Yoshi Joining Osaka Dingoes AFL Club

I am delighted to announce that I am joining the AFL club, Osaka Dingoes as a player, writer, translator and public relation officer.

Now I am officially a Dingo as well as a Saint.

The club president and player coach Matt Gale found my Footy Almanac article through our common friend’s Facebook post. Matt was impressed with my writing and passions for footy.

Last week, he contacted me and asked me for some contributions to the footy club. Then we set up a meeting.

On Tuesday night, we met up at a pizza izakaya in Osaka.

Matt told me what was going on with the club including missing winning the flag in AFL Japan several years ago, and being told to play in another league. To be a competitive club, he is looking for people to become involved with the club.

I was so impressed with his hardworking and passions to organise things to build the club to the top level.

Writing had been the biggest role I would be involved in and I expressed enthusiasm to him. As the club needs more players, I showed interest in playing and told Matt that it would be good to play in order to understand the rules.

Having never played footy, it would be a lot of challenge as a person who is turning 45 in February next year, but I am excited to play footy.

Matt is from South Australia and was nominated in AFL 1996 national draft, but no club has picked him unfortunately. He visited Japan five years ago on a two-week holiday and fell in love with the country. Thanks to his friend who had been here to teach English and their partners as well as his previous  PE teaching experiences in Australia, he has got a job from an international school. His experience in playing footy at youth at high level blossoms here in Japan well. He’s also a family guy who is married to a Japanese lady and a dad of a four year old boy. The couple is expecting another baby next year.

Matt (left) and me

Yvette gave me a good opportunity to write articles here in 2014 and now my contributions have  expanded to involvement with a footy club. I just can’t find another word than thank you to Yvette or Matt.

My involvement has already started and I will do my tasks on my days off next month and onwards as well as  training coming back in early February. I will make my debut at the end of April for Anzac Week Match.

About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Love, passion and pride are seen on the footy that is the biggest part of my life. 1. St Kilda Club member: I am a passionate and crazy Sainter. Just hope we will win the second flag soon, especially after Dogs and Tigers having ended long premiership draughts. 2. The Osaka Dingoes Player and Public Relations Officer: Player number 44 that I chose to honour Stephen Milne with my wish being like a small forward like him. Lenny Hayes' hardworking attitudes are adopted on my trainings and practices. Nick Riewoldt's great plays are in my player audiobook too. 3. Writing: Here on the Almanac and also on the World Footy News. My skills utilise on great footy websites.


  1. Cat from the Country says

    Way to go Yoshi.
    2018 is looking good for you

  2. Thanks Cat! I am so exciting to take the new challenge of playing footy and public relations duties, and to extend my writing contributions.

    I hope 2018 brings you happiness and fulfilments too.

    Thanks – Yoshi

  3. Yvette Wroby says

    Yoshi I am so pleased for u. This is perfect

  4. bob.speechley says

    Looks as if you’ve fallen on your feet with Matt and hos Dingoes. Can’t wait to hear about your debut in April.



  5. Mark Duffett says

    Great news, well deserved

  6. Thanks for warm and positive words, Yvette, Bob and Mark!

    I will write about training and playing footy here. Also you can read my writing on the club website – osakadingoes.com.

    Cheers – Yoshi

  7. This is excellent news Yoshi. We would love to publish your Dingoes reports here at the Almanac and I reckon Crash Thompson at World Footy News would also be interested. And I’m sure the pre-season will throw up some stories as well.

  8. Thanks JTH. We only play a few games a year, but I will write match reports as well as what is going on at the club. I have checked the World Footy News website’s contact us section but was unable to find Crash Thompson; however he has a Twitter account. Shall we contact him via Twitter or talk to the editor of the World Footy News? Cheers – Yoshi

  9. There is an Australian saying, Yoshi, that goes something like this:
    “You are a long time retired.”
    Looking forward to seeing how you go. Well done, mate

  10. Jennifer Muirden says

    Yoshi, this is bonza news to hear you will be playing for the Osaka Dingoes! Just because you’re 45 doesn’t mean you’re too old (middle aged) to learn new tricks. You’ve certainly already got the chicken wing manoeuvre down pat!

    Cannot wait to read your articles and maybe even see some footage of you training or playing. You are really starting to find your feet and seem the most contented you have been in many years. So very happy for you, Yoshmeister. Keep kicking goals!

  11. Congratulations Yoshi!
    Make the most if it, and enjoy!

  12. Hi Smokie, Jen and Jan,

    Thanks for your comments with warm and kind words!

    Smokie – I could have been a footy player who had retired and then is back on field, like Tim Watson. Or maybe I am a matured aged draftee? Anyway I train and play hard for the mighty Dingoes.

    Jen – You made good points. Never too old to learn and reminding me about demonstrating the chicken wing tackle. I hope skills and talents blossom in playing and off field tasks.

    Jan – I do the very best for the footy club and enjoy playing and off field duties.

    I am writing stories here, on the club website and for the World Footy News.



  13. Earl O'Neill says

    Onya Yoshi! Where will you play? Nuggetty back pocket, speedy wingman, high-flying half forward flanker?

  14. Cheers Earl!

    I’m not sure which position I will be on the footy field… But I guess the defense is not the position because I am small (162 centimetres or 5′ 3″).

    Happy New Year to all Almanackers!


  15. Paul Young says

    Hi Yoshi,
    Good on ya for having a crack.

    My daughter is moving to Osaka next month for work purposes. She has a three year contract.

    My wife just booked flights to Osaka for her and I to visit my daughter in July.

    If the Dingoes are playing/training during my stay, I might bring my gear and have a training run!

    I dare say the club will have a lot of Aussie fans now. Go the mighty Osaka Dingoes!

  16. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your comment with support and warm words.

    We are having a game in July. And I will inform you more details when they come up.



  17. Stone Cold Steve Baker says

    This is outstanding news Yoshi!

    I hope that you enjoy the camaraderie and sense of belonging that comes from being part of a footy club.

    Mazel tov!

  18. Jennifer Muirden says

    Mazel Tov, Bakes? Surely Yoshi’s not Jewish? Are you, per chance? Or is that clever commentary re a sense of belonging and camaraderie? As Pauline Hanson would drawl, “Please explain?”

  19. Hi Steve and Jen,

    Steve – Thanks for your comment. It’s a new challenge positively but I need to get to know well with the mighty Dingoes.

    Jen – I didn’t know “Mazel tov” was the Jewish congratulating and thanks for making your point. I am not Jewish…



  20. Neil Anderson says

    Hi Yoshi,
    Now that I can log on to the Almanac again, I was pleased to read your article about joining the Dingoes.
    It seems perfect for you. A combination of joining a group of like-minded people and writing reports about a game you love.
    If you can actually pull the boots on and play as well, that will be a bonus. I was just a little bit younger than you when we shifted to the country. I called into the local store and met by chance commitee-members of the footy-club. They saw I was about 6 foot tall, upright and breathing and excitingly tried to recruit me for their team. I was excited too for a few hours until my wife said later,” What! They’ll kill you!” I was just starting a new job so I chickened out in the end…but it was great for the ego to be asked at least.
    Your news is fantastic and a great start for you in 2018.

  21. Yoshalenko you beauty ! Good luck Yoshi small tackling forward role awaits

  22. Jennifer Muirden says

    Yoshalenko you beauty! Think that expression will definitely stick. I definitely pay that, ump.

  23. Hi Neil, Rulebook and Jen

    Thanks for your comments, wishes and suggestions!

    Neil – I am sad to hear that you have missed an opportunity to play footy… As a player, I would train and play hard and provide best conditions to meet the requirements. No tanking or cheating. I’m going to the state gymnast to exercise as well as keep riding a bike to get fit.

    Rulebook – Thanks for the kind words and I think I could be a small forward like Stephen Milne and Amed Saad.

    Jen – Thanks for the lovely words. I will play behind the beautiful words.



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