All VAFA supporters have been given a great opportunity to advance purchase the wonderful book Footy Town. Footy Town is a collection of stories from the local footy, stories that we all know and love that have been carefully chosen from over 50 authors around Australia and put together in this wonderful book by Paul Daffey and John Harms.
Over the course of the next few weeks we will be publishing extracts from various stories to provide a flavour of what the book offers. It is a wonderful gift idea and you can purchase your copy through the VAFA Online Store.
A Great Lark
by Di Langton
Early in 2009 I saw an ad on the VAFA website to become a scribe in the Amateur Footballer. Fitzroy raconteur Peter Hille, a well-known figure in the Ammos, put in a word for me with the editor even though he didn’t know me from a bar of soap. He told them I was Paula Hunt, who wrote the Jezza Bella column on the religion page in the Melbourne Times. But never mind. The Ammos never listen to Hille anyway.
Often I get to two games a week but of course I can’t get to every game so I rely on club correspondents to tell me what’s going on. The emails from the correspondents are my most important resource. I’ve dealt with about thirty clubs over the four years and the correspondents’ reports vary vastly in length, style and degree of bias.
Andrew from Old Brighton sends his report through every Saturday at 10pm on the dot. He’s super diligent but I worry about his social life. Pete at St Kevin’s is also quick considering he spends so much time after home games polishing the club barbecue to a sparkling sheen. Peter from Ajax compliments the opposition, while Gary from Ormond somehow conveys extraordinary detail in five-line missives. Some clubs won’t give me a cracker, no matter how much I plead, while others welcome any and all mentions.
Several senior coaches have been happy to share their thoughts. Tim ‘Killer’ Killworth from Old Camberwell would share his coaching tips and throw in a few gossipy off-cuts as well. Midway through the 2010 season Killer told me that one of his players, the rather ripped Rohan Kapoor, was a finalist in the Men’s Health magazine’s man of the year competition. Tim said to look out for him on the August cover. This made for an amusing column for me, which in turn made life difficult for him. I hear poor Roh was ribbed mercilessly by his teammates and had to donate a considerable sum to the end-of-season trip.
In my first year or so there was a polite – but distinct – reluctance from clubmen to divulge too much. Well, here I was, a cheeky scribe, not cut from the usual cloth – and a bloody sheila! Fitzy the editor never told me the specifics, but I know he fielded one or two complaints, and I heard the odd sexist comment directed at me when I was at a game (or from the anonymous pages of bigfooty.com) But my nastiest bake has been via an email from a player’s girlfriend who told me – in rather vibrant vernacular – what she thought of my irreverent take on a particular game. The player, a silky onballer, has since moved up to an A-grade club and I wonder if he’s upgraded the girlfriend, too.
To read more of this story and other great stories from Footy Town then head to the VAFA Store by clicking here to order your copy.