Round 14 – St Kilda v Gold Coast: Twilight to Sunset and Saints up


Sunday, 25 June 2014
4:40 pm (7:40 am York, 3:40 pm Kyoto)
Docklands Stadium


This match has been scheduled as a twilight match. Sun is going set in Melbourne. On the other side of the world, a fresh morning has just started in York, United Kingdom, of my future home (it’s already my spiritual home).


Twilight Express of overnight trains have been served between Osaka (the home of my footy watching until moving to York permanently) and Sapporo (the city I was born and bred) via Kyoto and the coastline of the Japan Sea. The train service has been cut off a few years ago due to the extension of the bullet train network. It happened when my St Kilda went downhill and just before we won the wooden spoon. But now we are rising and operating the Sunrise trains.


In this week, my girlfriend Katie saw an immigration expert at Citizen’s Advice Bureau in York in regarding with the visa that would allow me to stay in the UK for a long term. At this stage, we need to communicate everyday and travel all over to be a committed and loyal couple. Then we will be able to apply for a long term visa for me. It’s a tough road, but we are taking steps to be together, like our Saints are going through.


But on Saturday, sad news arrived. Paddy McCartin has got a concussion at the VFL game. It’s sad to see his sixth concussion. Oh bless him… I want him to be on the track to rise and develop.


Before the game on Sunday, a group of American university students and their tutors (can be administrators) dined at my workplace (the deep fried beef restaurant). These days I normally cook meals with a fryer, but at the time I was asked to look after our valuable customers. The situation was like the Saint Nick being a great key player.


Then I was asked to switch the restaurant in a short notice due to the staffing issues, I guess. It was like St Kilda being forced to change the game plan because the Suns would play without their key player of Gary Ablett.


I had a brief opportunity to listen to the live footy coverage on SEN through the AFL App. Newnes kicked a goal at the first quarter.


Hoping the Saints having a big win so that we would climb up to the eighth, thanks to the Bulldogs who won only by a point to North Melbourne the previous night, I had to leave the rest of the game to work.


Finishing work at 7pm Kyoto time (11am York and 8pm Melbourne), I checked the score. It was read at Saints won by 31 points. I wondered if it was enough or not and found we pushed up the ladder into the eight. Oh great! We were operating the rising train while I was working at the busy city centre restaurant.


The footy club had to deal with controversial remark on a commercial TV show and the Saint Nick finally said like “Enough is enough” on media stories if he should retire at the end of the 2017 season and the survey to ask audience if he should play at another club or not in 2018 (that I say was a bad call). I was thinking about the true friendship and how media is established recently, during the week.


Then from the highlights of the game, here are words that would made on the rising train from the passengers (our players).
* please note: what I present are only guessing so can be inaccurate. I apologise for not being able to deliver the fact and hope my article does not offend the players or coaches or St Kilda Football Club or Saints supporters. And please do not criticise me (laughs).


Nick Riewoldt kicked three goals including two in a row answering Suns’ goals at the second quarter.
“Why do you (media) say I should retire or ask another club to have me in 2018? Look, I still have good skills and my physical conditions are well. And it was only second game after coming back from the knee injury. That’s what I offer to my beloved Saints. I really work hard to play finals in September and to win our second flag. No comment on the retirement, thank you.”
Sadly I was unable to see his kicks but his enthusiasm of tackling and taking a mark is so impressive as always.


Jack Billings kicked a goal and had 30 disposals and seven inside 50s.
“Now who wish the club had Marcus Bontempelli (the Western Bulldogs) instead of me? I have been developing a bit slower than him, but at last I will offer playing better footy than him, plus I will blossom with this rising train of the Saints. In other words, I will play the best footy when we play the Grand Final. I am proud of one of Saint Jacks and we are great Jacks in the whole competition.”
Not only his goal but also assisting other players to score goals are reflected on our brand of attacking footy and great team works. His kicks and handballs are excellent.


Maverick Weller kicked a soccer style goal at the goal line at the third quarter.
“Thank you my former team mate Rory Thompson for dropping off the ball so that I was able to crack onto the ball to score a quick goal line goal in a soccer style. I am sad he is no longer paying with me, but I would not play well without being picked by this wonderful St Kilda Footy Club. And I am proud of wearing number 44, the great small forward Stephen Milne has had previously. I will be the next Milney but don’t adopt his aggressive behaviours.”
Weller has been rising at St Kilda and scoring goals and assisting others well in the last several games. At the game, Gresham kicked towards our goal pocket where four players were waiting the ball. Thompson hit the ball but the ball was dropped and got with Weller’s foot. He will be the key midfielder in the premiership winning team.


Jack Lornie kicked from the right side of the goal square at 12:28 reminding at the second quarter.
“As another Jack (Billings) plays good footy and is developing well, why not me playing impressive footy? Then I always seek the opportunities and do the very best. And I am the player to cover Paddy’s absence. Bless him. Paddy and I were drafted in the same year to rebuild the footy club. I am glad my talents are utilised well as a small forward. Swifts in the congested goal square and kicking goals are what small forwards can do. And I am a happy Saint Jack.”
Great team works have done in the congested goal square. We put the ball away from the packed opponent players. Koby Stevens handballed nicely to Lornie and Lornie set the right position to shoot a goal. Good boy!


Jade Gresham took a high mark over Jack Lestie at the second quarter.
“Okay media, I will give you positive headlines for Monday footy news. A small forward flying high! Sounds good, hey the Ox. You will talk about your Demons on Monday afternoon, I know. But we are also the contender to play finals. Then my hardworking get a good result on a small forward climbing up Lestie to answer my team mate of Nathan Brown who kicked the ball. My mark is reflected on our brand of attacking footy, I reckon.”


Jack Newnes kicked the first goal for the game.
“We are really working hard. Chasing the ball hard and we didn’t hesitate to take three on one and then tackle Adam Saad. I am happy to start operating the rising Twilight Saints Express Train. And I am Jack too!”
Newnes, Riewoldt and Leigh Montagna worked together to tackle Saad and to get the ball to score a goal. It was another great team work with high spirits.


Boys, show our efforts in the next match against Fremantle on Sunday in front of our former coach. Tell him we are winning the flag without his help. Go the mighty Saints!!


ST KILDA 3.6 8.11 10.14 14.19 (103)
GOLD COAST 4.2 7.5 8.9 10.12 (72)


St Kilda: Riewoldt 3, Membrey 2, Newnes 2, Bruce, Weller, Billings, Lonie, Carlisle, Dunstan, Sinclair
Gold Coast: Wright 2, Lemmens, Shaw, Swallow, Witts, Fiorini, Lyons, MacPherson, Saad

St Kilda: Billings, Newnes, Roberton, Ross, Geary, Sinclair
Gold Coast: Lyons, Harbrow, Thompson, Hanley, Miller

Billings (STK 3), Newnes (STK 2), Sinclair (STK 1)

Umpires: Gavine, Nicholls, Hosking

Official crowd: 15,844


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. Neil Anderson says

    Very good Yoshi. A clever piece of writing. It reminded me of a play where dialogue is king and action takes a back seat for a while. Although you described the action very accurately anyway.
    We’ll still take the Bont but if Jack Billings wants to transfer to the Dogs, we’ll take him too.
    No-one can pick the final eight yet. Let’s hope the Dogs and Saints and Demons make it.

  2. G’day Neil,

    Thank you for your comment with a nice compliment. I am happy to be like a play writer on making potential comments made by players.

    It’s the even season and I hope your Bulldogs, my Saints and Dees are playing finals that we haven’t seen for years and is interesting.



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