Getting some dirt on your boots

How do you teach junior footballers to deal with on-field bullying? Dave Brown’s not so sure you can.

You’ll just shut up and do as I say

Barry Mitchell reports on the psychological and physical upheaval that can be experienced in something as innocuous as junior footy running

Umpiring: the consolations of mythology

Dave Brown wonders, then thoroughly understands, why they need to point out umpires are human.

Junior Almanac: Winning is a plus, good footy is a must

Abby Lennon (11 years old) played in a Grand Final last Friday night, for the Wests Bulldogs. It was the first Brisbane Juniors Under 13 Girls Grand Final ever. [Terrific stuff Abby – Ed].

Junior Almanac: Sandgate Hawks Give Father and Son a Day to Remember

Luke Smith (13-years-old) had the taste of Grand Final nerves ahead of playing in last Saturday’s big one. Could he and his Sandgate Hawks do it?

The Rise of Women’s Football Part 2: State

The second instalment of Callum O’Connor’s features on the rise of women’s football. The establishment of a State level has given the country’s talented female players an environment in which they can develop their skills.

What Do You Tell Your Son On The Eve Of His First Grand Final?

In his first season of footy for Inverloch U/11’s, Jack plays in a grand final. While marvelling at the spirit which abounds in country football, Haje Halabi manages to offer his son a few words of advice.

Message to Coaches

As junior footy leagues start winding up for 2015, the Almanac received this open letter to junior football coaches everywhere, from a football coach’s wife.

Oak Park Football Club – dreams on offer

A touching memoir in which Matt Watson recalls his childhood dreams – formed on the J P Fawkner Reserve – of playing in the big time. But there were other Oak Park players who made it. And we also discover how it came to pass that Matt is a North Melbourne fan.

Simpler footy

Josh Barnstable reflects on his formative years spent falling in love with our great game.

Junior Footy: The Journey Begins

Wesley Hull reminisces about his junior footy days and now that he’s a coach at junior level himself, Wes shares his argument on why it’s essential that the scoreboard stays.

Junior footy’s faux pa’s

Jeff Dowsing wonders where have all the fathers gone? The increasing role of women in footy is welcomed, but is it because men have vacated the role? (Raises important issues for our society, not just our sport – Ed.)

Is junior football too politically correct ?

Are we becoming too precious as a society? Wrapping our kids in cotton-wool? Jakson Clark poses these questions and more.

St Kilda Red pipped at the post by a point

Is momentum the most important factor of Aussie Rules at any level? Will Marcus’ Meadow become a long term game style? These questions, and more, arise as Joe Gillis casts his eye over a thrilling Under 12s epic.

Goal of the year

A lovely tale about the birth of a sporting highlight

What footy and kids have taught me about tolerance, understanding and behaviour in recent weeks – An act in three parts

Sean Curtain likes thinking out loud. Which is what he does here as he works his way through some complex issues of identity and social interaction. He learns something from an Under 13 footy side.

Inside the Sydney Swans Academy

Matt Schoemaker gives the inside word on the Sydney Swans Academy as his 10-year-old son is put through his paces by Paul Roos.