did the late Jack Dyer say about ‘ratbags to the backline !”

    Good luck with the Saints Yoshi. It would be good to see them in the finals.


  3. G’day and thanks for the comments folks!

    Les – haha patrons at Coolabah did not refer your Bulldogs as Footscray. Only I do sometimes to avoid using same words continuously. It’s like saying darling, babe, sweetie and baby in different times. Yes the Saints are going through the same path that your Doggies have been through. Just a few years behind. And handball style footy is the same I think. Beveridge is a respected and good coach.

    Glen – McCartin has not blossomed yet, sadly. One day I read a comment suggesting him to give some time to be a good forward, like how Geeling’s Hawkins is now. He needs to avoid concussions and get good treatments on diabetes. Thanks for your warm wishes on the mighty Saints.



  4. Matthew Thomas says

    Hi Yoshi.
    The Indigenous round is a very important round. Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ have a positive representation in the sport and are (mostly) well respected. However racism is still very strong and Australia saw that with Adam Goodes not that long ago. It makes me very very sad.

    It also makes me sad you were asked to be quite in a bar while watching Footy!!!! No way!!! The Blue Samurai fans would make noise when Japan Soccer team play, so should you!

  5. G’day Matt,

    Thanks for your comment mate!

    Yes negative comments and racism on Adam Goodes made me sad too. The Indigenous Round can be to educate to combat all discriminations with respects and honours of individuals.

    Your point of view of supporting footy is awesome. The barman was Malaysian and he doesn’t know about footy so much or have passions on sports much, I reckon. I wish the bartender was a passionate Aussie footy fan lol



Leave a Comment