1st December, 2012
On the 1st of December, the Osaka Dingoes held their 2012 season awards dinner at Do Not Disturb in Shinmachi. All in attendance were dressed to kill and enjoyed the fine food and service which was on offer. The evening doubled as a farewell dinner for Paul Welsh who will be heading back to Melbourne later this month to return to a normal existence. Memories were shared and the alcohol flowed freely. Congratulations to those who recieved awards for their 2012 efforts.
27th October, 2012
The Dingoes travelled to Tokyo for the last match of the year, the final test of the players' abilities. Distances are hard for the Dingoes and several key players were unavailable for the game, but come the final whistle of the day, there would be no excuses. Entirely paying their own way, the players of the Osaka Dingoes loaded into vans on grand final eve and drove 6 1/2 hours north towards the urban jungle to take on the might of the Tokyo Goannas.
To cut a long and disappointing story short, the match was low scoring, and neither team made the most of their opportunities up forward in blustery conditions. Both teams were in it all day, but in the dying stages the points went to the Goannas. All players performed admirably and everyone in attendance should be proud of all that they achieved during the 2012 season. The club has come a long way and it's due to the monumental efforts of all involved. Despite losing the grand final, we have created a club that will remain strong for a number of years. Never fear, the Dingoes will be back in 2013.
Following the game, the Goannas put on a good show at their sponsor bar in Roppongi and being Halloween night, there was entertainment to be had. To make things a little bit more respectable, a pack of thirsty Dingoes took out the boat race, inspired by Sho 'Surprise Packet' Yamaguchi who monstered his beer in surprising fashion. Also, Louis Osborn took on the best arm wrestler that the Goannas had - a warhorse of the JAFL who has long held the nickname, 'Arms' and just about broke his arm in two. 2-1 to the Dingoes, but the game still hurt. The loss didn't really sink in until the following day when everyone headed back to Kansai, but needless to say, it was a depressing trip back down the highway.
Osaka Dingoes - 6.15:51, Tokyo Goannas - 7.12:54
8th October, 2012
An undermanned yet determined Dingoes squad headed to Shiga last weekend for the final game before what would surely be a grand final apperance. Barring a huge loss against the fledgling Lions, the Dingoes 4-1 start to the season and powerful percentage would probably see them get through. For the Lions, the chance was there. With many Dingo war dogs unavailable due to niggling injuries and/or work commitments, the chance at snatching second spot on the ladder was very much a real one. Any team containing the class of Michito Sakaki and Jun Sekiguchi and the speed and agility of Yuichiro Ami would always be a class act.
The first two quarters were a close affair with only a goal separating the two teams at the main break. Jonathan Cooper was on top in the ruck and Jun Oikawa was kicking lots of goals as the lone man up forward in what had been changed to a 7-7 game due to the Lions' lack of numbers. Takaaki Seto was playing a great rebounding game out of the backline. Unfortunately though, the Lions proved too fit and well drilled for the all conquering Dingoes. All players tried valiantly, but it was to no avail as the Lions finished strongly to come out 39 point winners. Their ball use was superior to the tired Dingoes and the leadership of their star players was outstanding. Credit where credit is due - the boys out of Nippon Sports University have done a superb job at building their team over the past few years. Few would have thought them capable of defeating a Dingoes team of any sort, let alone finishing the 2012 season anywhere near finals contention. Congratulations Lions on your win and successful season.
Following the match, there were a few concerns that the Lions' surprise win had closed the gap on the Dingoes hold on second spot, but the concerns weren't justified. The Dingoes' percentage fell away to 139.8 and the Lions improved their percentage to 107.3 with a game in hand. The Lions are the only team who can finish on the same amount of wins as the Dingoes, but to make up 32.5% in their final game, the Lions would have to win by unheard of amounts. Hence, the next time the Dingoes hit the fields of Japan it will be in the 2012 JAFL Grand Final on the 27th of October at the YCAC in Yokohama.
Osaka Dingoes - 7.9:51, R246 Lions - 13.12:90
22nd September, 2012
With only one more win out of two required to advance to their second straight grand final and earn another shot at the Tokyo Goannas, the Osaka Dingoes faced a determined and powerful Komazawa Magpies team at Banpaku Koen on the 22nd of September. The Magpies had been surprised several weeks earlier, losing to the R246 Lions, so they had to come away from Osaka with the points to keep their finals hopes alive. To make things harder for the Dingoes, injuries had played a cruel hand, with a number of their stronger players not available.
With their backs against the ropes, the Dingoes took to the field. The first half of the game was a low scoring tug of war, before the Magpies tired and the game was broken open in the second half. A low scoring affair saw the Dingoes triumph, and all but ensure a spot in the big dance. Louis Osborn was playing his first proper game for the Dingoes and played a powerful game out of full forward, kicking three and intimidating a few of the Magpies backmen. Man of the match honours were shared between Nick Mezzino and Takaaki Seto. Mezzino stepped up through the middle of the ground, working well with Yuta Tsutsumi to provide a strong physical presence around the stoppages. Seto and his old partner in crime, Ryo Saito dominated the backline with good support from Yuki Nakata who was very courageous, throwing himself into every contest.
The Dingoes next game is against the R246 Lions on the 6th of October at Shiga, however with a superior percentage, the Dingoes are guaranteed to be going to Tokyo several weeks later for the grand final. Their opponent on the day have already beaten the Dingoes once this year, so a cold dish called revenge is on the cards.
Osaka Dingoes - 10.6:66, Komazawa Magpies - 5.11:41
Goals: 3. N.Mezzino, L.Osborn, 1. J. Cooper, Y.Tsutsumi, P.Welsh, D.Perry
8th September, 2012
On Saturday the 8th of September, the Osaka Dingoes travelled to Kobe where they held a three hour event at the Kobe Regatta and Athletic Club. This event included an hour long Auskick session with 9 enthusiastic young Japanese boys and girls ranging in age from 3-10; an open skills session; and an exhibition match which we invited those present to participate in.
Several of the kids had a strong background in Australian Football as they were taught in 2011 by Jonathan Cooper. Needless to say, they are passionate Geelong supporters! Boys and girls attended the event, and they all had fun playing football related games aimed at developing their knowledge and understanding of the game, improving their fitness and developing their hand eye coordination. A number of Dingoes were in attendance for this session, and everybody had a fantastic time. Once the football was over, every kid recieved a football, a hat and an assortment of Auskick items that had been sent down from Tokyo by the JAFL. The kids are very excited about being involved in another clinic and several even asked if we could have kids games in the future.
An open training session for any interested adults was held immediately after the Auskick session. Many new faces from the Kobe area turned out to have a go at Australian Football. In the future, the league is looking to establish a new team in the Kansai area and with its large foreign population, Kobe would be an ideal location for a new team. The Kobe Regatta club has been very vocal in their support for a possible team. GWK (Greater Western Kansai) has a nice ring to it!
Several more men turned up in time for our practice match which was played between the Dingoes jumpers and the Non Dingoes jumpers. Players developed some much needed match fitness and some players who don't always get a huge amount of game time in the top league games got to run themselves into the ground. Several people played their first game of football and others in attendance played their first game of football in years. In the end, the Dingoes tops, proved too strong for the Non Dingoes Tops!
The day was an outstanding success, and the Osaka Dingoes would like to send a message of appreciation to all those who turned up; to the Kobe Regatta Club for hosting us for the day; to the JAFL for their support of the day; and last but not least, to the Kansai International Academy for their support of the Dingoes in 2012. We are hoping to hold sessions in Kobe on a monthly basis.
Dingoes Tops - 10.4:64, Non Dingoes Tops - 7.7:49
1st September, 2012
With a grand final spot and top of the ladder up for grabs, the Dingoes and Goannas faced each other for the first time this year at Banpakku Koen just north of Osaka City. Both teams were keen to make a statement to the league and declare their dominance in 2012. The scores were close throughout the day with the lead swinging several times, but never extending beyond a couple of goals. Both teams played at an exceptionally high tempo and the quality of football on display was up there with any top league game played in Japan up until this point. Both teams deserved the win, but unfortunately there had to be a loser, and unfortunately that loser turned out to be the Dingoes. Both teams realised that there was a strong possibility that the two teams will meet again in October.
With the game over and many sore and unwashed Tokyo and Osaka players packed into several subway cars, the fun and festivities were on. The Dingoes organised a simple but very Australian style BBQ and nomihoudai at the Dublin Bay in Namba, where unfortunately the boys from Osaka got done in the boat race - just to add salt to the wound. Fun was had by all, and the best bit about the day was that after a tough, hard fought game of football, at the end of the day we were all able to shake hands and have a few beers with each other, and that's what football is all about. The Dingoes hope to make the grand final and give the Goannas a run for their money up in Tokyo.
The loss leaves the Dingoes at 3-1, but with a very healthy percentage. The next game to come is on the 22nd of September against the Komazawa Magpies. The Magpies are a big chance to knock the Dingoes off their perch and a loss would see the Dingoes slide to third on the ladder. A win would guarantee a grand final spot. Following that, on October 6th, the Dingoes face the Route246 Lions in a double header at Shiga.
Tokyo Goannas - 16.8:104, Osaka Dingoes - 14.6:90
25th August, 2012
Faced with the difficulties we all must deal with when organising teams to travel long distances from one end of Japan to the other to play games, the Eastern Hawks were unable to field a team to face the Dingoes in Osaka. With only five players available for a game which had already been postponed, the Hawks had no option but to officially forfeit. Under the JAFL rules, if a team cannot get seven players or more for a game, said team must forfeit. The JAFL have rewarded the Osaka Dingoes a 100-0 win. Although all players were disappointed at the game being cancelled, the 100-0 win leaves us undefeated for season 2012 and gives us a large percentage boost heading towards the business end of the season.
It is very disappointing that this eventuated, and we would like to wish the Eastern Hawks all the best as they try to regroup for their next game. The Eastern Hawks have been a power in the JAFL for a number of years, but a rebuild might sadly be necessary. The Dingoes next face the Tokyo Goannas on September 1st in Osaka in a battle for top spot. Also, the winner is almost certainly guaranteed a spot in the grand final, so a lot will be riding on the result.
Osaka Dingoes - 0.0: 100, Eastern Hawks - 0.0: 0
17th June 2012
With more wild weather prior to the game, the Dingoes' first home game of the year was in doubt early on, but with no rain throughout the day, the game went ahead, albeit a little later than planned. The Dingoes were looking to maintain their good start to the season whilst the Redbacks were looking to bounce back after a strong but winless start to the year. Both teams were able to field large sqauds, so a fast paced action packed game was always on the cards.
Each team traded blows early on as both the Redbacks and Dingoes showed how desperate they were to take the points away. Following last week's game, the Dingoes' braintrust had got together and decided that the Dingoes needed to play a more team oriented brand of football and that more effective rotations were necessary. This was put into practice very efficiently against the Redbacks allowing the Dingoes to run the four quarters out with ease. The Redbacks also made very good use of their large group of interchange players. Louis Patterson stepped up as a leader of the club, barking instructions all day long, whilst other people, both supporters and players worked hard in various on and off field duties. Genki Tanaka, as always, worked very hard to ensure that the ground would be ready to go.
Nick Mezzino and Takaaki Seto were both making their debuts and shone for the Dingoes. Takaaki Seto arrived at the club from the Eastern Hawks and worked very hard across half forward all day, whilst Nick Mezzino ran hard and showed great agility all over the ground. Both finished with several goals. Ryo Saito also made his debut and played some very courageous football. Drew Moon was a mountain up forward and finished the day with a bag of six and a one handed mark that would have made even the greats of the AFL proud. The midfield is always where the game is won or lost, and good rotations combined with hard running from Paul Welsh, Louis Patterson, Yuta Tsutsumi and several other players who spent time in the engine room helped the Dingoes get the upper hand. The Redbacks have some very strong and skilled players in the ruck, but Dan Perry and Jonathan Cooper rotated well and managed to give some quality ball to the Dingoes' midfield. As always, Yazid Dardah was a rock in defence and Chad Dykehouse played his best game yet for the Dingoes, playing an effective stopping role on some of the Redbacks' quality big forwards.
The level of football on display at Neyagawa Koen was high. Both teams have recruited some good new players over the offseason and despite their loss, the Redbacks would have left the ground with their heads held high, knowing that they are not far off a win. Western Japanese football is developing in leaps and bounds. The Osaka Dingoes go to 2-0 for the season and sit comfortably in second spot on the ladder going into the bye. The next game will be in Osaka at the end of August and several more will follow in quick succession over the first few weeks of September.
Osaka Dingoes - 14.9: 93, Nagoya Redbacks - 8.6: 54
3rd June 2012
The Dingoes travelled to Tokyo for their first regular season match of 2012 against the well drilled and very fit Senshu University team. The game was in doubt on a few occassions due to the weather and uncertainty over the availability of the ground, but in what turned out to be quite good weather conditions, the game went ahead anyway. All players were excited about playing after a delay to the start of the season. Many players had been on the training track or in the gym since the weekend after Australia Day.
Paul Welsh and Louis Patterson were strong in the middle and worked well in tandem with Dan Perry, the Dingoes' new ruck recruit when the game was in the balance, whilst Jun Oikawa kicked two early goals to set up a comfortable barrier. Yazid Dardah was his usual reliable self in the backline and showed composure on the last line of defence. Brett Snowdon was clearly the best on ground running from end to end and taking some very impressive marks. Ryosuke Aoyama showed some electrifying skill and determination when he came on in his first game since receiving a compound fracture to his finger in the 2011 grand final.
The scoreline was a bit of a concern, and the Dingoes failed to capitalise on their chances, but all were happy to finish the day with the four points as the Powers were a fierce opposition with excellent run and carry and the ability to cause a lot of trouble on the rebound. It was clear after watching three of the Japanese teams play, that Japanese football is continuing to improve and that season 2012 will be a huge challenge. The Dingoes' next game will be in Osaka on June 17th.
Osaka Dingoes - 7.22: 64, Senshu Powers - 6.7: 43
10 April 2012
Practice match report:
Backed by a fantastic new sponsor, the Dingoes boys travelled for a friendly hitout against the Nagoya Redbacks, on the dry grass of Toyota City. Some quality players were not available, however the team we fielded was very strong and came away with a good win.
Daniel Perry dominated both in the air and on the ground and at an imposing 195cm, showed that he will be an important member of our team this year.
Ryosuke Hosomi seemed to have lost a few kilos, but showed that his development as a footballer is continuing.
Paul Welsh and Louis Patterson proved what hard work on the training track can do as they ran circles around their opposition, although after his last two efforts against them, Nagoya would be pretty happy to let Louis run free in the forward line!
Yazid Dardah showed that he still has it as he ran the full length of the ground… before handpassing out of bounds.
Jonathan Cooper kicked the goal of the year with a checkside banana and almost brought down mark of the year too!
Chad Dykehouse showed some good signs ? tackling like a man possessed, and despite a bit of pain, came up ok after his first game back from a broken foot.
Jun Oikawa ran all day and played a solid captain’s game.
Yannick LeBellec played all over the ground and showed some encouraging signs.
Osaka Dingoes - 11.10: 76, Nagoya Redbacks - 7.10: 52
13 November 2011
Contributed by: J. Cooper & P. Wenske
Grand final report:
Anticipation was in the air outside Yodobashi Camera on the morning of Sunday the 13th of November. The fairytale season of 2011 was about to have a happy ending or finish as the season that promised so much, yet did not deliver on the final stage. By the end of the day, we all knew that as a team we would either be floating on cloud nine in absolute jubilation, or asking ‘What if?’ and wallowing in the pits of despair. Although the boys were confident, everybody knew that it would be no easy task. Our opponents, the Eastern Hawks had been a powerhouse of the JAFL for a number of years, and the Osaka Dingoes had only recently found their footing. The Hawks had faltered on the line several years ago, and we expected them to throw everything they had at us and attack the contest ferociously, as the Hawks always do.
The trip was almost thrown into chaos when Paul Welsh rang Yazid and told him that he’d slept in and would be an hour late, but after sitting on the side of the road for an eternity with two worried drivers, Paul finally arrived, and we set off for Yokohama in a bus which had been provided to us by our new sponsor, Kansai International Academy (http://www.kansai-intlschool.jp/). It was a quiet bus ride up, but it was definitely a team building exercise to head north as one unit. Unity had got us this far and would be the force that would hopefully get us over the line once the game began. When the producers come knocking and ask for a title for their movie about our season, we will reply with the 2011 unofficial club motto, ‘Dingoes hunt in packs’! Clear skies followed us all the way to the ground and a perfect view of Mt Fuji was surely a sign that the football gods were smiling on us.
After an epic warm up, the two teams lined up ready for the national anthems of Australia and Japan. The Japanese anthem went down without a hitch, but the Australian anthem was not a recording that many of the boys were used to. Regardless, skin tingling, everybody stood in readiness, drawing out of themselves one last bit of motivation before the game began.
From the opening bounce, the two bulls locked horns. The Hawks were playing on their home turf and had the support of a small crowd which had gathered, but on grand final day none of that mattered. In a bit of an arm wrestle, both teams fired shots, although the Dingoes seemed to have the run of things early on. Jeremy Freeman was a rock in defense, and up forward Drew Moon was providing a strong target. The midfield were getting first use and were making the most of it. The first quarter saw an inaccurate Osaka team kick two goals five to finish two points clear at the first break.
Quarter time score:
Dingoes - 2.5:17, Hawks - 2.3:15
The second quarter opened with a bang. With a backup ruckman starting for
the Hawks, the Dingoes ran riot in the middle of the ground, and three very
quick goals set up a nice buffer. Paul Wenske set the tone early on with a
cameo performance. In a bone crunching tackle, he rattled his opponent and
kicked a good goal from the resultant free kick. The Hawks fought back
strongly, but the damage had been done, and at the half time break, the
Dingoes held a commanding lead. The backline was still holding up strong.
Adam Reidy was taking a break from his usual player/umpire duties, and was
running the changes and organizing the show from the sidelines. His coaching
and the help of the injured Chad Dykehouse, were key factors in setting up
our win. It meant that with Brett Snowdon, Paul Welsh, Sam Schwarz, Yuta
Tsutsumi, Louis Patterson and others rotating through the middle, our engine
room remained strong for the whole game. The Dingoes went into the long
break leading by a comfortable 21 points.
Half time score:
Dingoes - 7.7:49, Hawks - 4.4:28
The third quarter is always referred to as the premiership quarter, and the message at half time was that we shouldn’t rest on our laurels. We were just over thirty minutes away from realising the dream, and we had to dig deep and keep on fighting. A long shot from the middle of the ground which bounced through for a goal by Jonathan Cooper was the highlight of the quarter, but after a game ending knee injury to the big man, the Hawks went up a gear and kicked the last few goals of the quarter to go into the final break with a sniff of victory. The Dingoes lead had been whittled away to just seven points, and it seemed as if the Hawks might run over the top of a tired looking Dingoes outfit in the last quarter. Three quarter time score:
Dingoes - 9.8:62, Hawks - 8.7:55
Steady heads were needed in the last quarter. With several injuries, it was going to take a concerted effort to get over the line. After some final words from the coach, the Dingoes set about playing their last quarter for season 2011. With Brett Snowdown flying high and dominating the ruck and midfielders firing from all cylinders, the final quarter was played almost entirely on the Dingoes terms. The ball was bottled up in the Dingoes’ forward line and despite some nervous moments early on the Dingoes never looked like giving up their lead. The Hawks never gave up, but didn’t bother the scorers in the last, as the Dingoes kicked two goals and three behinds. Osaka did everything they had to and more to win the grand final of the Fosters 2011 JAFL football season by 22 points.
Dingoes - 11.11:77, Hawks - 8.7:55
Goals: D.Moon 6, J.Cooper 2, G.Tanaka 1, B.Snowdon 1,
Prior to 2011, the Dingoes had never won a JAFL premiership of any sorts. Through the efforts of everybody involved, both on field and off, we managed to clean sweep the competition this year, taking out the Japan Cup as well as an inaugural premiership. From the efforts of the girls on the sidelines, all the way up to the president (Yazid Dardah) and coach (Adam Reidy), everybody contributed. All year we hunted in packs and worked together to make this club what it has become, and to realise the dreams of some men who have lived, breathed and sweated Dingoes football for many years. On November 13th, 2011, a new chapter in the twenty year history of a proud football club was written in blood sweat and tears. Emotions ran hot as Drew moon received an award for kicking the most goals in the game, Brett Snowdon won the medal for best on ground and Jun Oikawa lifted the trophy to the heavens.
Several men were playing their last game for the Dingoes. As a club wish them well in their future prospects, and want to let everybody who was involved know that they were part of something special. Bonds were created this year that will last a lifetime. To those who suffered injuries, we wish you a speedy recovery. To everybody who played a part in season 2011 at the Dingoes - congratulations, and we hope to see you all back next year to defend our title!