Too Early for Footy?


Goal posts. Kate Birrell, 2015

‘Goal Posts’ Pen, ink and watercolour on paper. Kate Birrell, 2015


Driving to school this morning with my youngest.


…the goal posts are in!”

I knew they had gone up, as I had limped past the oval the day before with a sore calf muscle. A summer hiatus in my usual exercise routine has seen my muscles atrophy and struggle to cope with the moderate 6km power walk around the neighbourhood.

I’ve been lacking motivation…and downright lazy.

Stopping for some respite, I was surprised to come across this crew of goal post installers. Five or six of them, seemingly doing the rounds of Glen Eira.

Surely it’s too early for footy?

Backyard Big Bash doesn’t seem to be anywhere near over.

Embryonic lemons sit snapped and forlon upon the mushroom compost, belted from their stems by excessively ambitious cover drives. There remains a constant thwack against the wall outside, the windows and the portals of the family home; even as I speak, theres a declaration of frustration from Davey Warners father downstairs as a cricket ball swings inward, flying through the backdoor, ricocheting off the kitchen table only to bounce and dribble its way in under the TV cabinet.

Whilst the aspiring first grade cricketer thinks it a superb shot, it has disrupted his fathers engagement with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Lately, the older brothers have joined in again. A renewed interest has seen a longer than usual domestic cricket season being played out on our home made wicket.

It’s been a bonus for strengthening fraternal bonds, possibly not in cementing friendly neighbourly relationships, though. Older boys means louder, angst ridden and hormone fuelled declarations. Together, they are a compelling and somewhat exclusive force.

At pivotal moments they chorus in unison. Their voices pierce the suburban quietude into slithers of expletive encrusted decibels.

OMG, night after night after night….what on earth do the neighbours think?

To myself, I hope they’re at work, hard of hearing, busy tending the camelias or the vegie patch, oblivious to our backyard contentions; or perhaps newly arrived from other places, yet to discern the fruity nuances of our language.

I decide it’s time for tea.

And that it’s not too early for footy.




  1. It is never too early for Footy.


  2. I wonder what goal post installers/uninstallers do in the off-season? Very seasonal work. Maybe the stone fruit and grape pickers instal goal posts as soon as their season is over? And the bookies bagmen and pencillers pull them out after Cup week? Crio – please advise.
    Lovely work with brush and pen Kate.

  3. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi Kate,
    a lovely capturing of a moment in time. Great painting too. Well done


  4. Thanks Yvette…just happened upon the moment as stated. Eighteen years living near this ground and the posts usually just appear and disappear, with never a sign of any human intervention.
    Peter, “goal post installers” has a bit more status than say council guys or blokes or chaps. I doubt it’s listed in the current VTAC guide for future career prospects and courses.. Efficient team though, 8 or 9 minutes it took…..including a smoko.

  5. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    I remember the garden stake goal posts going up in the backyard Kate! That was back when my Cygnet loved playing footy. It wasn’t about March or April, more the first sign of crispness in the morning, the first evidence of the slightest Sydney dew.
    Lovely, thanks.

  6. OMG what do the neighbors think? Common refrain of my wife and I this summer.
    Glad we’re not alone!

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