The Whole of My World

Nicole Hayes recalls a suburban childhood in the 80s when footy was king. In this bygone era, girls were banned from playing, leaving her to wonder what might have been.

How to Watch Footy (part 15): Innocence

Vin Maskell believes competitive footy should stop at Grade Six. Anything after this should be kick-to-kick, circle work and training drills.

Art (pen and ink): Missed Game

Kate Birrell’s young man missed a cliffhanger with his mates because of a two degree morning. Sometimes you learn life’s lessons the hard way.

Red socks

Start a grey Monday morning with some colour thanks to our new contributing artist, Kate Birrell.

Easy targets

Peter Davis was struck once while umpiring. It was in a game of under 14s.

Morals v Medals: Who comes out on top?

Hannah Kuhar raises the issue of playing to win at the cost of participation in junior sport.

Bless me Father, for I (may) have sinned

Bless me Father, for I (may) have sinned. Maybe it was our esteemed leader Mr Harms writing about Assumption Day recently (rightly corrected by one of the Micks amongst us as the Feast of the Assumption and a Holy Day of Obligation) but I feel the need to get religious and seek forgiveness. I recently [Read more]

Bringing back the love…

Sometimes we all need a reminder about why we love footy. For some people, they may need this gentle nudge weekly. Over the weekend, at AFL level, many Hawthorn, St Kilda and Essendon supporters may have felt the need to stop loving footy, or question the relationship they have with the game. Elsewhere, Richmond supporters [Read more]

Say it ain’t so

One thing I have learned about being a parent is that kids have to grow up and as much as you want to protect them from the world and what comes with maturity and age, you can’t always do that. One thing I have learned about junior football coaching is that you want to set [Read more]

Where do footballers come from

Sunday Morning Coming Down. Emma Quayle has written an excellent intro to this years draft in The Age on Thursday last. That set me thinking about the provenance of those players. For example, it seems to me the number of Father-Son success stories at the draft seriously outweighs their genetics-based statistical-likelihood. I have as a [Read more]

Thinking back on the U12s

BY – JACKSON CLARK After recently helping out with some coaching of a local U12s Darwin Juniors side, it made me reminisce of the times when I was running around on those modified grounds. I played juniors for a side called the Sanderson Swans between the ages of seven and 11. Our team was made [Read more]

Lessons passed on from Dad through Football

“Just kick the bloody thing” my father and I screamed out in unison as Lewis Roberts-Thomson had ambition confused with ability as he tried to clear the ball from defence. When it comes to football I am clearly my father’s son. Last weekend I took my 6 week old son Jack to Wagga to meet [Read more]


With the AFL starting their season with a cracking opening round of games, that seems in many cases to have divided tipsters, and other leagues around the country in full swing, it is worth sparing a thought for where all this begins, especially playing careers. This weekend sees the start of junior football, at least [Read more]

Welcome to the new Coach

With less than three weeks to go to the start of the football season, there are a number of new coaches anxiously counting the hours until Round 1. For some of them, this time will be one of either confidence that they have inherited a well-managed list with great potential, or a realisation that there’s [Read more]

Third time unlucky

The air-raid siren blares through the oval, signalling the end of the game. The players in navy blue scream ‘yes!’ in a state of euphoria, pumping their arms and sprinting to their fellow players to celebrate with them. The 2011 Northern Football League Under-12’s Grand Final has just been won. On this side, jubilation is [Read more]

Cometh the hour, Cometh the Man

By Michael Smith One of the great moments in footy which I was fortunate enough to have the pleasure of witnessing. Saturday, U12’s Grand Final Blackburn v Croydon Burners (Blackburn) 5 points down with 40 seconds left on the clock, boundary throw in right forward pocket 20 metres from Blackburn goal, Jack Roberts (rucking tirelessly) [Read more]

Football’s Not Everything

    Murder was a talented kid, and trouble. A ratbag, a thief. Chockers with personality. I wasn’t wide-eyed, but I liked him a lot, anyway. Maybe because when I was a kid I was a bit of trouble. Maybe just because.   There doesn’t always have to be a reason.   He could play [Read more]

Mining young footy talent at Roxby Downs

I’d like to introduce Rob McLean who writes a popular country footy column called Footy People. (Ed)   Rob is an SA based football fanatic who once dreamed of playing in Central District’s first premiership side At 34 and a half, he still believes he could play in a Doggies premiership, but instead is winding up his career [Read more]

A Magic Moment

It was 1979, early Spring. A skinny little kid stood on the half forward flank waiting for the opposition’s full back to kick the ball back in. The mud grabbed at his boots but wasn’t so wet that it made him feel grounded. The early Spring sun was ridding the ground of the rank smelling, [Read more]

So what’s the score?

There’s been a lot in the media recently about the ugly parent syndrome at junior football matches, where feral mums and dads disgrace themselves by behaving badly on the sidelines. But what about the technologically-challenged parent syndrome? The game is definitely changing. I’ve had a go at most things in following the footy career of [Read more]