Listening to the Stadium

I walk towards the stadium. Its grey walls loom over the trees. Chatter amongst us grows louder and denser. We are funnelled along pathways; broad footpaths; all moving in the one direction. Now and then the crowd is split by a singular and still figure standing at a small desk selling Records – or in…

Home Ground

The Collingwood Knights play in the Reclink Football League on Wednesdays during winter, their homeground being Victoria Park. The club is run by a policeman,  Chris McGeachan, aka Geeks, Shane Williams of Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS), Mannon Johnston of Headspace and Pete Burns, a sports-oriented social worker. The Club is inclusive and welcomes…

Under Two Flags

Some Thoughts on Amir Khan and Cathy Freeman* The lanky teenager bedecked in red stepped into the ring: eyes wide. The Union-Jacked fan club stood cheering in the stands, providing their last minutes of support before the fight that would  determine the 2004 Olympics gold-medal in the 57-60kg division. Britain’s youngest ever boxer at the…

The Blues of Short Suffering

I’m a Carlton supporter. Don’t hold it against me – I have other things happening in my life. I read novels, I have friends – many of whom aren’t into footy.  My experience of being a suffering football fan has been short-lived. We, the Navy Blues, only accept success in our narratives. Yet, something strange began to brew…

Missing Goodes

A lot happened in the lead up to the Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round. Carlton Football Club apologised for its discrimination against Sir Doug Nicholls. Richmond Football Club promoted the role of its Laguntas Program and Korin Gamadji Institute. The AFL showed a series of short videos on the life of Sir Doug Nicholls. Each…

Talking Indonesian Football

I spoke with Dr.Ken Setiawan, McKenzie Fellow at The University of Melbourne, regarding football in Indonesia for the podcast, Talking Indonesia. The interview can be found here Football and Fan Culture. Below is an excerpt from the conversation. What got you into studying football in Indonesia? From the time I started visiting Indonesia regularly in…

Outer Sanctum Podcast

The AFL is in a rush to be ‘inclusive’ and to be more representative of society. For so long Australian rules has been exemplary of the archetypal Aussie macho male. Tough, arrogant, abusive, crass. As Mike Sheahan said in his interview with the sport’s best investigative journalist, Caroline Wilson, “footy is a man’s game, everyone…

Soccer and the City

(An article of mine has been published in Sport and Society journal) Football fandom and sports culture are largely neglected in studies of Indonesia. This is despite the highly complex nature of football fandom in Indonesian cities. This essay draws on experiences in two cities in central Java: Yogyakarta and Solo. Contemporary football culture in…

Footballing Transitions

An Interview with Kenny Dougall, left-back of Sparta Rotterdam It wasn’t the game I expected it to be. I left home with the expectation of witnessing a 90minute-long celebration of Sparta’s successful season in the Jupiler League, which had seen them become Champions and earn automatic promotion to the Eredivisie. I saw their last game…

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