Waving Money

Waving Money.   Hold on to your storm in a teacups! Word is, some fans took the piss out of a young bloke who chased the money last weekend! Flashed fake dollars at him!    Gasp! Booed, even.    Strewth! What’s more, a few of them made a banner or two that were taken down. [Read more]

Stroppy Jack

Stroppy Jack.   Hark, they call, Stroppy Jack!    His  body language is no good.    He’s surly.    He’s arrogant.    He has a cocky way.   Damn straight.      Why can’t he be like Lenny Hayes?    Why can’t he be like Dunstall?    Why can’t he be like Nick?    Why [Read more]

Off Season Odyssey Pt.5: Dreams, and One in 5,000,000.

  The trouble with an Off Season Odyssey is you don’t get a real break from footy. A day in Melbourne and I’m over it. My old mate, Gianpi, lines me up a week on a demolition crew, which is good, then we have a kick, because we’ve had a kick for 30 years, no [Read more]

Off Season Odyssey Part 4 – The “G”

  by Matt Zurbo   Jack’s in a band. He plays social footy, and fills in with a suburban team now and them. They call him The Butcher. More for the way he kicks than anything. “How was the Tassie west coast?” he asks. “Brilliant,” I say. “Lonely. There just aren’t any people down there. [Read more]

Hangies and Rugby

Hangies and Rugby.   A few days of farm work and, somehow, cutting back from the coast and its relentless winds, I‘ve found myself in the back of a city, over a river and all the lights that frame it, drinking at a hangi with a group of Islanders. Most of them are from PNG [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]

Off-season odyssey. Part I

From the Bottom, Up.   Doug was a postie, one year off retiring. Bert, I reckon, propped up the bar most nights. “I drive an excavator, do as little work as possible,” he said. It was a small town, the smallest. I got the impression Bert’s way was the general way. The sun was an [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]


  I drove down one of the goat’s tracks behind town yesterday, towards home, stopping off at the footy oval, where it all smoothes out into thin, second-hand bitumen roads. The grass was long, everything grey drizzle, rolling hills and mountains that disappeared into low, shifting clouds. My feet weren’t itching at all. It all [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]

Love and Football I

    The most goddamn fantastic thing I have seen in football happened in the Bay, where not enough good things happened. I was at war with most everybody at the time. But, this one nothing day, not hot or cold, a sky going nowhere, I had come into town for supplies. I was talking [Read more]

Football and Music Part II (Finals Music)

    Music is a funny thing when laced with footy.   When we won the flag two years ago and they finally shut the club rooms, most of us broke into the old weatherboard hall we use as changing rooms. An oil drum fire out front, five utes backed into a circle, the same [Read more]

Coaching Solutions

    Okay, already! Alright, alright, I’ll do it. Somebody has to. I’ll coach an AFL team, damn it. Anyone see Mark Harvey being interviewed on Friday night? Died black hair, sunnies, faded grey t-shirt. He looked like another mug who hangs out at the TAB a bit too much. I mean, take away the [Read more]

Mark of the Year: Part I.

    Never take a mark for granted. They are the sweetest thing. Never take The Mark of the Year for granted, either. People say it like it’s a fact. “That was the mark of the year!” Full stop. Odds are, Walker will win the telly one, but footy means many different things to many [Read more]

Grand Finals Part I

  When my season finished in a deficit of four bitter goals and biffo, a big map of the country, with about 20,000 pinheads marking football ovals opened up. So, thanks to Sammy Harriott, I went home to the Otways. The tough, leathery bush champion had pulled his battered body together and come out of [Read more]

Football and music. Part I.

    Tonight in Tassie, outside, the city streets were still with cold. Empty. Inside, sitting in the warm seaweed sway of a noisy Friday night pub, I was watching the footy on a small monitor above the wine fridge, while the band, behind me, did their thing. The football looked strange. A pocket of [Read more]


Pendlebury.   The pub was small and full. There was a great no-name band crammed into the corner, a few loose units dancing, people in booths talking, everybody pushing like mud rivers to get to get drinks, to the smoker’s section, to and from the fire. I wore them all, and the music, like a [Read more]

Lockett to Winmar

Winmar to Lockett.   Lillee to Marsh.   Just saying it sounds beaut.   In footy, in my generation, it was “Winmar to Lockett!” Oh, yeah!   Winmar. To. Locket. Just to hear those words again.   Before my time it was Farmer to Goggin. We are all history, or soon will be. I would [Read more]

Fitzroy: Part I

Fitzroy Pt. 1   Lou barracked for Geelong and had a wicked laugh. All bongs and cackles. I’d had my wost year ever, at the club I liked least, and had qualified for reserves finals. Fuck the ‘locals first’ policy. I played a corker. We lost anyway. The season was done. As planned, Lou and [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]