On the walk down from Futakotamagawa Station to the riverside oval last week's tour to Osaka is sure to be the main topic of conversation. For those of you who won't be able to make it out to training to hear the stories first hand here are the things the Goannas learned while having a kick in Kansai.
1. SatTrav goes anywhere
Further depleted following the round one win in Yokohama, the Goannas found direction in 150+ JAFL game veteran and team Senpai, Travis Wilson. SatTrav navigated the team out of a midfield low on rotations, through the more obscure parts of Kansai and most importantly, around the dance floor of the Osaka Namba discothèque.
2. Nintendo Switch in the Mushroom Kingdom
Buoyed by his blockbuster Easter Saturday performance and proximity to Nintendo Co. headquarters in Kansai, coach Sam Ghirardello handed the captaincy to Pete ‘Super Nintendo’ Chalmers for the tournament. Borrowing inspiration from Super Mario, captain Chalmers asked his Goannas combatants to reclaim the kingdom (Anzac Cup) from the throws of Japan Samurais' captain, Michito Sakaki, and his Koopa Troop.
3. (Boots) got hauls in different area codes
Seemingly this rousing pre-match address had quite the impact on Owen Kearney, with the People’s Boot casting aside his recent kicking woes for four tournament goals and a super-sausage from outside 50 in the Osaka clerb (her age, not metres).
4. The new religion taking Japan by storm – the Church of Yuuj!
The prior Easter Saturday fixture had ignited a religious streak in Goannas’ swingman, Ijuy Otomamay, albeit by enacting the role of Judas in electing to play for the Japan Samurais against the Super Mario inspired (and Luigi Ghirardello coached) Goannas. Fortunately, Yuuj returned to neutralise Osaka Dingoes forward, Matt Gale in the Goannas second fixture. Otomamay declared to Goannas Media post-game that he was, ‘pretty chuffed’ with his performance on Gale. Enter the Church of Yuuj.
5. Sausage Saloon franchises now limited. Get in quick!
Not to be outdone by Boots, ‘Big Dog’ Bonham opened his Sausage Saloon franchise in 2017. Seemingly doing anything to protect his new business interests, The Dog placed himself in the heart of the Goannas defense (and even into the Hiroshima Cranes attack) to nullify any competition to his burgeoning sausage franchise. Goannas Media also has it on good authority that the much loved cult figure is also at looking at expanding his empire with Tokyo’s first 'Pizza Izakaya' franchise.
6. Wyatt to sweat on MRP
With ‘Big Al’ Wyatt proving his value across the field over the course of the Anzac Day Cup, the Goannas’ faithful would have been delighted in the return of the transposable key forward. Such sentiment will surely soon be dashed with the JAFL likely to review two incidents taking place in the early hours of Sunday morning. Video footage captured of a soiled t-shirt cannoning out of a fifth floor hotel room is unlikely to assist the Goannas forward’s chances, but rather just reinforce his ‘Pest from the West’ moniker.
7. Back to school, back to school
Even after completing his AFL Japan umpiring accreditation over the course of the pre-season, Sam Onigiridello could be forgiven for any confusion surrounding the recent 2017 rule changes. Embarrassingly however, Goannas Media microphones have picked up the veteran ruckman asking the officiating umpire in the Goannas v Cranes tie whether he is able to play on following a marking contest. When informed that this was within the rules, Onigiridello is understood to say, “oh, sweet”. Onigiridello refused to comment when approached by Goannas Media.
8. Check-in for the Goannas defense closes at 11:59
With some football media circles questioning the exclusion of Blair Armstrong from the round one fixture against the Tokyo Bay Suns, the hierarchy down at Futakotamagawa decided to send Blairman Mao by Shinkansen to Osaka to avoid any tantrums from the rebounding defender over the required commute to Tokyo Narita Airport. The Shinkansen however, notorious for their unreliability in Japan, saw the blairy-eyed star only just arriving in time to check-in at the team hotel – hours behind his Jetstar Japan travelling teammates. Fortunately, the nightblair commute did not seem to faze the dependable defender in a performance deserving of a Magners Blairy.
9. How to make an Long Island Iced Tea
Main alcohol: Triple sec, Tequila, Gin, Vodka, Rum
Served: on the rocks; poured over ice
Standard drinkware: Highball glass
Other ingredients: lemon juice, Gomme syrup, cola
Preparation: Add all ingredients into a highball glass filled with ice. Stir gently. Garnish with lemon spiral. Serve with straw.