Saturday night footy

  The years click over, but the leathery crack of a good pack mark still makes me horny. It’s only reserves now, but so what? They can hurt you, and try to hurt you, but don’t know how to be a bastard with their bodies when the ball’s in the air. I lead with my [Read more]

Fitzy and the kid

What the hell was Mike Fitzpatrick thinking? He was a mountain. Tough, no thug, just honest tough. A damn good sort of strong to be. Carl Dietrich would make the headlines, Don Scott punch out his own teammates at training. Neil Balme was crazier than any of them. He’d do more damage than the lot [Read more]

Where old footballers go to die

The ball comes in on the bounce. I’ve been killing it in the air for ours. The bald No. 13 has been killing it on the ground for his. When I squint I can imagine Martin Pike. We reach for it at the same time, knocking it on, then, in heat of moment and snap [Read more]

Rain in Tasmania, but training might still be on

I’d spent two days in Hobart drinking with a mate who has nothing to do with football or the bush, which was great. By the second day, though, I was champing to get back to the mountains and hard work. To the rhythm of small waves from every ute I pass and the chubby clucks [Read more]

Torn Thighs and Golden Boys

I tore my thigh muscle in a practice game a few weeks ago, nursed my way through Round 1, couldn’t really train, but rolled out for Round 2, where the opposition ruckman split the injury back open at the first bounce. I played through. With about ten minutes left, I flew for a pack mark, [Read more]


Matty Richardson is known to the people on the ridge. To every one of us. When he was in his prime – fast, unstoppable, winning matches, splitting packs, dominating the air- one of the kids from up here got cancer. Denis was the oldest of six, from a battler’s family, up in the cold drizzle [Read more]