Russell Collier Mick and me – left Coleraine for Mackay
A fruit picker in Kyabram – made a suggestion we could try
There’s worker’s required in sugar mills – starting in July
But don’t be late or you will find – you can kiss your chance goodbye

So we travelled in my panel van – it was the only way to fly
Three bodies in the back each night – a procedure did apply
Mick was tall, his feet stuck out – supported by the tray
In our face his smelly feet – luckily we packed air spray

 Our last night on the road – was spent on the ‘horror’ road
We were told notorious – often have a bad luck episode
We met Laurie the Bar Manager – at the majestic Palace Hotel
On a bar stool each we settled in – and we soon all got on well

Laurie filled us in on things – helped us find our way around
Acclimatised to Queensland beer – we knocked a fair few down
With accommodation sorted next – the dole office then we lined
Then the Walkerston Magpies – this AFL club we signed

The mills were already crushing cane – so no jobs there to find
The work we got was just enough – for a living of a kind
But the footy club was welcoming – all Victorians can play the game
Yes Mick and I could play a bit – whilst Pups wasn't quite the same

Playing footy with the local lads – is where we left our mark
Home games were out at Scrubby – 'twas called McLennan's Park
Club president ‘Magic’ Miller – was after a premiership flag
The founder of the local comp – didn't mind a brag

Coach Brian ‘Bushy’ Rosewarne – by example led this team
With the Stirling and Bryant brothers – opposition, they would cream
Add Stickie Voysie Jacko – and Frank up and down the seam
A more capable bush footy line-up – you'd find only in a dream

Mick was tall at six foot six – and would occasionally train barefooted
Was good at taking big pack marks – drop kick goals left-footed
The Mackay Hotel and Austral – two neighbouring pubs up town
Bakers Creek and Walkerston – neither side would ever back down

In the last game of the season – a grudge match, it was that
The match was close right to the death – no-one threw in their hat
When the siren finally sounded – with the margin only slender
Magic was so elated – because we failed to surrender

Celebrations were long and hard – without mishap or brawl
A Sunday barrel by the beach – a mad Monday town pub crawl
A presentation night was held – where everyone had a ball
And I received the best finals award - at the dinner, I recall

© Daryl Barnes 2016

I went with a friend to the MCG
To watch a game I long planned to see
The people filed in and the stadium filled
For this big game that was top billed
Often when the tigers and the magpies play
There is quite often an emotional melee
Inner city rivals for many long years
Some past games would end in tears

But we would always have some fun

With much barracking and yelling done

A chance to let off plenty of steam
Supporting our favourite football team

 It was often par for the course
That your throat would end up hoarse
But after the match and a long cold beer
That would all soon disappear

 Now in the crowd there is a mix
Some people seek their weekly fix
Some would turn into extraverts
And be commentator experts

But I can recall the old days quite clear
Eating cold pies and drinking flat beer
The circling wind blowing in my ear
Enjoying the footys winter atmosphere

 Sitting way up in the very top tier
My fear of heights would appear
If I stood up quick to chant or cheer
I’d lose my balance, well bloody near

 You get really involved when the game is tight
Yell out abuse to the man in white
Then tell him that he is the one to blame
For why your team is playing so tame

 You be the coach from in the stand
Send out instructions or a reprimand
Make tough decisions that were unplanned
Have positional changes made on demand

 When your team won you’d sing the song
But if they lost then what went wrong
Whether you celebrate or you commiserate
Bring on next week you just can’t wait

 © Daryl Barnes 2016 


I dreamt of playing VFL with my idols of the day

I wanted to be a football star and earn a handsome pay
All my mates had dreams the same

We always loved to play the game 

 I started playing when I was eight years old

The oval ball I soon controlled

Four posts each end and one you defend

The highest score would the war

So I practiced on the training track, how to handball how to kick

Learn the rules and obey the coach and create teamwork that was slick

Eventually the day arrived, the first game for the year

I rode my bike down to the ground wearing my footy gear

Overnight there'd been a frost, I rubbed my hands together

Before I picked that footy up, SHERRIN written on the leather

But the morning cold was soon forgot, once we ran out on the ground

We soon warmed up once we ran around

After the final siren went I turned to check the score

We’d had a two point win this day although one leg was sore
The bruise would heal before next week of that I would make sure

This injury was just a taste of what would be in store

At home that night on the TV set I watched a VFL replay

Playing was my favourite team and they won their game hooray

So I went to bed a happy lad and dreamt about the day

I’d run out onto the MCG and put on a fine display

 © Daryl Barnes 2016

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