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Footy Town is like a travel book, a novel and a sports book all in one. The stories it contains gift you characters that feel both familiar yet fictional at the same time. Many of the characters are sports ‘stars’ in their own right and sometimes in their own words. 
One of editors of the book, Paul Daffey, has spoken regualry about his fascination with seeing first hand, the various idiosyncrasies of the many football grounds in Australia. In this way Footy Town is also a travel book, each story drawing a sense of desire to see exactly what the author has seen. This feeling is best described when we Victorians are travelling north of the border. Driving past a park and the heartwarming feeling you get when you see four uprights sans crossbar. 
Almost every football ground has a distinct shape or peculiar grandstand and some paint a view that would make you question whether the Taj Mahal is all that impressive. 
Every story has a different flavour, some contain admiration, some self deprecation, but all are stories that people can relate to. I say people, because the football talk is often not the focus. How well or poorly someone played, is the mere colour to a story that is more often than not about relationships. Relationships with football clubs, with grounds, with the people at these clubs and grounds and how this most magnificent of sports allows us to escape for a couple of hours every week.
Footy Town is a book that can be consumed all at once or, if like me, you enjoy making things last, then it is something that could get you through a football season. Or quite possibly two, should you wish to take it one week at a time!
There are 50 stories from various football people stretching from Western Australia to Tassie. All have been collaborated and edited by the Footy Almanac’s Paul Daffey and John Harms into a book that is both a football book and arguably a small history of Australia. The stories range from recent events that you may have had a passing knowledge on to tales of yesteryear where embellishment is more acceptable. 
If you are struggling for an idea of what to get Dad for Father’s Day (or Mum or anyone else for Christmas) you could do worse than purchasing a copy of Footy Town. There are a number of references to the Amateurs in there including a few stories from familiar VAFA names. 
The more you read about the different football clubs from different parts of Australia, the more you realise that we are all the same. We are all former players, coaches, umpires, volunteers, supporters or administrators and these stories are an expression of our own experiences in local footy. 
You can purchase your own copy of Footy Town through the VAFA online store. Just click on here or on any of the links above. 

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