Almanac (Country) Footy: Boyhood days watching Lemnos at Princess Park

In this extract from his book ‘Loose Men Everywhere’, John Harms remembers going to Princess Park in Shepparton in the early 1970s to watch Lemnos play.

Almanac Photography – Bush Footy Grounds: Moon Rising at Macarthur

Paul Buxton has been traveling in Victoria and sent in this delightful photo of the footy ground at Macarthur.

Almanac (Footy) Memoir: Statute of Limitations

Roger Lowrey has been sitting on a secret for a while. [Very entertaining debut piece! Ed]

Unrushed, Unspoken

Old Dog kicks the footy in the bush.

Portrait of a Club in Hard Times

In this poignant fictional offering, ER paints a telling portrait of the struggling bush club where changing times test the resilience of local stalwarts. (Some beautiful imagery here. – Eds.)

Round 15 – GWS v Geelong: Game End (Far from a match report – this raises a number of timely issues)

How does the modern player respond to a draw, or to any result? What is the nature of a three quarter time address? Has the club tribe become a single football tribe of players drawn from the same pond. Should players be more gutted at the result, or their own performance. Lots to consider in Old Dog’s piece – in which he is really thinking through matters out loud.

Almanac Yarn: Davo pulled it to the left.

This may or may not be true. But, in his debut piece for the Almanac, Curtis de Mar tells the tale of Davo, footballer and lateral thinker who was always late for games.

Summer Fields

Bert Spinks shares his love of abandoned Tassie footy grounds in majestic surroundings – ” in remembering what has passed, my gratitude is renewed for what there is now”. (Sheer poetry -Ed.)

Off Season Odyssey – Part 13: The Word, Mates and Country Legends

This piece was written by Matt Zurbo two years ago about the single best bloke he met through playing footy. Hit by a car training for his 22nd year of Seniors. In loving memory.

Off Season Odyssey – Part 26: Bread and Sports

Somehow, while heading towards work on the Gold Coast, the ute stops at a pub.    Well, I never! How could it not? The town is high in the mountains, full of trees and old school buildings, which make it look much smaller, more forgotten than it is, in good ways. The pub’s the St.Kilda [Read more]

Off Season Odyssey – Part 22: Unnoticed Echoes

    The day’s been perfect. Lost and perfect. I have money in pocket, hard work behind me. There’s only five clouds in the sky. Each one worn by a mountain range, making their own weather. The town is perfect, to look at, anyway. To drive through. To drink at. Walking into the pub, surrounded [Read more]

Off Season Odyssey – Part 19: Blood

    Uncle Les is dying. It’s not right. I have such vivid memories of him being so damn imposing. So solid. All Hungarian, with that slicked back hair, the angular face, barrel chest. That way. Straight down the line. Now he’s skin and bone, there nothing there. He sits opposite me in his house [Read more]

Footy Book Review: Legends and more Legends

Peter Crossing reviews Sean Gorman’s Legends, and Ken Piesse’s Legends of the Bush.

Off Season Odyssey – Part 16: Not Every Club Is Roses

Off Season Odyssey Pt.16.   Not every Club is Roses.   The plan is simple. Vaguely bounce through Kingston, S.A., then wobble towards Gypsy Point, somewhere on the other side of the ranges, where there’s work on the coast. About two days away, give or take. But there’s a beaut pub just off the highway, [Read more]

Off Season Odyssey – Part 11: New Year’s Without Resolutions

Off Season Odyssey Pt11.   New Year’s Without Resolutions.   Princetown has a beaut oval. Round. Hard. There’s no team any more, no town. Just the reedy wetlands that is the last gasp of the Gellibrand River, where farmers, back in the day, paddled their milk downstream, on longboats, to the Saturday market. Just coastal [Read more]

Almanac Rugby League – Getting to the heart of the matter with the Seconds

Longevity and loyalty. Priceless virtues, they are the cornerstone of bush footy. And if you really want to see the type of bloke that lives and breathes country rugby league, the character that epitomizes the game’s ethos, just get to the ground early and check out the reserve graders – the ‘reggies’ – go round. [Read more]

Quietly, a line in the sand.

  Quietly, A Line in the Sand.   I went to Southport in Tasmania the southern-most town in the land, looking for the southern-most footy oval in the country, or, I dunno, unless they play Aussie Rules that far south in New Zealand, maybe the world. But when I left I saw the dirt road [Read more]

Regrets and Odysseys

  Gianpi and Sergio were two of my best mates. When they were about 20 they hopped in a car and headed north because it was facing north. Just drove and drove. By the time they reached the Northern Territory they had $20 dollars between them. The caravan park operator saw their Victorian license-plates. “Can [Read more]

A Lovely Bullet Part II

    Tribes and Family.   The function was a ripper. My fiancé and I were drunk and in love. Despite it all. I remember dancing with her. How good it felt. She was all happy and shy about it. A tiny woman, or, maybe, in hindsight, girl, surrounded by all us apes. Big donks [Read more]

Now He Can Play

Now He Can Play.   This happened on one of those beaut days, down in the rolling Carlile Valley, where Otway sometimes play their home games. Mid-season, usually, to get away from the mud of the mountains and let the ground mend. Carlile is the bush. Nowhere, in the best way. It doesn’t even have [Read more]