Somebody influential in my life once said to me you should bite off as much as you can and then chew like crazy. In short, that was one of the reasons I decided to take on the task of Goannas president for 2013 when it was put to me last year. Here’s a toast to good advice.
So, around about midyear of our season, how has the journey been? A hell of a lot of chewing, that’s for sure.
You learn to be thankful, that’s the main thing. Your trepidation at the beginning (and there is a truckload) is only washed away when wonderful people like VP Dan Last, coach Rob Scarlett, computer whiz Luke Eyes ,the extraordinary Binnie’s (Richard and Rachael) who does all and sundry, as well as so many others come in to save the day quite literally every day. If you aren’t thankful for that then your skin has been saved one too many times.
Here’s an example. Daniel Last has just become a new father this year (round of applause everybody). In our round 4 match, a long 2 day tour to Nagoya, we were short of players. Unfortunately, that was the game where Lasty’s firstborn could be due any day so he couldn’t possibly stay overnight. However, the Goanna’s plight was dire in the oppressive heat.
30 minutes before the lads boarded the bullet train, there he was, there to save the day. Talk about beacons and halo’s. It was a gargantuan effort to come all the way just to play a footy game and then rush back onto the bullet train to be beside his wife right afterwards.
There are so many more examples but I would rather talk about something else I learned. Aussie Rules is a sport played by men but the club needs more women involved. I have never seen a club that has been impacted by women more than the Goannas. Lorien Parker was awarded the Golden Goanna earlier this year because the sheer work she did for the club was about the equivalent of what the Wright Brothers did for aviation. For those who aren’t well versed with man-made wings that is a serious influence.
This year it has been Rachael Binnie who has done it all. Organised big events, put the boys’ minds back on track during meetings (don’t underestimate the value of this), hours upon hours of admin work, even cheered us on at training on occasion. It is undeniable. We need more women involved with the club, and I hope more will be inclined to take a larger role in the future.
What about on-field? After all, that is what footy is all about right? Despite our most memorable efforts seemingly being off-field right after games (that is a story for another time), we currently sit 4th on the JAFL ladder with a chance of making the semi finals. On the whole it has been a frustrating year on field I must admit. We have shot ourselves in the foot on many occasions but also been critically hit by injury (have you seen the viral youtube vision of David Ogilvy snapping his leg?).
The heartening thing is that despite not having the best of seasons, we have seen a great influx of fantastic new players and a strong camaraderie amongst the group. It must be that no matter what happens we know we’ll still have a beer waiting at Hobgoblin pubs with our good folks at National Australia Bank. Hey, you can’t blame me for giving our loyal sponsors a plug can you?
Some of you may also be asking, “Where has all the match reports been this year?”. That is a good question and I shall answer that question by asking another question.
“How would you like Bash Brother (our Canadian brother) to start writing the match reports from the perspective of somebody who is newish to the game?”
Sounds riveting to me and he is quite the journalist as it turns out. I still remember his match report on a friendly futsal game he did a year ago. I think it was titled “Bash Brother Wins The Game”.
All jokes aside, I can’t wait to start reading his match reports starting from last rounds stirring win over the Komazawa Magpies where there was almost a sword fight between Luke Eyes and Rob Scarlett over who kicked 5 goals. Apparently only one of them could have and both strongly claimed it. Why the big deal? Well, they are both one and two for the Goanna Golden Boot at the moment. That’s a very big deal.
Trav Wilson might have something to say about that though if his ankle comes good. I think he has played 40 minutes total all year in the regular season for 8 goals! Curse these injuries.
One last thing before I sign off. It has been confirmed that the Goannas have won the service of perhaps the most eclectic and groundbreaking band of our times for the Goannas Black Tie Ball on October 12th. Indeed, you are correct. We have landed Nerd Rock!
If you haven’t RSVP’ed yet then there could be no better prompt. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a once in a lifetime event and it is my hope to see you all there.
Until next time, enjoy the next few weeks of what has been a massively enjoyable finals series for the AFL. A football league that almost rivals our own here in Japan. See you at the Goannas Grand Final Champagne Breakfast!
Anthony ‘Oceans’ Huynh