For ten years a small group of former non-footballers have met on Sunday mornings for The Sherrin At The Fearon kick-to-kick sessions in Williamstown, opposite the beach. It’s blokes mostly, and most on the wrong side of 50, re-living teenage glory days. (Even if those glory days were no more than kick-to-kick itself.)
For ten years attendance has been pretty good, even in the cold, wet middle months. Even in the fog. Often there were enough for some gentle half-oval circle-work.
This year, though, numbers have been down. And when you’ve only got a small list and no top-up players/rookies/reserves/willing offspring you’re looking at the possible demise of a once much-loved Sunday morning habit, a Sunday morning fix.
Throughout 2015 the Kick-to-Kick committee begrudgingly accepted various reasons for absences:
Rodger: building his new house after three years of issues with neighbours
Oscar (teenage son of Rodger): student exchange in China, also prefers parkour,
Scott: assistant coach of teenage daughters’ soccer teams, also prefers surfing, cycling.
Bruno: fallen in love with a woman who lives in Indonesia
Luka (teenage son of Bruno): prefers lacrosse, touring US with national Under 19 team
Andrew: proud father for the first time
Young Laurie: appendicitis (at 25 years old, about 30 years younger than most of us)
Old Laurie: overseas volunteer aid work
John: migraines, plus family holiday in Europe
Vin: back and hip injuries
The committee notes, and thanks, John and Vin for returning to the Fearon in October and playing right through to the Sunday before Christmas. It appreciates that circle-work is somewhat limited when only two players are available.
The committee has granted permission for the durable duo to continue to use a lightweight medium-size vinyl Sherrin as they make their comebacks from injury. A formal application to continue to use the footy will most likely be approved, given the committee’s policy of better-a-lighter-ball-and-a-kick than no kick at all.
The committee continues to not look back at the past with rose-coloured glasses, especially that Sunday in 2008 when five players recorded a collective 125 marks-in-a-row during circle-work.
The committee continues to not be envious of the St Kilda kick-to-kick/circle work sessions that have been running for two decades and has had dozens of players over the years. Indeed the committee fondly recalls having a kick with half-a-dozen of the St Kilda boys at the Yarraville Gardens ground in February, shortly before the launch that evening of Bob Murphy’s book at the Sun Theatre.
The committee thanks newcomer Craig for a handful of Saturday sessions at away grounds: the aforementioned Yarraville Gardens, and the old Yarraville VFA ground in Williamstown Road. There would have been more save for Craig injuring his shoulder in a game for Williamstown CYMS.
The committee also notes that Craig’s full-size Burley football compared quite favourably to the lightweight Sherrin footy, though a little pointy for drop-kicks (that’s the committee’s excuse for some shockers two Saturdays ago).
The committee is resigned to the fact that past players from earlier in the decade are unlikely to return, and accepts those players’ reasons for permanent absences:
Peter: two young children, now living 75 kilometres away
Steve: three young children, also training for marathons
Geoff: long-term back injury, safer to play mid-week tennis
John: always knackered after a week of mowing, pruning, edging and general gardening.
These four players were part of the inaugural Sherrin At The Fearon sessions in 2005 and the committee is delighted to grant them the club’s first life memberships.
Despite the lack of numbers in 2015, kick-to-kick will resume at the Fearon in early February 2016. Newcomers most welcome. Skills optional. BYO togs and towel for post-kick cool-down at Willi beach.