Why I hope my son plays Aussie Rules

As my wife is currently 35 weeks pregnant my thoughts have turned to the hope that my impending bundle of joy will don the boots and play Aussie Rules when the time comes, for mine here are the top ten experiences junior will experience:

  1. the post match cold saugsage role and can of coke – regardless of if you had 1 kick or 50 all can be resolved by the customary post match feast. A key role of the father in the process is to assure the mother that this is vital for recovery and will not spoil dinner;
  2. sleeveless jumpers on a 5 degree day – cautious mothers will guard against this practice by enforcing the use of skivvies, old footy jumpers or the good old singlet, all of which can cause junior to cop much stick fromm teamates
  3. the first goal – whether it be a 25 meter torpedo or a 6cm grubber of the shin the first goal is a life changing experience
  4. rushing off to training – sorry mum but i can’t get to the maths homework just now, i need to get to training to complete the customary warm up of one bloke kicking to a pack of 18 trying to take a ‘capper’ (or this generation may call it a thomas)
  5. the coach – if he turns up with an old woolen jumper with a VFL logo then you are in luck as his directions will be simple, however, if he is wearing skins and carrying a clipboard he will most likely confuse you with words such as ‘process’ and ‘structure’
  6. the first defeat – an important life lesson to be learnt
  7. the sandy middle  – a synthetic cricket pitch covered in sand always attracts one little fella who just doesn’t care much for what is going on around him
  8. the voucher – when its your day and you play like a cross between Carey and Matthews you will most likely win the voucher which usually is either a haircut, meat tray or Mcdonalds voucher;
  9. the new boots – its thursday night and you sit waiting expectingly for dad to get home and take you down to the local sportstore for late night shopping. Moulded, screw ins, black, white, purple, will mum let me wear them to bed?… decisions decisions
  10. the war wounds – scrapped knees, dislocated fingers, rolled ankles, all of which make mum run to the chemist quicker than Usan Bolt.

Junior may prefer the guitar, ballet lessons or the play station.. either way its up to him but if he does take the field I hope he has as much fun as I did.


About craig dodson

Born in the sporting mecca that is Wagga Wagga and now reside in Melbourne with my lovelly wife Sophie and son's Jack and Harry. Passionate Swans supporter and formally played cricket at a decent level and Aussie Rules at a not so decent level! Spend my days now perfecting my slice on the golf course and the owner of the worlds worst second serve on the tennis course.


  1. Craig, may your child be born in your side’s premiership year. (You do follow the Cats, I hope)

  2. craig dodson says

    Swans so I may have to hope for a barnstorming NAB cup this year or ask my wife to cross her legs for 5 years

  3. pamela sherpa says

    Love point number 5.
    Any plan B if your bundle of joy is a girl?

  4. craig dodson says

    we have advance knowledge of the outcome so no need for plan B.. i’ll have to put my thinking cap on if we are blessed with a girl down the track

  5. 11. Reunions: regardless of how good a player he becomes, you can guarantee that as he grows older and attends team re-unions, he will be an even better player with each passing year!

  6. ‘The older I get, the better I was’ Smokie.

  7. One of my favourite sayings, Phanto !

  8. Just got back from the AFL store, the CUTEST BABY FOOTY MERCH is out!!! :)

  9. Sean Curtain says

    Simply beautiful Craig.

    Junior footy is wonderful. We are going into year 3 of my 11 year olds footy career, at least at post Auskick level, with me coaching the Under 12s, so I better get that old school jumper out of the attic.

    You see some great stuff, all the way from skill beyond their years to chasey and crossed legged grass inspection on the backline in a one sided game.

    I love the song after a win in the rooms, done with all the gusto of a AFL team, and then the rush for a hot dog and snake from the canteen.

    Rotating the players of the day awards through the season so everybody wins, cold mornings where parents rugged up in coats and sipping hot coffee tell a freezing kid in a sleeveless jumper and thin shorts to ‘shake it off’

    The restorative powers of magic spray, bettered only by the intervention of a mum, which either cures the knock or makes a kid embarrassed enough to recover.

    Junior kids using grown up changerooms that smell of wet jumper, wee and mud. Kids using orange quarters as mouthguards.

    The first time you see real teamwork, where a kid realises he needs to shepherd not go for the ball. The 1 percenters. Parents making dodgy crepe banners for big matches or events.

    Kids making friends they see only at training and game day, and then not for another 6 months.

    Despite winning a flag last year in a stunning nail biter of a game the best of the year was one player who would have got 5 kicks for the year grubbing his first goal from a few meters out and the entire team running in, Buddy 100 goal style, to congratulate him and tears in the eyes of parents.

    Bring on the season and best of luck with the birth! I wish you many years of junior footy memories.

  10. Classic.

    Now that my lad Theo is four, he is triggering some deep memories of my own at that age. Sounds like you and your kid(s) are going to have plenty of memories, as Sean and his do already.

  11. craig dodson says

    Thanks for the kind words everyone, it looks like nothing has changed in the last 25 years

  12. When my son Myles was born in March 2011, the Pies had just won the Nab Cup, therefore holding every single possible piece of silverware they’d contested in the previous 12 months.

    The year I was born, they took home their inaugural spoon.

    Not sure what that means, but he’s already got a good grasp on one of the those “My First Sherrin” soft mini footies, and the hands-out-in-front-of-the-eyes marking style (albeit on his arse) is textbook.

    Still a 2 (3,4,5 and 6) grab mark, so that’s next summer’s offseason project, along with developing an opposite foot. (to walk on)


    Congrats, Craig. The arrival is an indescribable experience, and it just builds from there.

  13. “Nothing prepares a man for childbirth”.

  14. What a corker piece. Hit every memory gland in the body!!

  15. Damien Holloway says

    I was going to pen some similar thoughts when I found out my nephew had chosen soccer over Aussie Rules. No need now, great stuff and great memories!
    In my case I would have added the obligatory embarrassing parental moment(s), it started early with my old man taking me to K-Mart (??!!) to get my first pair of footy boots. Freed from the tyranny of choice there would be no moulded sole Addidas or screw in Puma’s for me but a pair of cheap Gold Cup soccer boots that were so big they would have lasted me if I played until over 35 super rules. No problems, Dad to the rescue again with 3 square metres of cotton wool stuffed into the toe of each boot!
    Good luck and for his sake buy your boy some cool boots!

  16. 12. The first real wet training session of the year. Seeing who could slide the furthest on their stomachs through the puddle on the wing. Coming off the track weighing three times your normal weight due to the mud sodden woolen jumper, skivvy and singlet.
    13. Not getting changed after your match in the hope that the next age group would need some fill ins and then squeezing into the forward pocket with the older kids. Being happy to just even get a kick, let alone score!

  17. Just read your article. As a Swans fan I find this very funny Craig. My Son was born at the start of September in 2005. You must have been wrapped. Go Swannies.

  18. craig dodson says

    Thanks Adrian, at the start of the year I didn’t even dare to dream of a flag this year but it all came together in a perfect storm. What a day.

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