You Know

You Know.   Every time I, or a team I coach, make it into finals, about now, when the time is right and the steel has to come out, I tell this story to the squad. Because it was true. Because it hurt.   It was my first year at the club. We had only [Read more]

Characters III: Almost Everybody Loved Brauz

    Almost everybody loved Brauz. I did, in spades. He was a freak of a player. CHF. Strong, like Ablett Sr. Could leap and kick like Ablett. Run and hit packs like Ablett. He had natural power. Head-to-toe. And never trained and was always on the grog. He would win any 400 race, but [Read more]

The Grass Is Always Greener

Embarrassing Football Moments No. 3,204   The Grass Is Always Greener.   I played a lot of footy with Brendo, many years ago. Better than that, we were mates. It was good to come home for a few days. To catch up. He’d done well in the years I’d been away. Worked hard and used [Read more]

Characters II. The Local Variety.

    The first character I ever saw in footy was at my first club. Andy had long, thin hair, a mo, three stops on each boot, as many teeth and played on the wing. If the niggle was up, and he gave away a free, he’d stand the mark, the ball between his legs. [Read more]

One Point

    The Ressies had it in the bag. The mob we were playing had to beat us to take our spot in the finals, but didn’t. On a day forecast for rain, the clouds danced over the mountain without stopping to even look. Hell, it wasn’t weather, it was scenery. Under that, on the [Read more]

Characters. Part I.

Characters Pt.1.   Lenny Hayes has it. I’m sure. He plays with it, in a way that defines a person. Character. What a jet! I’d be stoked to meet him. Just to say thanks. But there is character, and there are characters. The game needs ‘em. I need ‘em. On the footy field, in my [Read more]

A Lovely Bullet

    I met her up in the mountains, which was rare.   She was tour guiding while I rebuilt the forest floor, in the middle of winter. Head-to-toe in mud. She didn’t care. Come autumn, the girls from down in the Bay had arranged a female footy match to raise money for something. You [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]

Thriving on pain

They. Are. Freaks! Most all of them! I only started watching because of sleep problems. In the midnight, in the bush. And then I was interested, and then I was hooked. The cyclists of the Tour de France rolled and whirled across and up my telly every night. They pushed through pain, they went past [Read more]

Airports and Grunt

    The road must have been in a safe seat. It was shit, but in a good way. Thin, with narrow shoulders, ebbing and flowing through a bumpy patchwork of tar repairs, but, suddenly, it bent and rose across a railway track and smoothed out into a town that was more like a village. [Read more]

Football Memories

      We were engaged. Work wise, her heart was tough, leather. I loved her for that. The way she had dreams. In life it was porcelain. I was in love with that, too. With keeping her safe. I had only ever taken her to one match, when I was still in the bush. [Read more]

16 Makes Bad Maths

    Last week I ran out for my 500th, under the mountains, which felt right. They wore the rain like a goddamn hat. My home was buried in black clouds, as if there was a ceiling above our match. But, down in the valley, from the east, the weather wasn’t that bad. It’s great [Read more]


History is a (not always pretty) Beautiful Thing.   Rory Harrington was a part of a Juniors team I coached eleven years ago. He was always going to be a dairy farmer like his dad, and his dad’s dad before that. School was just killing time. While the other kids dicked around during study periods, [Read more]


  Peter Daicos played for Collingwood. You can’t help bad luck. He kicked amazing goals, and torps on the run, but did something the likes of which I’ve never seen since, early on, when he played on-ball.


Crazyhorse is still the best nickname I’ve ever heard on a footy field. The Galloping Gasometer was a close second. What was it about North Melbourne in the 70s? They were the Kangeroos, and had a gun ruck-rover called Tiger. Richmond had Disco, The Ghost, The General, Whoosha, Hungry, The Flea, who was damn tough. [Read more]

Sunday Sessions

Sunday Sesh’s are the best. There’s something lazy about them. Sloppy. All the gloss and polish of game day and Sat night has been belted off. We’re in a new player’s shed, in town, eating deer on a spit, either drinking slow, easy and constant, or going the hack. The Swans are playing the Hawks [Read more]

I trained them hard

Jesus, I trained those Juniors hard. They were a dead-set chance. At something that would affect them and their community and stay with them forever, like a tattoo for your heart. Sometimes, while training them hard, I’d tell them. I had never won a flag. Not in all those years. Then, my team made the [Read more]

Go Hard

We played at home this week, against the bottom side. Everybody says to everybody, always, “Don’t take them for granted!” and “It’s not just gunna happen,”  and “Go hard!” but they say it without the fire in their eyes, then Saturday comes and they play without fire. Then, at half time, when the bottom side [Read more]

A history of football

A football career is a life. It is it’s own world, it has its own language, which you learn. It tests every emotion, builds character and breaks the weak. It has a birth, adolesence, maturity and, if done right, if seen through, a decline. In this decline you desperately try to pass your strength and [Read more]

What Makes a Footballer?

I can marvel at Judd. But barrack for Goodes. Voss was a Champion. Pike was a legend. Campbell Brown can be a goose. That’s why we love and hate him.