Canadian James Dennier, or Bash Brother as he is affectionately known around these parts, catapulted himself to cult status last year in a series of inexplicable events. It was also his first year with the Tokyo Goannas, and his first you playing Aussie Rules… ever.
I got a chance to catch up with him this week to see what goes on behind the beast. Here, Bash talks about his aims for the future, his relationship with club legend Dan McGrath, and what playing this great game is like for a Canadian.
Oceans: Thanks for joining us today Bash. So, how was your first taste of Australian football last year?
Bash Brother: Confusing
In what way?
In the sence that Aussie Rules can only be described as a series of non-sensical guidelines combining Rugby, Basketball, Ultimate frisbee. Moreover, the only answer to my questions of what to do and where to play was “uhh, yeah, just get stuck in”.
And am I right that getting ‘stuck in’ was how you came about the name Bash Brother?
No McGraw dubbed me Bash Brother in practice because I’m Canadian and apparently someone in the movie The Mighty Ducks is called the same.
So you are saying there’s some tension going on there? There’s a rumor you almost got McGrath in trouble with some Rugby players. What’s the story there?
McGrath (very generously) had been buying me drinks for about six hours. I guess a bunch of rugby players had come in freshly off losing the Grand Final. I asked McGraw who they lost to, then immediately started to chant that name “SUUUUNNNNTOOORRYYYYYYYYY” Mc_raw being a solid team mate through thick and thin then made a hasty tactical retreat.
Well McGrath did mention something about having wet dreams regarding something you did onfield? Am I right? What happened?
Oh, in our game against the Magpies, I had to make a play on the ball, but I had the guys closing on me and nowhere to go with the ball. So I soccer kicked it off the ground to Lukey and then smashed through the three Magpies like a thunderbolt from a triton.
Would you say that is one strength you have as a player? Being an aggressor of sorts?
As of now, I’d say thats pretty much the only thing I do well!
Bash the incident involving you in the Osaka home and away game has pretty much been Goanna folklore. What were you thinking trying to get the biggest guy on the ground angry?
Well, I wanted to hammer the big guy to send a message to the whole team. I don t really know if it worked or not. It was fun though.
You told him it would happen ‘all day baby!’
Yeah, wasn t really able to follow-up on it. Hopefully it’ll “be like that all season” this year.
How do you think the Goannas will go this year? What can we expect from you this time around?
I would expect another title. As for me, I’m hoping to get into the ruck. My goal is to be able to position myself a lot better and bring a physical dimension to the team. Hopefully, get a goal and complete a hand-pass.
Another title would be perfect. Finally, and advice for the kids looking up to you out there?
Remember, I am an athlete not a role-model. Everything I do, do the opposite.
Wise words there. Thank you for your time Bash. Good luck for the season and see you for a cold one at Hobgoblin in Roppongi.
Cheers Oceans. See you out there.