Football Diary – Part 7

2017 – A Year in the Life…. (cont…)


Tuesday 19 September

Apparently it’s a tear in the medial ligament.  And it requires surgery.

The season that just keeps on giving….

The Oakleigh doctor will speak to a couple of surgeons today to get the process going as soon as possible.

I suppose there’s never a good time for an injury like this, but with 10 minutes to go in the final game of the year, well, it could be far worse.

And the injury itself, well, that could be far, far, worse.

Shall see what the next few days brings….


Wednesday 20 September

Ok, no real news yet.

Although the earliest appointment the Oakleigh doctor can arrange for him is 4 October.

The operation, I’m guessing, wouldn’t be for a few weeks after that.

Lisa and I are going to Vietnam in the next two to three weeks; and there is reasonable guilt about that; and he can ill afford too much more time off work.

His manager is now trying to call in a favour.

So, the update for today….

Had some time today to think about the situation.

Kind of wish I hadn’t….

Now, I don’t know exactly what I’ve written previously.  I’ve not gone back to see how it started, to see how it’s evolved, and to see how, I suppose, my attitude and demeanor has changed over the ‘journey’.

But after my ‘epiphany’ today, I’m pissed off.

One of my biggest frustrations this year has been the fact that the desire to win games seemed to be paramount, as opposed to developing the kids.  Or giving them the best opportunity to showcase their skills and attributes to give them every opportunity to get drafted.

Which, after all, is what the TAC Cup competition is all about.

So anyway, back to Sunday.

For what, the second time this season, he was moved up forward during the game?

There was the token move in the last quarter up at Wangaratta, that incidentally, almost cost them the game, and then there was the full game at Preston, that only happened because Vic Metro told them they wanted to see him forward.

There may have also been a quarter earlier in the year at Oakleigh, but again, just tokenism.

So, Sunday.

He’s having a good game down back in the first half.  Had quite a few touches, and playing his role.

They’re down by about 20 points at half time, and if we’re all honest, the deficit, as well as the opposition, were making it look likely that this was going to be their last game of the year.

Then, the dice is rolled, and the ‘big’ move is made.


To showcase his capabilities up forward, in what, because it was a preliminary final, was a reasonably big stage?

Or to try and turn the game around so that they can actually win it?

Yeah,….. I doubt very much that the concept of showcasing was ever thought of at half time.

I mean, why would it?  Hadn’t been done in the previous 20 games….

Anyway, this is where all the ‘ifs’ and ‘maybes’ come into it.

Yep, if he’d been left down back he might have broken his leg.  Or done an ACL.

But he wasn’t.  And he didn’t.

Instead, he was moved up the ground.

And while he was there; while he was trying to push the ball forward; someone laid what was likely to be a fairly clumsy tackle or bump, and fell across his knee.

He now has a medial ligament tear, and he now requires surgery.

Yes, it may have happened anyway.  Yes, it could have been worse had he still been at the other end of the ground.

Yes, lots of ifs and buts.

But gee, it makes you wonder…..

And it makes me angry.

I really wish it didn’t, but it does.


5.00pm – Wednesday 20 September

He’s just walked in the door.

I asked a question – “Have you heard from anyone at the Club?  Any of the coaches, the player welfare guy?  Anyone?”

Answer – “No, apart from the physio, I haven’t heard from anyone.”

Yep, just a bit angrier now….

I’m really glad I made a decision a few weeks ago to not attend the presentation night.

Being annoyed with how the whole season had panned out was only a small part of that decision.

Not anymore.


Thursday 21 September

A bit of good news….

His manager has been able to get him an appointment with the Essendon doctor on Monday morning at 7.30am.  The hope is, assuming that the operation is a definite, he’ll be booked in not too long after that.

So, Monday will reveal all.

In the meantime, he’s headed off to Oakleigh to see the physio.  The other draft combine boys will be down there as well, for a training session to keep up their fitness.

Something that he should also be doing.

Oh, and still no word from anyone at Oakleigh.

Just disgraceful.



Came home from Oakleigh.

Apparently it’s a torn meniscus, not a medial issue.

Gets his ‘m’ words mixed up….

Off to make sure the Monday morning appointment is still relevant…..


Monday 25 September

Saw the doctor and now has an appointment to see a surgeon on Wednesday.

I’m not sure if the doctor had a hand in that, or if this is the appointment from the fourth of October, due to a cancellation.

Removing blood from stones, and all that.

Especially on ‘Mad Monday’…..

Anyway, at least things seem to be happening….


Wednesday 27 September

All booked in for Thursday 5 October for surgery.

Has been told, depending on how they repair it, ‘recovery’ is anything from one to six weeks.

Six weeks, plus the week to wait, plus the two weeks it’s been, equals money issues.

Not much sick leave and annual leave to cover it.

May have to curtail his spending / going out.



Thursday 5 October

The surgery was done, and apart from discovering that there was an old tear in there as well, all went well.  Exercises will follow, and hopefully he’ll be back at work by the end of the month.


Monday 30 October

Lisa and I are still in Hanoi when I get a phone call.  He’d returned to work today and by the time he got to lunch time, his knee had blown up.  Told him to look after it and to ice it.  Hopefully will settle down overnight.


Tuesday 31 October

It didn’t.  Returned to work but got worse.  Made an appointment to see the physio, and he’s altered his exercises and stretching.  He also needs to ice religiously.  He has also been told not to work for the next week, as well as the following week.

It is very lucky that he has an understanding boss….


Friday 3 November

Lisa and I returned from Vietnam.  He seems alright, and his knee seems to be settling down.

It’s certainly not hindering his social activities….

On the football front, well, there’s not too much to report.

No contact from anyone that you’d like contact from.

And I mean anyone.

He did actually speak to Doncaster FC, and they’re pretty keen to get him down next year.

He then went and talked to Blackburn FC.  They impressed him, and as he knows a few guys there, they would be his preference at the moment.

When I asked what he was thinking about doing next year, assuming he wouldn’t get drafted, he said he’d prefer just to play suburban footy.  No 19 year old stuff at TAC level; no crack at the VFL.

I’m not unhappy about that.

Just hope he doesn’t regret that in later life….


Friday 24 November

Day of the draft.

A day, that earlier in the year, I had been looking forward to.

By around the time that Vic Metro finished, I wasn’t looking forward to it at all.

Once we’d got home from Vietnam, I’d made a decision not to watch, listen or follow it.

Not because I knew he was no chance, but because I couldn’t bear seeing or hearing names get called out that, quite frankly, were just going to give me the shits.

Lisa did have a look on the internet a couple of times, and did show, or mention, a few names that had been called.  No huge surprises, but yep, a couple did really piss me off.

He’d been out while it was on, and after he came home he didn’t seem too upset.  Again, it was probably just the realisation of what he knew was going to happen.

I told him I didn’t care what he did next year.  Whether it was one last crack, or whether it was local footy; didn’t matter.

But, I told him to make sure he had no regrets in two, three, five, or even ten years, when he looks back.

He seemed to take that in, but in the end, it’s his life, and his decision.

Like I’ve said before, I will have no problem whatsoever if he plays local footy next year.


Monday 27 November

Rookie draft time.  And as expected, he’s still an apprentice carpenter.

So, I guess that’s the end of it all.

Unless he does something silly like go and play as a 19 year old at Oakleigh.

Geez, I’d rather go and watch girls footy….

It may well be completely clear by what I’ve written previously, although as I’ve been writing this over the course of the year, and as yet am yet to read back over it, how do I feel about how the year panned out?

I am so disappointed.

Not so much that he didn’t get drafted, but just how the whole year played out.

I’m disappointed for him, his friends, and his extended family.

And me?

Never before had I so looked forward to football starting, as I did this year.

And with the exception of Under 15’s, never have I been so glad to finally get a year out of the way.

I’ve pretty much hated the whole thing.  And I’ve hated what the whole process has done.  It made me stand there each week and solely watch my son.  I’ve never done that, it’s always been about the ‘team’.

But no one else cares as it’s all ‘individual’.

So, am I blaming anyone?

No, not really.

Oakleigh did him no favours during the year, but he also has to take some of it as well.

The final kick in the guts is how Oakleigh have been since he hurt his knee.

Apart from the physio, and he’s actually paid to find out and know, no one from the club has contacted him to find out how’s he’s going.

No one.

That, in my opinion, is disgraceful.


Monday 11 December

Over the last week or two Port Melbourne have rung him twice about playing footy with them next year.  He’s not that keen though.

He says it’s mainly because of the travel involved to get to training each week, which I completely understand.  It would be an absolute pain in the arse…

But I also suspect his heart just isn’t in it.  The desire to play footy at the highest level just isn’t there, whereas the opportunity to play with his mates is far stronger.

Which I completely understand.

And now, apparently, (because as per usual, he hasn’t told me) he’s now made the decision to play footy at Blackburn next year.

I’m not unhappy about that at all.

In fact, there’s a part of me who is very happy he’s not having a crack at VFL.

Hopefully he doesn’t have regrets down the track.

So there it is; 2017 is essentially done and dusted.

Didn’t pan out the way I thought it might, way back in January, but hey, that’s life.

Just all part of the journey…..

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