Saints in New Zealand

“Saints in New Zealand”

My favourite t-shirt says. It is the reason why I follow St Kilda.

This brilliant sentence means annual Anzac Day clashes played in Wellington, for me.

As a club member, I got an email from the St Kilda Footy Club on Wednesday afternoon. It is about New Zealand opportunities. I thought that the mighty Saints would play more games in Wellington.

Having to work, I was unable to read the email until late night.

But reading sentence by sentence, I was disappointed. The contract between Wellington City Council and St Kilda Footy Club would not be renewed.

Then I visited club’s Facebook page. A fellow Sainter says that the club is seeking Christchurch as a new venue in the Kiwiland.

Having found it is on the AFL website, I found AFL understood the club was approaching Christchurch.

It is sad that my club will not play a game in my favourite New Zealand city any more, but I hope we will establish a new and good relationship with Christchurch.

Christchurch is my second favourite city in New Zealand, and I prefer South Island to North Island. I have been there twice and love the garden city.

As you know, rugby union is what Kiwis are passionate about. The city is a home of strong super 15 club, Crusaders.

I cannot say if we can attract rugby union tragics to attend St Kilda games or not, but I would advise to give it a go.

Having researched stadiums in Christchurch, I learnt that Lancaster Stadium was demolished due to the 2011 earthquake. That was sad to find out. The Crusaders are temporary playing at Rugby League Park.

Its capacity is only 18,000 at present. Then I wonder if playing at the stadium is good for the club and the city council or not.

But the club’s passion of introducing a unique Australian sport will be great and beneficial in the long term.

It will be good not only for the Saints but also for Christchurch City Council, I think.

Passionate Christchurch sport lovers will have opportunities to learn another sport code and the city council will give the go ahead to build a new sport stadium. The Saints games will encourage Christchurch to move forwards positively with a slight economy boost.

I am sure Sainters will enjoy the game as well as exploring around Christchurch.

It would be positive for Saints to go marching in New Zealand although I wanted the mighty Saints to win in Wellington.

Go the Saints!

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. Steve Hodder says

    Ohaiyo Imagawa san, what about Japan beating South Africa in the rugby world cup? Perhaps the Japanese will have an interest in that sporting result? I think the Kiwis noticed.

    Ja mata.


  2. What , not playing in Wellington !?! Damn it, my Anzac Day plan is out of kilter. But being serious Yoshi, the fact the Christchurch ground has a capacity of 18,000 shouldn’t be a concern. Crowd figures have fallen all three years in Wellington, so maybe a new location might bring some more fans in the gate.

    Great seeing Japan beat the Jaapies in the Rugby. Couldn’t happen to a better side.


  3. Ah, interesting. Well spotted, Yoshi.

    Not sure that there’s an oval in Christchurch suitable for AFL, outside perhaps the new cricket oval in Hagley Park, with capacity up to 20,000 with tetmporary seating?

    But the AFL is also getting behind a ‘new’ oval in Auckland just outside the North Harbour rugby stadium. While capacity will not be large, there is an “inaugural 2016 AFL New Zealand Premiership” commencing at the ground in February that even Gillon McLachlan seems to be talking up–so that might be a clue of sorts?

    PS: Yes, great win by Japan this morning! Would have to be among the top 5 sporting upsets of all time?

  4. Thanks for your comments guys and sorry for the very late respond.

    Steve – it was a big upset. But I admit I am a big All Blacks fan (sorry Australians).

    Glen – it must be sad for you too. The news was on the club website. Hopefully the Saints will gain more spectators in Christchurch. Unfortunately we were not able to change the circumstances.

    Peter – thanks for your information about stadiums. As footy games are played at ovals, why not playing at Hagley Park? I hope the Saints will find a new Kiwi home soon?



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