Stay strong Melburnians!


On 7 July 2020, I celebrate the two-year anniversary of my first and only one goal in my footy career.We hosted the IMPACT Invitational Cup despite the big flood hitting the region. Singapore Wombats and Indonesian Volcanoes tour to Japan and R246 Lions and Senshu Powers have footy getaways from Tokyo.


When we, the merged team of Osaka Dingoes and R246 Lions play against the former AFL player Rick Olarenshaw led Volcanoes, I play on former Bulldogs and Hawthorn defender Brian Lake. Without realising at the time, I tackle Lake and he holds the ball. A free kick is awarded to me and then Bali Geckos President Greg Hinchliffe crosses the mark and a 25-metre penalty applies. I kick a goal directly in front and it’s the only goal the Dingoes score at the match against the Cup holder of the day.


It is a great day for everyone, I believe, and we have a good night at Blarney Stone Shinsaibashi where the Sportsman’s night is held. Brian’s two old sides play at Docklands on the day, so we watch the Brian Lake Cup at the Irish pub.


Two years have passed since then, no one would predict how we are living in this world at present. COVID-19 changes the world rapidly.


Distractions of footy are not exempted. All matches at Round 1 in 2020 are played without crowds and then the competition goes off that is announced while an actual game is going on at the end of Round 1. Local footy is also postponed as well as world footy is held on. No need to say, our Dingoes have to be off for a while.


Then thanks to patience and efforts made by people, Osaka Dingoes are back on training at the end of May. AFL is back on the competition on 11 June. We are planning a match or tournament playing Tokyo Goannas and Tokyo based Gaelic Football Club in July or early August.


Everything seems to improve although slightly and we are happy. But increasing numbers of new cases affect us once again.


In recent days, Tokyo has more than 100 new cases a day. The central and local Governments play down because of increasing numbers of tests. Most cases originate from night spots such as dance pubs, girls’ bars and boys’ bars. But the authority is unwilling to shut the premises and people are unhappy with Goverments’ actions.


As the state of emergency is lifted and restrictions are eased, many people are going back to work rather than keep working at home. Cooperates don’t encourage employees to work at home or set flexible working hours. Tokyo’s circumstances on COVID-19 in recent days can forecast that travel restrictions will be applied, therefore we have to cancel the plan on the oncoming footy match/tournament and we are disappointed.


In Victoria, more and more new cases are found, therefore they have to reimpose lockdown at 10 post codes (36 suburbs) at first and apply strict lockdown to nice tower flats. I’m not sure what is going on in Victoria  but some people say it’s caused by the Black Lives Matter protest and people not taking social distance (I would refer to it as physical distance).


Other states don’t welcome Victorians into their lands and the border between NSW and Victoria shut physically at midnight on 8 July. Therefore Victorian AFL clubs have to go on hubs in Queensland or NSW.


My positive and happy two-year anniversary is a worst day for Victorians, sadly and unfortunately that I feel sorry. The worst number of new cases is found for the last 24 hours and Daniel Andrews led Government has to impose the six-week lockdown starting midnight on 9 July.


I am so sorry for Melburnians who have to go through hard and tough times under the terrible lockdown. And I can sense disappointments for local sports players and their supporters. Furthermore it’s sad not being able to see local footy in actions – especially towards our great friends of Caulfield Bears and AFL Asia’s new friends of Sandown Cobras.


To everyone no matter where they live, please please care about other people and yourself. No one wants to face lockdown. Enjoying your life is essential to live on the earth, but to do so, please follow the new guideline to avoid spreading the virus. For example, don’t spend the night in a bar where fresh air cannot be blown or cannot provide appropriate physical distances between customers. Instead you need to find something entertaining you or that you really enjoy, with following the guideline. Be smart and kind.


Why do you blame Mr Andrews? Do you wait to be instructed by the authority for what you should do and not? Remind that some people didn’t follow the guideline or respect other people. If you blame the premier, do you want the first lockdown not to be lifted? I don’t think it’s his fault.


The above things also apply to Tokyo, but I have to admit that Japan’s Prime Minister Abe and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike do nothing to avoid spreading. They just inform the public that they are dealing with the crisis without detailing their actions and are unwilling to provide any hardship payments. These politicians are useless I am afraid to say and then Dan is doing much better jobs.


Then what about footy? Footy players are sadly criticised about heading to North and even said that they are holidaying. Or players who choose not to go to the hub are targets for criticism. Why don’t you understand they cannot go because of family reasons? Please treat them as humans. Players are not machines!


On the other hand, Hawthorn champion Luke Hodge talks about good leaderships on road trips on SEN on Tuesday morning. It is an inspiring segment with Alastair Clarkson playing guitar story. And Jarryn Geary makes a speech in front of playing group in Noosa with implementing positives and trying to establish solid and core bonds within the club. Such attitudes strengthen the club and show players are standing against the crisis.


I am thinking of Melbourne based Almanackers and readers as well as my favourite footy city. Stay safe and strong Melburnians!!


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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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.


  1. Frank Taylor says

    Thanks Yoshihiro, thank you for your thoughts and perspective it’s very much appreciated.
    Stay safe

  2. Cheers Frank. Hope you are okay and stay safe!

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