Round 22 – St Kilda v Hawthorn: My Passion and Hardwork Influencing Sainters

 

St Kilda v Hawthorn (Annual Blue Ribbon Match)
Saturday, August 18, 2018, 7:25 pm
Docklands Stadium, Melbourne

 

My Saints are performing badly this year what with early predictions that we would be final contenders. Footy media has reported negatively on us during the week before the match.

 

Their journalism is so negative that even Paul Roos is concerned in his book, Here it is. We have underperformed, so seeing negative reports is expected, but no suggestions for the future are written.

 

Journalists are behaving like politicians who blame other parties but debate without giving alternative options. I miss Martin Flanagan’s fair points of views with good qualities and positivity, Rohan Connolly’s great analysis on games, and Emma Quayle’s positive stories of young draftees in the newspaper.

 

Let me present some suggestions to St Kilda Football Club later in this blog.

 

Saturday had three footy activities–daily practice, listening to an EFNL game where Caulfield Bears played, and watching the mighty Saints playing live.

 

Getting cooler made footy practice easier and more comfortable. I played for one and half hours on that day and sensed my kicking has been improved. Gaining longer distance in kicks makes me smile. I play footy for an amateur club, and I am hungry playing the sport. I play for the pleasure of scoring more goals for the mighty Dingoes. I don’t play to give any opportunity to the opposing clubs. I want to get opportunities by myself, to do my job. My passion is reflected in what I have been doing.

 

On Friday, I found out the Bears’ 1st XVIII team would play an important match on Saturday afternoon. The away game against East Brighton would be a do-or-die one; a win or draw would bring them into finals and a loss would end their season.

 

Then later, the South Football and Netball League (SFNL) announced that the game would be streamed live on 88.3 Southern FM, on the league’s Facebook page. I decided to follow the mighty Bears.

 

Before the important match, the Bears had lost six games in a row before winning against Clayton a week before. The Bears were the underdogs, predicted to be defeated by 10 points in a league website’s match preview.

 

The local footy was played  in wet, cold and windy conditions at Hurlingham Reserve. The electrical score board read, ‘Bloody cold’!

 

Sadly, just like St Kilda’s recent performances, Caulfield too demonstrated poor kickings at first. Once we had an opportunity at 45 metres out, with 45 degrees angle, but it was wasted. It was affected by winds.

 

But later, the Bears had good hands in the traffic. The 26-year-old forward Cameron Roughead kicked two goals in the first quarter and took good marks.

 

I think Cameron was at the training on Thursday, 19 July when I joined. It’s good to hear him performing so well.

 

At the second quarter, the Bears laid tackles well, but both teams wasted opportunities due to winds. We let the Vampires in front again, but the score was level at the main break at five goals and three behinds each.

 

Roughead did some  ruck work at the third quarter, like Hawthorn champion, Jarryd Roughead.

 

A 50-metre penalty was awarded to Caulfield and it led to kicking a goal. The Bears were back in front. Then the Bears got out of traffic and kicked a valuable goal from 45 metres out.

 

Roughead kept demonstrating great performances on field: he laid a tackle, and even kicked a goal from the set shot that was the same from the first quarter. His goal widened the margin to 20 at the last break.

 

Radio commentators reviewed our performances positively, saying we were putting pressures well and laying good tackles.

 

The last quarter was one of those tough contests. Roughead flew high, but couldn’t take a mark, and poor kicking was seen. Bears only scored one goal and the Vampires had a goalless quarter.

 

Caulfield Bears had done the job, and moved towards the finals. The final score was East Brighton 5.6 (36) def by Caulfield 9.10 (64).

 

Finally the time to follow professional footy arrived. Before the first bounce, David King predicted that Hawthorn would win by 50 or more points. Hawthorn had played well against Essendon and Geelong, while we had lost to Western Bulldogs, (even though we were tipped to win), and Essendon. So his prediction was unfortunately reasonable.

 

However, I never tip against my Saints. I always have faith in the club and support them passionately.

 

Former Saint, Ben McEvoy played hard on us, kicked towards Gunston and assisted him. Gunston’s kick was reviewed to see if our defender McKenzie touched or not. It was a goal.

 

My good friend Jimmy Webster played on Gunston but didn’t touch him.

 

As usual, I have seen too many wastes in the match. Geary not touching footy, no connection on ball passes in the forward line, and poor kicking.

 

Billings’ kicks made me grumpy. When he had an opportunity to score a goal in the hot spot, he kicked to the right. Then he kicked backwards in the half back.

 

Poor performances made me sick and I decided to get off if the Saints had a scoreless quarter. But thankfully, Steel lifted my spirits. The ball up was pushed towards Jack and he did his job.

 

The second quarter was the time for us to bounce back. Our turnovers were definitely worrying Alastair Clarkson.

 

Our number 15, Jack Billings turned 23 on game day, and he paid back his debt. Firstly the ball up was pushed towards Jack and he got his birthday celebration started on his own. His goal put the score level at 4.4 each.

 

He must have sent a message to footy media, “Don’t compare me with Marcus Bontempelli!”

 

Happy Birthday, young midfielder!

 

Sinclair’s tackles put pressure on the Hawks and then a behind was scored. We were in front. But we were performing as the Bears had done.

 

McEvoy took a mark and scored a goal. His performances seeming to send us a message, “Why didn’t you keep me?”

 

The lead was going back and forth.

 

Membrey’s had good hands and scored a goal. He has said he went to nuts by James Brayshaw.

 

We couldn’t score an unanswered goal. Instead McEvoy had done it again.

 

Paton kicked the second goal in his career, but Hawthorn answered instantly. Hawks led by seven points at Half Time.

Our ruck works were done by young Lewis Pierce on the day. His jobs were terrific.

Within 75 seconds of the third quarter, Armo’s long kick had reached Newnes and he finished his job by scoring a goal.

 

But sadly, my friend Jimmy laid an illegal tackle and a free kick was awarded to Hawthorn. Gunston kicked a goal.

 

Giving away a 50-metre penalty and an awkward fumble made by Austin brought emotion in me. I was more emotional than our coach, Alan Richardson. And I got angry with umpires because they were giving away free kicks to Hawthorn. #freekicktohawthorn

 

Hawthorn kicked four goals in a row and my hope went downwards. Membrey’s miss worsened. But our small forward Jack Lonie kicked our next three goals. His third goal of the day was done directly in front and he kicked beautifully.

 

Blake Acres ran and tackled well.  The Saints made good creation in the forward pocket, says JB.

 

Saints were trailing by nine points at the last break.

 

At the begging of the last quarter, we made a turnover. Lonie kicked nicely towards Gresham. He scored a goal. The opponent coach, Clarko got angry.

 

Sadly, the number four couldn’t use the next opportunity.

 

Like the SNFL game, the professional match had tough contests in the last quarter. We lost the skipper due to concussion for the night and Rice was off too.

 

Lonie’s terrific mark and Goddard’s good kick made the former cricketer a positive comment on us. Ben Long’s long kick didn’t bring us any goal, unfortunately.

 

St Kilda scored only one goal by Gresham and a behind, and kept Hawthorn from scoring a goal at the last quarter. But we couldn’t go back to be in front.

 

We lost by four points. But we played hard and positively. My passion and dedication to playing footy was the same as my boys and they answered for me. But such attitudes need to continue.

 

Now it’s time for me to express my opinions on my beloved Saints.

 

Like many Sainters, I think we have lack of leadership in the group. Geary is still finding out how to lead young players.

As I have been saying, retirements of Nick Riewoldt and Leigh Montagna left a big hole in our leadership as well as skills.

 

My first thoughts are that they should come back to the club to mentor leaders of the group and young players. But some friends suggest that having them as assistant coaches would not work. They think guys having played for other clubs will bring new ideas to the club.

 

But as Nick and Joey are loyal to the club and loyalty is needed for us, I want them back with the club. However, I understand my friends’ points of views.

 

Then, Bob Murphy could do good job, but it could be hard to lure him as he’s loyal to the Bulldogs.

 

The shocking news of Brendon Goddard not being offered a new contract from Essendon reinforced another opinion. I want him to come back to St Kilda. His good kicks are needed on field to bring more wins and young players can learn from his skills and experiences, especially playing finals, including three Grand Final matches.

 

Some St Kilda supporters are worried that BJ’s yells affect other players negatively. Showing anger is not good, but it is but a reflection of his passions: playing footy and the game. When I try to say something in calm tones and the receivers don’t listen to me, I use anger to deliver my message. It would not be good, but I feel I have no choice. So I understand how Goddard feels and behaves. I guess he is okay to communicate with players when he is calm and relaxed. Because of it, his leadership skills are rated low. But I guess his experiences will teach young players.

 

Richo has already mentioned to the public that the fairytale story of BJ coming back to St Kilda would be unlikely. He points out the great list of our defenders means no need of the veteran. It’s a good point. But I think he also could play in the midfield.

 

If he cannot be a player, he should be an assistant coach or a mentor to help developing young talented players. His playing experiences at Essendon would help his duties.

 

It’s said that Richo needs strong support. I agree with that opinion / point of view. He needs trusts from the Football Department and assistant coaches.  The potential move of Brett Ratten joining us would be great as the pair have worked together at Carlton.

 

I want Paul Roos to help us, but am not sure what position is available for him (I would not force him to be a senior coach indeed).

 

Training in Morrabbin would create more time to socialise for boys. Then they would get to know each other more and the core relationships will be established and affect our performances positively.

 

The future is bright, but we must act.

 

Go the Saints, the Bears, and the Dingoes!

 

ST KILDA 4.4 6.6 10.9 11.10 (76)
HAWTHORN 1.3 7.5 12.6 12.8 (80)

GOALS
St Kilda: Lonie 4, Membrey 2, Billings, Gresham, Newnes, Paton, Steele
Hawthorn: Gunston 4, McEvoy 2, Breust 2, Burgoyne, Impey, Nash, Worpel

BEST
St Kilda: Steele, Lonie, Geary, Ross, Gresham, Steven, Billings
Hawthorn: O’Meara, Gunston, Burgoyne, Mitchell, McEvoy, Worpel

OUR VOTES
3. McEvoy (HAW); 2. Lonie (STK); 1. Steele (STK)

Umpires: Margetts, Williamson, Glouftsis

Official crowd: 24,795

 

For more articles on the match click here.

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.

Comments

  1. Steve Hodder says:

    Yoshi san,
    that is the best piece of yours I’ve read. Your writing and your footy are coming along nicely.

    ganbatte

    Steve

  2. Thanks Steve. I could have been just a board member at the Dingoes, but I have decided to give a go on playing. My decision was right because I know the nature of the game more. Your mention is the good proof of it. All the best – Yoshi

  3. Yoshi, thanks so much for the post.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

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