Round 9 – St Kilda v Essendon: Friendships and Friendliness

Sunday, 22 May 2016
4:40 pm (3:40 pm in the hot Kyoto)
Docklands Stadium, Melbourne

The day before the game, I said ‘excuse me’ to a young lady at a local 100-yen shop to pass by her in the aisle, but she didn’t say anything to me.

When I help western tourists in the Japanese historical city, some of them compliment us as friendly and helpful. But my perception is opposite, to be honest.

Soon after the shopping, I went to a Japanese fast food restaurant for a lunch. A foreign young woman served me. She was warm and friendly. Her smile was nice so and Japanese skills were great. I complimented her on her language skills and started chatting, and found she was Italian. Then I saw her Japanese colleague served other customers, but was not warm or smily.

At the same time last year, I had a European friend who was close and hanged out often with, but sadly she has gone back to her country. I don’t have a friend who can see in person in my strange city these days.

On Thursday, Leigh “Joey” Montagna and Brendon Goddard appeared on Footy Show. They were teammates, and I believe they remain friends even if they play for different clubs now. I wonder why blokes who face on the field in the up coming game are on the same TV show.

The game day arrived as usual and I was excited to see the action. Before the morning shift, I tuned into the AusKick program on SEN. Tony Schbecci talked to young boys and one of boys talked about his footy mate. It was nice to hear, but I felt sentimental.

Before the first bounce, Nick Riewoldt and BJ were in the centre for the toss. Once again Goddard faced his former teammate. They shook hands and hugged. Their friendships were shown on the footy field.

Rooey won and chose Tony Lockett’s end.

The ball was bounced. But my boys didn’t push hard to score a goal. The game started tougher than I had thought. Were we too kind for BJ? Or were we still under the weather from last week’s defeat to Eagles?

Daniher kicked the first goal for the match. After the second bounce, we struggled with ball works that I have been talking about for weeks. Where are we now, I asked myself.

But Jack Steven took a mark inside 50 soon later and kicked the first goal for the Saints. After the goal, he talked to Richo over the phone on the bench.

Meanwhile, I had to go back to work as my evening shift started at 4 pm, but having no ‘local friend’ and working alone desperately needed company, so I still stuck with the game as our guests would not come back for a while and no one else would come to the inn.

We pushed hard and Paddy McCartin took a mark, but kicked left. Only a behind was scored. David Armitage followed the same path. Behinds were scored as friends’ contagious??

At the second quarter, Joey kicked towards BJ, accidentally showing the friendship. But luckily we got the ball back and ball works have done. Jack Newnes, answered kicking the first goal for the quarter.

Then ‘my friend’ AFL Global Pass live coverage was gone. I changed to SEN, another friend. Terry Wallace is the commentator I admire, but I didn’t want Kevin Barlett on the live coverage because I can’t stand him or his nonsense comments on Hungry for Sports as well as those made by his colleagues on the show.

Back to Global Pass, Josh Bruce kicked a banana goal bringing us a seven-point lead. Then Fox Footy commentators reminded us Riewoldt and Goddard were in the centre wing. They formed the centre wing friendship? Nah!! I prefer to see Rooey to play in the forward.

After congestion inside 50, ball was tossed up. Riewoldt tried to get but it was tricky. Ross caught the ball and passed towards Steven who kicked a goal.

The margin at the main break was only 10 points. Was it to honour friendship between Goddard and his former teammates?

Mitchell Brown kicked the first goal for the third quarter. Fox Footy used white markers on the screen to show the two captains’ movements after the bounce. This method on the live coverage is really annoying as well as Eddie McGuire was commenting on our game. I wish it was covered on Channel 7.

Our mateships widened soon after. Membrey could have kicked a goal from inside 50 but kicked towards Hickey who took a mark. The tall ruckman could have kicked a goal straight, but kicked towards Bruce. As he was close to the goal posts and no Bomber was around, kicking a goal was easy for our gun.

But after Billings missed the opportunity to score a goal, we allowed another goal for Brown. Our attempt was not going well.

Then our new friend Paddy McCartin took a mark as a big boy and scored a goal. He was embraced by teammates.

Dunstan, Riewoldt, Steven, Montagna and Savage did great ball works which we pushed towards goal posts. At last Membrey took a mark and scored a goal.

Again Paddy showed great efforts and scored a goal. Not only kicking goals on his own but also assisting a goal by kicking towards Bruce are what I admire. Teammates’ relations at St Kilda are so strong.

Membrey’s mark was awesome. He climbed high and grabbed a ball. When he tried to come down to the ground level, he hit the back of an opposition player, but he kept the ball and scored a goal again.

Our gun Bruce kicked his fourth goal. He took great friendships on field and got over Essendon’s weapons.

Saints kicked seven goals at the third quarter. The great works continued at the last quarter even we slowed down.

I’m happy to see my Saints win and not to offer BJ a win present. But I enjoy the great friendship with my Bomber friend. We often talk about footy including who to tip.

Back to seeing my life, I need good workmateships like my boys have. And indeed I need good friends to socialise often. I have to meet people in person rather than seeking Facebook friends. As a single bloke, I have to meet friends outside work. But it’s hard to do in Japan, especially with Japanese people due to the life style and culture. If you know someone who lives in Kyoto or Osaka, please introduce them to me. Meanwhile I am seeking a new job that offers a balanced life.

Cheers to the mighty Saints!

ST KILDA 2.5 5.9 12.10 16.13 (109)
ESSENDON 1.4 4.5 7.8 9.9 (63)

GOALS
St Kilda: Bruce 5, Membrey 3, McCartin 2, Ross, Steven, Newnes, Weller, Hickey, Armitage
Essendon: Brown 4, Daniher 2, Baguley, Cooney, Langford

BEST
St Kilda: Ross, Steven, McCartin, Bruce, Dunstan, Montagna, Dempster
Essendon: Zaharakis, Merrett, Kelly, Brown, McDonald-Tipungwuti

Our Votes
Steven (STK 3), Ross (STK 2), Bruce (STK 1)

INJURIES
St Kilda: Billings (ankle)
Essendon: Nil

Reports: Nil

Umpires: O’Gorman, Mitchell, Mollison

Official crowd: 29,026 at Etihad Stadium

 

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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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