Round 23 – St Kilda v North Melbourne: Sad to end the season but hope for 2019 – not only for Saints but also for Caulfield Bears

St Kilda versus North Melbourne
Sunday, August 26, 4:40 pm
Docklands Stadium, Melbourne


I know the Saints would play the last game in 2018, but had a hope for the Caulfield Bears to win the SFNL’s 1st XVII Elimination Final.


Opposed to my hope, unfortunately, Jason Barbin predicted that Keysborough, the opponent would win by 20 points on the Southern Football Netball League’s website.


But like the previous weekend, the Bears would beat being rated underdogs, I believed.


However the game wasn’t played well. No live radio coverage was offered, so I was only able to follow with the league’s live score update. I checked at the beginning of the lunch break and only found out the mighty Bears trailled by 30 points.


Where were our efforts beating the pressure in the do-or-die match at the last Home and Away game? Why couldn’t we keep doing that?


Later on I found out that the Bears  exited from the 2018 season by 61 points. It was a sad day for me to see another season’s end.


I really appreciated Caulfield Bears  allowing me to train with them on Thursday, 19 July at East Caulfield Reserve and wish all the best for the 2019 season. I am sure I am the number one Japanese Caulfield Bears supporter!



And my appreciation also goes to Violet who has written about her footy stories with the Bears girls team here on the Footy Almanac. Without her writing, I wouldn’t have any knowledge of the footy club and couldn’t have found a club to train with while I was in Melbourne.


Here I start talking about the last Saints match in 2018. My schedule to write this story has been changed multiple times due to my amended daily roster  basis. Thanks to heavy rain over night on Tuesday, I cancelled my footy practice on Wednesday morning and instead watched the replay.


We let the key Kangaroo forward Ben Brown to score the first goal of the match. Then Gilbert answered with a beautiful kick saying “keep me at the club!”


But such efforts didn’t apply all the time and bad ball handling was seen all over again.


What happened with David Armitage’s accurate ball uses? He couldn’t take a contested mark that disappointed Richo, and it was two on one. Then Steele dropped off footy after Armo’s long kick and no one collected the ball.


However we have a positive side. Marshall demonstrated good skills in taking marks and kicking. He will have a good future with my beloved Saints.


Jack Steven was smart, he paused kicking as the opponent was ahead. Then he ran and kicked towards Gresham. However the small forward missed the opportunity.


When Lonie tried to collect footy, Majak Daw hit his shoulder and collided with the small Saints. I was furious to see the action, and as well with the umpires who gave NO free kick. Why don’t umpires judge fairly on the games especially towards us?


The Sudanese Australian was booed when he touched footy for the rest of the match. I would boo loud if I was at the stadium. I am still so angry with him and the umpires.


Umpires, why you copped Nathan Brown so strictly and then were soft to Daw? ****ing unfair! And explain to me within a day (in angry voice what Brad Scott uses in the coaches box)!!


Paton scored a goal with having backed up well and finished his job. He was given positive feedback from commentators.


Saints  trailled by three goals at the first break.


The Kangaroo forward who loves Docklands took a chest mark. The ball was flying low, so he demonstrated impressive skills. I wish I could do the same on my games.


But I am also impressed with Austin covering himself, when he was about to miss taking a mark and collected the footy himself.


After a series of good handpasses, Sinclair found open space and scored a goal from 40 metres out.


I think quick and accurate handpasses and kicks are essential to get more wins, and our boys need relevant drills more and more.


And Membrey was struggling with scoring goals and had low accuracy in 2018, he needs to get his rhythm back so that he scores more goals.


We were 35 points behind at Half Time (that I checked at work on that day).


After the main break, Jack Steven showed enthusiasm running hard and kicking two goals. He’s called little bikie, by Fox Footy commentators.


Then eventually Membrey kicked a goal directly in front, thanks to great assists of beautiful kicks done by Marshall and Armitage.


The young forward  Marshall keep showing good skills  taking a mark and scoring a goal. He’s the future star of the Saints.


Higgins’ goal review after the siren was a behind that put the margin to 23 points (sadly North led).


The last quarter was set up to party for the retiring Kangaroo, Jarrad Waite. He kicked a banana goal at the beginning and then later he shot an easy one thanks to an assist at open space.


He could be respected, but we should have worked harder not to offer open space for the opponent.


Our positive performance in the last quarter was Lonie scoring a goal. He kicked 10 goals in the last four games. I wish he could have performed like it for the entire season.


Despite some positive on field performances, we still had basic errors, especially in ball handling.


I really hope handpasses and kicks improve in 2019 to show much offending footy that will excite me much more. Look forward to having Brett Ratten as the assistant coach. Welcome to the Saints, Brett!


The 2018 AFL Season is the memorable one for me as I attended my first game on 20 July. Thanks Rob and Stacey for the accommodation, Yvette for the free ticket and inviting Rob and me to the Social Room, Jen for introducing me to Webster and Austin, and Jo and Mal to catch up with me at the game, and Almanackers  coming  to the North Fitzroy Arms Hotel for the meet up night.


And thanks to St Kilda Football Club for keeping my craziness supporting the club and the former President Peter Summers for the generous offer that I couldn’t take.


Let’s have good hopes to the Saints for playing finals at least, to the Bears for winning the SFNL flag, to Osaka Dingoes for winning more games and to myself for improving skills.


This year, I will try to pick some good performances in the finals for my audio playing book. I will follow good games and take notes and write about the best game each week.


ST KILDA 3.3 6.4 11.6 14.10 (94)
NORTH MELBOURNE 6.7 11.9 14.11 17.15 (117)


St Kilda: Steven 2, Steele 2, Membrey 2, Gilbert, Lonie, Geary, Marshall, Billings, Paton, Sinclair, Newnes
North Melbourne: Ziebell 3, Brown 3, Waite 3, Goldstein 2, Wood, Simpkin, Higgins, Daw, Dumont, Hrovat


St Kilda: Steven, Steele, Carlisle, Ross, Webster, Austin
North Melbourne: Dumont, Cunnington, Ziebell, Higgins, Goldstein, Wright


3. Ziebell (NME); 2. Steven (STK); 1. Higgins (NME)


Umpires: Deboy, Whetton, McInerney


Official crowd: 19,866


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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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