Monday the 18th of June.
Once a season, every player on our senior list is expected to take our local Auskick kids for a training session. This involves turning up to the ground at 8am on a Saturday morning and doing an hours worth of drills with around 100 kids aged between 7 and 10. Last week it was my turn and to quote Helen who is the Auskick co-ordinator, “it was an absolute f*cking disaster”.
If I had to pinpoint where things started to go wrong, I would have to go back a week when I was suspended for abusing a boundary umpire who ironically was probably old enough to be taking part in Auskick herself.
As I now had no game on the Saturday, I was free to have a few beers after work on Friday. I figured I would watch the AFL at the pub and head home at about 10:30pm. This would give me a good 8 hours sleep before I had to be at the ground. I think it was at about 4am while in a cab from the pub to the nightclub that I made the decision that a couple of hours sleep would only make things worse and that I would go straight through. This is a decision I would later come to regret.
I arrived at the ground 30 minutes late which was a bad start. I told Helen that I had had car problems. In reality, it was because the first six taxi drivers refused to pick me up from out front of the nightclub because I was too intoxicated and a “high spew danger”. I was also meant to wear our team polo. Instead I opted for a vodka and raspberry soaked shirt with 3 missing buttons and a brown stain from doing the worm just before last drinks. As if this wasn’t enough, the nightclub stamps up my arm, eye balls hanging out of my head, glow stick in my top pocket and piss patch on the front of my jeans made it clear to all the parents that I probably hadn’t brought my A game.
As is part of the agreement, the session was to kick off with me doing a 5 minute speech to the kids and their parents about myself and my experiences playing footy. It didn’t seem like it at the time, but according to the many parents that made a formal complaint, I slurred my way through 30 minutes of dribble which saw me say f*ck over 50 times and even drop the C bomb while describing my under 15’s coach. It was only when I started to describe in detail the time I picked up a German backpacker on the 2012 footy trip to Adelaide that Helen decided to cut my speech short. Personally, I thought some of the dads were into it but I guess I can see where she was coming from.
As I was late, and my speech had dragged on significantly longer than planned, we only had about 10 minutes left to do actual drills. I thought I would kick things off with some tackle practice as I have always felt this is an important skill that is often neglected when training juniors. This ended prematurely when, while demonstrating the perfect tackle I feel awkwardly on an 8 year old girl dislocating her shoulder. As they placed her screaming in the back of the ambulance, I thought it would probably be a good time to call it a day and called another cab.
On a positive note, both Helen and our president have already text me saying that I would not be expected to take part in any Auskick training sessions going forward which suits me to a tee.