Round 15 – Gold Coast v St Kilda: Mental Game

Saturday, 2 July 2016
1:40 pm (12:40 pm for the author)
Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast


St Kilda seem underdogs all the time. We are underrated by media. The Age Footy experts’ predictions had been St Kilda eight to Suns 16. In the previous day, I listened to Before the Games program on SEN. Terry Wallace made positive comments on St Kilda, but tipped Gold Coast. Then Andy Maher followed. What the hell it was!


But I have found a positive stuff on the club Facebook page. It was a quote made by Alan Richardson.


“I don’t care where we play.


I don’t care who we play.


I just want us to play our way


However St Kilda supporters social media showed statics of numbers of free kicks. We have been awarded the least free kicks in the competition.


The mighty Saints have been in tough circumstances. Even the huge win over Cats didn’t help. We have to overcome the tough situations mentally.


I understand how my club has been facing. Feeling being mostly underrated by Japanese people both in and outside profession, and being awarded free kicks to opponents at work, I often feel negatively. I admit it’s easy for me to feel down.


The day after the home game against Geelong, I had a job interview for an international chain hotel. But I didn’t succeed. Then my boss at the current workplace allowed late check ins for guests. She awarded free kicks to customers all the time. I’m not happy at all. If I were Brad Scott, my boss would be in a trouble.


But I try to find why I was not able to get the job from the international hotel chain and to seek solutions to improve myself without relying on other people’s perceptions and judgements. Both St Kilda and I need to deserve what we want.


I hadn’t trusted any interstate curse. I had only believed we would win over Suns.


Due to my roster at work, I might have not been able to tune in Watch AFL at the first bounce. But I was able to finish cleaning up just over midday. I hoped my boys would answer my enthusiasm supporting St Kilda.


The ball was bounced, but our good ruckman Tom Hickey couldn’t hit out. Then the first clearance was made by the opponent. My worry didn’t exist at the time.


I didn’t expect to see our attacking footy fade.


And the bright sunshine and warm weather seemed to be friendly to Suns. We were unable to kick goals even from inside 50 and with straight line.


Nick Riewoldt didn’t play his goal shows. Instead he missed five times to score goal. Where was his footy?


The 50th game player and former Sun Weller missed opportunities to score goals, as well as Membrey. What was going over on the Gold Coast?


Inefficient kicks towards goal posts as well as towards our teammates killed us.


The opponent’s defence line was strong and hard to break. But we could have created open space and trucked them. Or these areas are what we lack?


Fox Footy commentators described the match as the mental game. Unfortunately our young boys seemed naive to overcome?


I am extremely disappointed with the 40-point loss. We were defeated by Suns. I feel it was more than just a loss.


On the same day, just after the game, the Western Bulldogs won over Sydney at SCG. Let’s learn from the hot dogs.


1. At the second quarter, Jake Stringer’s two goals in a row is worth to remind. His second goal was scored so quick after the centre bounce.


2. Bulldogs’ efficient kicks at the third quarter follow. Liberatore, Stringer and Redpath have done great ball works in the away game. And Lin Jong’s covering the mistake from Redpath was great.


3. After Buddy’s two consecutive goals at the last quarter, the ball was moving back and forth. Getting around the ball in the defence line was a mental game and both clubs handled well, although I prefer attacking footy. Bulldogs’ patience was what young Saints need to learn. Johannisen’s winning goal was brilliant.


Strong beliefs and staying strong were the key, I think. Bulldogs improved dramatically last year and gained confidence. They beat Swans at SCG last year too. My boys need to learn from Bulldogs’ win in Sydney.


Luckily it was the last interstate match for us in 2016. Let’s focus on the rest of the season. Even it would be hard, but I want my boys to play hard as if we are hoping to play finals. I hope to farewell quiet September this year.


GOLD COAST 5.5 9.12 13.15 15.18 (108)
ST KILDA 3.1 4.5 5.13 8. 20 (68)


Gold Coast: Wright 3, Hall 2, Prestia 2, Matera 2,Ablett, Ah Chee, Davis, Lynch, Malceski, Miller
St Kilda: Membrey 2, Newnes 2, Gresham, Lonie, Weller, Bruce

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. Yvette Wroby says

    Well done Yoshi. We need to be more consistent. And kick straighter.

  2. Thanks Yvette. I agree with you. As we are a young team, we need to learn how to handle with mental games like how Doggies played at the last quarter. Our boys need kicking session on the training this week, I think.

    By the way, the SCG game was good. I enjoyed watching the replay yesterday.

  3. jan courtin says

    Hi Yoshi

    Interesting that you used the Bulldogs as an example for how you’d like your boys to perform. (I didn’t like being reminded, mind you about our loss!) but although the Dogs are a relatively young team, St Kilda’s team hasn’t been playing together for as long as the Bulldogs, and they need time.

    Consistency and experience go hand in hand, so your time will come! And it definitely is a mind game too!

  4. Hi Jan,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I know your emotion on your Swans, so I feel sorry to suggest the game for our improvement.

    Yes, we need more experiences to be more mature so that we can be consistent.

    Good luck with the next game agaist Geelong.



  5. Neil Anderson says

    Hi Yoshi,
    I couldn’t believe the Suns were listed as strong favourites when I checked the papers after I put my tips in.
    How could they play so badly after beating Geelong? Especially with a slight chance to make the eight if other teams faltered.
    I like the way you refer to the Bulldogs and you admire them for what they have achieved in recent times. But the Dogs still haven’t got their complete game together. In recent weeks they have been criticised for not kicking enough goals, compared to the start of the year, but I think they can solve that problem before the finals.
    In the meantime the desperation of the on-ballers and backline players have been getting them over the line. As a young team, StKilda will have inconsistent performances as we get into the middle of winter and the long footy season rolls on.

  6. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I can’t believe the loss either, after the big win over Geelong. Our boys must be tired, but it’s not an excuse to lose!

    As for the Bulldogs, I heard that the scores were getting lower. The first quarter was slow and the last quarter was tough with congestions. But my boys could learn how to put much pressures on the opponent. Then how to make open space in the goal square.

    We are growing, so unfortunately the game was the time to go backwards, but only this time.



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