I got to try footy

Remove this Banner Ad

Finn Jim

Senior List
Apr 2, 2019
296
966
AFL Club
Collingwood
I wanted to share a story from yesterday, as it is footy related and in the end also Collingwood related.

I am not Australian nor have I ever been to Australia. AFL is a game that exists only on TV for me, and that's just how it is. I have some Australian friends from Queensland, so if I want rugby league I need only ask. Alas, no AFL.

A couple of weeks ago the Finnish AFL announced an open house game day 200km from my town, so yesterday I woke up at 5:30 and hopped on a train to go try it out.

Once in my destination city I hopped on a bus where a proper Aussie was also going. He was a Melbourne supporter and we talked a good deal about everything from football to what we were both doing in Finland. Great guy.

Got to the ground and got dressed and after a brief warm-up the 30-odd people were assembled into 2 9-a-side teams with interchange, and we commenced to playing a game on a modified soccer field.

I was surprised at how hard kicking was, how hard handballing was, how hard tackling was. We played full-contact, with the regulars going about 75-80%. That was enough for me, and I took some knocks, as one does.

Now during one of the breaks I wandered over to an older bloke who was having a kick with his kids who were playing in the game. I talked to him about the difficulty I was having, and he told me to slow up a bit before kicking and get the ball out further when kicking on the run. I also asked how to kick a torpedo, which he was more than happy enough to show me.

Later on I had some marks, some hitouts, a smother, and, in a miracle passage of play never to be repeated, a run from full back onto a bouncing ball, which a teammate scooped up and handballed to me, and I snapped through from 25, with my own commentary in my head about "The first gamer! He can't do that! But he has and they come from everywhere!"

But in reality, I was glad the ball hit my foot more than anything, and it was just a goal.

So we played on a couple hours and then went back to the bar, as one does, and someone told me the older dad I had spoken to was none other than Carl Steinfort, who wore the black and white in 2001 amd 2002. Not a legend of the club or anything, and perhaps more of a Geelong player, but he was in the team for the 2002 finals run, and a goal apiece against Port and Adelaide.


Anyway after all was said and done, pretty cool to be able to say an AFLer taught me how to kick, and I am extremely jealous that you all got to grow up playing this game. I don't think my body could really withstand playing it regularly, but I had a hell of a lot of fun.
 

Quicky

Brownlow Medallist
May 27, 2008
22,903
24,516
Wherever I May Roam
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Socceroos, Melbourne Victory
What a great story. I really liked Steinfort. He wasn't the flashiest or quickest player but was as hard as they come. One of those guys playing good footy for us just as we were breaking out of the funk of the 90's. What was he doing in Finland?

I'm glad you enjoyed the game and it must have been awesome kicking that goal! Quite an effort to travel that far.
 

Finn Jim

Senior List
Apr 2, 2019
296
966
AFL Club
Collingwood
What a great story. I really liked Steinfort. He wasn't the flashiest or quickest player but was as hard as they come. One of those guys playing good footy for us just as we were breaking out of the funk of the 90's. What was he doing in Finland?

I'm glad you enjoyed the game and it must have been awesome kicking that goal! Quite an effort to travel that far.
I didn't get to talk to him that much, but he has a Finnish wife and has been living in Finland on and off since about 2005. He was actually reasonably instrumental in setting up the Finnish AFL, and played in it for awhile, but was simply way too good (like 15 goals a game too good).

Nowadays he just helps out at events like this either making up numbers if needed or coaching/umpiring, plus he's got 3 kids who are just old enough to start playing these games as well. (His 8 year old took a handball, spun around and snapped a 25m laser to a teammate on the lead about as casually as you like. This was a game of full adults and that boy was one of BOG!)

Anyway I'm glad to have met him, he was an extremely nice person and the Finnish AFL community was extremely welcoming.
 

Log in to remove this ad.

ottoman

Norm Smith Medallist
May 13, 2014
7,857
18,925
Istanbul
AFL Club
Collingwood
I wanted to share a story from yesterday, as it is footy related and in the end also Collingwood related.

I am not Australian nor have I ever been to Australia. AFL is a game that exists only on TV for me, and that's just how it is. I have some Australian friends from Queensland, so if I want rugby league I need only ask. Alas, no AFL.

A couple of weeks ago the Finnish AFL announced an open house game day 200km from my town, so yesterday I woke up at 5:30 and hopped on a train to go try it out.

Once in my destination city I hopped on a bus where a proper Aussie was also going. He was a Melbourne supporter and we talked a good deal about everything from football to what we were both doing in Finland. Great guy.

Got to the ground and got dressed and after a brief warm-up the 30-odd people were assembled into 2 9-a-side teams with interchange, and we commenced to playing a game on a modified soccer field.

I was surprised at how hard kicking was, how hard handballing was, how hard tackling was. We played full-contact, with the regulars going about 75-80%. That was enough for me, and I took some knocks, as one does.

Now during one of the breaks I wandered over to an older bloke who was having a kick with his kids who were playing in the game. I talked to him about the difficulty I was having, and he told me to slow up a bit before kicking and get the ball out further when kicking on the run. I also asked how to kick a torpedo, which he was more than happy enough to show me.

Later on I had some marks, some hitouts, a smother, and, in a miracle passage of play never to be repeated, a run from full back onto a bouncing ball, which a teammate scooped up and handballed to me, and I snapped through from 25, with my own commentary in my head about "The first gamer! He can't do that! But he has and they come from everywhere!"

But in reality, I was glad the ball hit my foot more than anything, and it was just a goal.

So we played on a couple hours and then went back to the bar, as one does, and someone told me the older dad I had spoken to was none other than Carl Steinfort, who wore the black and white in 2001 amd 2002. Not a legend of the club or anything, and perhaps more of a Geelong player, but he was in the team for the 2002 finals run, and a goal apiece against Port and Adelaide.


Anyway after all was said and done, pretty cool to be able to say an AFLer taught me how to kick, and I am extremely jealous that you all got to grow up playing this game. I don't think my body could really withstand playing it regularly, but I had a hell of a lot of fun.
Lovely read FJ.
You do realise however that playing a strange sport in a country that doesn't know the game comes with responsibilities.
You carry the burden of those responsibilities.
Teaching people in Finland about this great sport is not enough. You must also teach them to hate Carlton. To despise them. It doesn't matter if they have never heard the word Carlton or don't know what a Carlton is. You must teach them to just hate.
Unconditionally.
Loved your post. :thumbsu: :thumbsu:
 

Finn Jim

Senior List
Apr 2, 2019
296
966
AFL Club
Collingwood
Lovely read FJ.
You do realise however that playing a strange sport in a country that doesn't know the game comes with responsibilities.
You carry the burden of those responsibilities.
Teaching people in Finland about this great sport is not enough. You must also teach them to hate Carlton. To despise them. It doesn't matter if they have never heard the word Carlton or don't know what a Carlton is. You must teach them to just hate.
Unconditionally.
Loved your post. :thumbsu: :thumbsu:
Wasn't yesterday simply amazing?

Your post reminds me, I need to ask you all something. As I said I've never been to Australia, I started supporting Collingwood mostly because of Mason Cox (but don't worry, I'll be here after he's gone.)

But I'm never sure which teams I'm allowed to tolerate and which ones I'm required to hate unconditionally. I couldn't have my dad teach me this, or schoolyard fistfights. It's also different from American sport, where you may hate a particular team or two in the comp, but it's usually not everlasting and groups of rival supporters won't fight or spray each other unprovoked. Reading this board has given me some hints:

Carlton, Essendon, Richmond, Hawthorn?: I must hate them unconditionally, they can go die in a hole.

West Coast, GWS: I personally hate them because of recent finals.

Geelong: I hate them too, for no reason

St. Kilda, Melbourne and North: tolerated, not good enough to hate.

Western Bulldogs, Gold Coast, Freo: like them well enough, will support them if not playing CW

Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Port: all fine, tolerated, except port wants to wear our jumper for some reason, which I assume I'm supposed to be extremely upset about.

Please correct any mistakes to the above. Also if you have good stories about whatall good has come from your fandom I'd love to hear them. I've read the welcome thread but I'm sure there's more!
 

jathanas

Moderator
Aug 17, 2011
8,187
18,838
Warrandyte
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Man U
Only my opinion. :)

Wasn't yesterday simply amazing?

Your post reminds me, I need to ask you all something. As I said I've never been to Australia, I started supporting Collingwood mostly because of Mason Cox (but don't worry, I'll be here after he's gone.)

But I'm never sure which teams I'm allowed to tolerate and which ones I'm required to hate unconditionally. I couldn't have my dad teach me this, or schoolyard fistfights. It's also different from American sport, where you may hate a particular team or two in the comp, but it's usually not everlasting and groups of rival supporters won't fight or spray each other unprovoked. Reading this board has given me some hints:

Carlton, Essendon, Richmond, Hawthorn?: I must hate them unconditionally, they can go die in a hole. :heavycheck:

West Coast, GWS: I personally hate them because of recent finals.
1595227377338.png
:heavycheck:

Geelong: I hate them too, for no reason :heavycheck:

St. Kilda, Melbourne and North: not tolerated, not good enough to hate as much as Carlton but they're flogs.

Western Bulldogs, Gold Coast, Freo: don't like them well enough, will support them if not playing CW but only hate them with a passion when they play against us

Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Port: all fine, tolerated, except port wants to wear our jumper for some reason, which I assume I'm supposed to be extremely upset about. We hate interstaters. We subsidise them and they get AFL advantages like the cost of living allowance in Sydney. Brisbane won 3 flags thanks to the AFL.

Please correct any mistakes to the above. Also if you have good stories about whatall good has come from your fandom I'd love to hear them. I've read the welcome thread but I'm sure there's more!
 
Last edited:

Finn Jim

Senior List
Apr 2, 2019
296
966
AFL Club
Collingwood
So it's time for an update. The Helsinki Heatseekers Football Club is playing tomorrow in the Finnish AFL finals series, which due to corona, has been condensed into a shortened one-day event.

To make up numbers the Heatseekers are fielding two squads, and they asked me if I'd like to play in their B team. Naturally I accepted and will play again. I've been semi-regularly attending their training sessions and will give it a run tomorrow. By fortunate coincidence, Carl Steinfort has also been named to this B team.

I don't have much hope for results, since we are mostly weekend hacks and two of the teams in the comp actually play and train seriously. But I'll let you know how it goes and it may be possible to follow along on the Finland AFL facebook live, so tomorrow night I can come respond to all of your cries of "jim you useless passenger" and demands to drop me. I am excited!
 

Finn Jim

Senior List
Apr 2, 2019
296
966
AFL Club
Collingwood
Well the day is done and what a great day we had. 4 teams of 7v7 playing 4 games of 2x12 minutes.

Carl Steinfort is one hell of a football player. (in the team photo he's 3rd from the right in the back row.) Even now 18 years on he has the class and skill to dominate us weekend warriors. For this level it's the equivalent of having a superpowered Pendles in the side. 40m bullet pass to a lead? All day. Clean pickups of a bouncing footy? Check. Bumping an opponent off the face of the earth into the interchange bench? Hell yeah. Really great bloke to play with.

IMG_20200926_174401169.jpg


As for me, I've never worn the jumper and shorts before. Got bumped, bruised, bounced around, and our team didn't do well in the comp. But we did kick 4 in a row to come back from 20 down at half time in one game, and we can proudly say we left it all on the field.

I kicked 4 goals over the course of the day mostly playing a Mason Cox-esque role in the goal square.

IMG_20200926_174439654_HDR.jpg


I think my favorite moment was when Steinfort won the ball 50 out, hit a 15m handball to me in space, I ran in, had a bounce, drew the defender and chipped it over the top to a teammate in the goal square (as in, kicked it in the distance and direction I wanted to under pressure, a minor miracle) and that teammate could turn around "for the easiest of goals". Playing team sports so rarely I don't often get the rush from a sequence of unselfish plays that benefit the team. A great feeling


Finally for games I didn't play in I did something else I've always wanted to do.

Screenshot_20200926-183158.png


The picture speaks for itself.

Cheers all!
 

Attachments

ottoman

Norm Smith Medallist
May 13, 2014
7,857
18,925
Istanbul
AFL Club
Collingwood
Well the day is done and what a great day we had. 4 teams of 7v7 playing 4 games of 2x12 minutes.

Carl Steinfort is one hell of a football player. (in the team photo he's 3rd from the right in the back row.) Even now 18 years on he has the class and skill to dominate us weekend warriors. For this level it's the equivalent of having a superpowered Pendles in the side. 40m bullet pass to a lead? All day. Clean pickups of a bouncing footy? Check. Bumping an opponent off the face of the earth into the interchange bench? Hell yeah. Really great bloke to play with.

View attachment 971936

As for me, I've never worn the jumper and shorts before. Got bumped, bruised, bounced around, and our team didn't do well in the comp. But we did kick 4 in a row to come back from 20 down at half time in one game, and we can proudly say we left it all on the field.

I kicked 4 goals over the course of the day mostly playing a Mason Cox-esque role in the goal square.

View attachment 971944

I think my favorite moment was when Steinfort won the ball 50 out, hit a 15m handball to me in space, I ran in, had a bounce, drew the defender and chipped it over the top to a teammate in the goal square (as in, kicked it in the distance and direction I wanted to under pressure, a minor miracle) and that teammate could turn around "for the easiest of goals". Playing team sports so rarely I don't often get the rush from a sequence of unselfish plays that benefit the team. A great feeling


Finally for games I didn't play in I did something else I've always wanted to do.

View attachment 971962

The picture speaks for itself.

Cheers all!
Goal umpiring with one glove! I have no f**n idea why you would do that but I don't mind the idea of bringing a bit of Michael Jackson into goal umpiring.
Great post mate. :thumbsu: :thumbsu:
 

Finn Jim

Senior List
Apr 2, 2019
296
966
AFL Club
Collingwood
Goal umpiring with one glove! I have no f**n idea why you would do that but I don't mind the idea of bringing a bit of Michael Jackson into goal umpiring.
Great post mate. :thumbsu: :thumbsu:
Ha! Well the day before I had gone over the handlebars on my bike riding to Uni because some kids popped out from the side of the path. I chose the ditch over explaining to someone's father why Junior was in hospital. Chewed the heel of my hand up pretty good.

I had a bandage taped on but it wouldn't stay put, so I had the glove over it which protected it pretty well. I wanted to take off the glove but when I did the sweaty, bloody bandage came with it so I decided to just leave it be and peel it all off after the end of the day. It didn't hurt but I knew if the footy hit it unprotected it'd make a mess.
 

Remove this Banner Ad

Remove this Banner Ad