Round 7 – St Kilda v Melbourne: Enjoyed Sports Weekend despite the losses

St Kilda v Melbourne
3:20PM, Sunday May 6
Docklands Stadium, Melbourne



Thursday, Kyocera Dome in Osaka

It was the long holiday weekend here in Japan called Golden Week. Matt has offered Osaka Dingoes players free tickets for the baseball game played by Orix Buffaloes and Saitama Seibu Lions. But I was the only Dingo to join him, his parents and his son.


I am not a baseball fan anymore, but enjoyed watching the game. The Buffaloes were merged by Orix Bluewaves and Kintetsu Buffaloes in 2004. The game was played as Kansai Classic and Buffaloes wore uniforms of the old Hankyu Braves (Orix bought the Braves in 1988 and became Orix Braves following year and then changed to Bluewaves).


The game was so tight, but Lions batted well and sank the locals (Buffaloes). We barely saw Buffaloes were hitting the ball and left the stadium at the end of the eighth inning.


Saturday, Kyoto Racecourse

Once again, Matt’s invitation to the horse races attracted only me. I was happy to spend time off with them and Matt was happy to hang out with me.


During the tenth race, he spotted a western couple and suggested me to talk to them after the race.


Matt started chatting and I followed. They are Irish training horses in my native land of Hokkaido.


With his advice, I bet on their horse named Chardonnay Gold who was running the next race (main race called Kyoto Newspaper Cup).


Chardonnay Gold finished at the third and I got money back.


While they stayed until the last race, I had to leave the course after the main race to get to work.


Sunday morning, Arashiyama in West Kyoto

A week before, I rode a bike there and found a good field. I had planned to practise footy at another park after a short stay in the suburb, but I couldn’t wait for touching footy so I started practising. Then a bloke talked to me and we started kick to kick. He told me it was my oval.


As the park where I had planned to practise had a labour union family day a week ago, I was worried of seeing another event there, so I chose the Arashiyama Oval to practise footy.


Sadly my trainer was torn deeply during kicking and I had to buy a new shoes afterwards.


Then like last week, a bloke approached me saying Konnichiwa. After I said back Konnichiwa, he asked me if I practised footy or not. I said yes and he joined to do kick to kick.


Arashiyama Oval

The author in his Osaka Dingoes guernsey


Later he and his partner told me that their son was playing footy with Alan Richardson’s son. They took a picture of me so that their son could show it to Richo’s son. I hope our coach saw it and recognise me when I watch a St Kilda game.


By the way, I was wearing an Osaka Dingoes guernsey and a St Kilda cap.


Sunday afternoon, Starbucks Cafe at Sanjo Bridge in Kyoto

I had a day off on the game day but no Dingoes training, so watched the professional game live with Watch AFL.


Due to Demons’ tanking allegation having used a game against us to get an early draft pick, I have a rivalry with Melbourne.


Losing to Demons is so frustrating, especially because we won 14 games in a row. My emotion is like Paul Chapman vowing never lose to Hawthorn after Jeff Kennett’s silly comment known as Kennett Curse.


Welcome back to my favourite Saint of David Armitage. He was interviewed by Jimmy Bartel and suggested to lock in the forward line to win the game.


Saints dominated at the beginning and pushed hard to our forward line. But we wasted opportunities to score a goal. Why couldn’t we fire up to put much pressures on the Evils?


We tackled well that made Richo smile, but ball handling was once again sloppy. Kicking to remote and our boys couldn’t collect footy. Instead Demons got free tickets.


Gresham finally broke the tight circumstances kicking a goal with basketball style (running and bouncing). But Spargo responded.


Gawn’s mark led Hogan’s goal.


While Dees used ball well, McCartin dropped the ball and no one was in the back line giving Patracca a goal away.


However Armo released emotion not playing AFL footy by scoring a goal 40 metres out directly in front.


Sadly our bad habit came back when Billings’ commitment only brought a minor score.


And once again Paddy wasted an opportunity to kick to the other side of the posts inside 50. He seems not to have confidence.


Armitage couldn’t use an opportunity after being awarded a 50-metre penalty in the second quarter.


But the coast to coast footy in the right wing finally produced Membrey’s goal. He kicked 30 metres directly in front. We need such footy to scare opponents off.


At the main break, I identified St Kilda’s issues. Here are what I wrote in my footy match reports notebook.

  • Marking issues
  • Lack of contesting (and back up)
  • Inability of finding the right space
  • Kicking issues


With the third one, Channel Seven commentators told audience that our boys thought too much.


Our two goals in a row at the beginning of the third quarter brought a hope to win.


Long caught a ball kicked by Weller and ran to find a right spot to finish his job.


Hickey took a good mark and kicks arrived to Membrey’s hands directly in front. It was easy to finish for Tim.


We were 16 points behind after two goals.


But we allowed Demons to play footy in their hands and foot.


The last quarter made me feeling hopeless to the game and losing my energy to cheer boys up.


Why don’t boys learn from past mistakes? What can they improve?


How can they blossom skills?


It’s like me wasting talents and skills in my life. I want a better job that fulfils me as well as a romance.


Both Paddy McCartin and myself need to tackle these issues. He would need more advice by coaches and I need effective advice and even a life or dating coach. I hate feeling stuck.


I sense Saints and myself are going through the same path.


Or should I forget about ladies and just focus on footy and improving writing skills? I am wondering my writing skills are enough good or not.


As I have mentioned before, a revised game plan is needed and Richo should coach on the bench for effective communication and cheer boys up. Paul Roos coached on the bench and his boys performed better.


Alan, please sit downstairs for the rest of the season.


Tough times for both the mighty Saints and me. I wish I could help my boys and get advice for my life other than footy.



ST KILDA 2.5 3.8 7.10 9.13 (67)
MELBOURNE 5.1 8.6 13.10 16.10 (106)

St Kilda: Membrey 2, Long 2, Armitage 2, Gresham, Dunstan, Hickey
Melbourne: Hogan 3, T.McDonald 2, Weideman 2, Spargo, Gawn, Petracca, Jones, Tyson, Harmes, Brayshaw, Oliver, Neal-Bullen

St Kilda: Ross, Webster, Steven, Newnes
Melbourne: Oliver, Hogan, Brayshaw, Tyson, Lewis, Hibberd

3. Hogan (MEL); 2. Webster (STK); 1. Lewis (MEL)

Crowd: 25,496



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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