Port Adelaide Scholarship 2004 – Joe Discepola

Joe Discepola during Port Adelaide scholarship Joe Discepola during Port Adelaide scholarship Joe Discepola during Port Adelaide scholarship

Monday March 8th:

I arrived in Sydney this morning to sunny clear skys and warm weather. A bit of a change from what we’re used to in New York this time of year. It was definitely a very long plane ride, but despite the length, it went by rather painlessly. I slept for 2/3 of the flight and just thought about my skills training and game situations while I was awake.

After I made my way through the longest customs line ever, I then waited on line for the longest Taxi queue EVER. I arrived at Guzz and Jo’s place around 9-ish, set my things down for a bit, and then Jo took me around Bondi Beach where I went for a run and a swim (which felt great considering I was stationary for about 24 hours prior). It was absolutely beautiful. We had lunch at some Swimmer’s club which is renown throughout Sydney and then came back to rest. Guzz started his new job today and we will be going out for dinner later near the Harbor bridge and Opera house.

Tomorrow morning I leave for Port Adelaide and commence my training with the Magpies.

Tuesday, March 9th:

I left Sydney via Virgin Blue and after a short delay, arrived in Adelaide where Jeff Farnham picked me up at the airport. We dropped my bags off and picked up his wife, Milou, to go looking at the local foodmarket. After that, Jeffa took me to meet Paul Belton, the CEO of the Port Adelaide Magpies. Jeffa, Paul, and I sat down in a meeting room at the office and discussed what my training would be like.

Paul wanted to see how I’d fit in and so had me do 8 x 400meter runs with one of their veteran players. So, for each of them, I kept pace with a guy they call “Bangers.” My legs were extremely tight since I had been sitting in 3 different airplanes for the past 3 plus days, so I tried to stretch as much as possible during the short recovery distance of maybe 75 meters, and then had to start again. After that, I had a kick with “Bangers” for a while and then watched the players do drills for the last 30 minutes of training. I then went home and had dinner with Jeffa and Milou, who are gourmet chefs. They cooked Barramundi Jamaican style, which was new to me but very tasty.

Wednesday, March 10th:

Port’s training schedule is on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, with games on Saturday, so today I woke up late. Jeffa and I went hiking up Mount Lofty and then came home to play tennis in his backyard grass court for a while. He introduced me to Kitchener buns, which are my new favorite thing to eat, and then I had a real MEAT PIE. The meat pie was pretty good as well.

Jeffa and I then went around looking to buy a footy, but all of the good Sherrin’s were between A$80-A$130. So after walking around town and looking in stores, we decided to turn back home, stopping in several pubs along the way for refreshments. After I returned home, we had some lasagna, I watched several episodes of the Simpsons with his kids, Jasper and Mikela, played some basketball with them, and then ate an awesome steak that Jeffa prepared with Baked Potatos and mushrooms.

Thursday, March 11th:

I woke up late again today, being that I am on vacation and training wasn’t going to start until 6:15pm. I had my morning coffee and then headed into the center of town to go to the natural history museum. I went on a tour of Aboriginee culture and history, with an interesting Aboriginee tourguide. After the tour was over, I was so hungry that I had to find the nearest place to eat. I walked around and looked in many of the shops along the pedestrian street, to find that many of the stores they have here in Adelaide could be found back in New York, the only difference being that things were much more expensive here. A good pair of sneakers were almost twice as expensive as those in the States, as were some clothes. So, that being said, I will not make any significant additions to my wardrobe while I am over here.

I took a bus back from the town center to Jeffa’s house, then played some more tennis, and left for training. I arrived at 5:30 to run and stretch. There were two training sessions that night and the coach had me train with the latter group at 6:15. While warming up, I learned how to do a banana kick, and I ended up scoring a behind with my left foot on the first try and a goal with my left foot on the second try. The guy who taught me couldn’t believe it and was all excited.

At 6:15, we did some warm up drills which ranged from High Knees, to butt-kickers, to Karaoke, then strides. We stretched and then did 20m sprint, 20 meter jog, 20 meter sprint, 20 meter jog and back again for 2 minutes straight –4 sets. For the first set, I was smoking everyone. After the 2nd set, my legs become incredibly tight and so I lost the lead and just kept with the pack. These guys are incredibly fit. However, after doing that I was pretty confident that I could keep up with whatever drills they had to do, which was comforting since I wasn’t sure what to expect.

After our running drill, we then moved to some handball drills about 10 yards apart – similar to what we do at our practices in New York with constant talking and yelling for the ball. Then we switched hands, and back again, alternating one guy throwing down to the ground for the opposite guy to pick up and handball back. We backed up the distance and did some leading, marking, handballing to the man next to you who would then kick the footy across the rectangle we created. We did similar versions of this for a while, increased the distance and then did 3 on 2 weaving handball drills with a kick to midfield to finish it. This was good fun and I saw how these guys move the ball and fake out opponents, which was great.

The last drill we did was a kicking from the goal squre to a leading half back flank, who would then hand ball it forward to a stationary player who would handball it back so the halfback flank would then kick up to a leading forward who would then kick a goal. At every station during the drill you would always follow your kick or handball to support your teammate. They kept emphasizing the importance of this throughout the drill, so that it would be second nature in game situations. This drill went the whole length of the field in both directions for a while. To finish up practice, the had me lead the group in pushups and situps. We stretched and then went back to the lockers.

The Magpies are having a trial game this Saturday. Since they have a lot of numbers,I won’t be playing in that, but the coach thinks that Paul Belton could get me in a District game. So hopefully that will work out.

Comments from Super Chef Farnham:

Port Districts, the Port Adelaide affiliated surburban team, had a 6 quarter trial match against Woodville this Saturday. Both sides played a mix of their A and B sides interchanging throughout the match. A beautiful day here, blue skies, 24 degrees and playing at Ocean View College, which is on the beachfront at Taparoo

Joe got 3 straight quarters (the last three) on the half back flank where he seemed to impress the coach.

The first quarter he let his man push off on him and he gave him about a 6 pace start, but Joe’s speed allowed him to catch up when caught out. He spoiled a couple of marks with good punches and got a few touches and kicks.

His second quarter was much better, by standing right on his man he effectively took him out as an option in the forward line, as they weren’t willing to kick it to him. Once again, some good strong spoils, a tackle on a bloke running into an open goal that prevented the goal and allowed Port Districts to clear, as well as a couple of clearing kicks.

Last quarter saw Port Districts get back into it which took some pressure and some of the play away from there backline. Joe played well in the last quarter, spoiling marks, clearing the ball a couple of times out of the backline and some gaining some good hard fought posessions by getting into the pack.

Well its beer o’clock. I’ll catch you later.

Joe Discepola during Port Adelaide scholarship Joe Discepola during Port Adelaide scholarship

Friday, March 12th:

Since I don’t have training on Fridays, I decided to go out the night before and have a few drinks at an Irish pub where there was a band playing some popular American music. That was good fun, and afterwards, I took a taxi back. I got a good nights rest, and then went to the local market with Jeffa on Friday early afternoon to buy food for the Friday night feast. One of my favorite dishes is a hearty lamb shank, and so Jeff, being the master chef that he is, picked up a few hard to find shanks with some tasty sides to go with it.

After we unloaded the car, Jeffa and I went for a kick at a local park that had a footy/cricket oval. Since I had a game the following day with Port Districts, Jeff worked with me to get my kicks lower and was giving me some tips on marking and accelerating after a lead and a mark, which helped a lot. When we had exhausted ourselves, we went shopping for some refreshments at a nearby liquor store. Now, the liquor stores are unlike anything I have ever seen. In Australia, or maybe it’s just Adelaide, there are Drive-thru liquor stores. It’s pretty “full-on.”

Later on Jeff showed me how to cook the lamb shanks, after which, Jeffa, Malou and I polished off with a bottle or two of wine. Needless to say dinner was awesome and since I had a game the following day, I made it a short night.

Saturday, March 13th:

Game day. Jeffa, Malou, the kids and I all packed up the car and headed for the footy ground. It was about a 45 minute drive, and right off the beach. It was a hot, clear, and beautiful day. I met the Port District players, warmed up with them and got to play the last 3 quarters which were 20 minutes each. The coach put me in at halfback flank which ended up being more of a fullback position. I wasn’t used to playing there and would have preferred to have been in a more offensive position, but I was just glad to be out there playing and learning from some of the more experienced blokes. I didn’t see a whole lot of action down there that day, but I did manage to interrupt several marks, make a few key spoils and blocked two clear goal attempts–one by tackling a guy in the goal square just as he was about to kick it through, and then blocking another kick in the goal square. All in all it was great to get in there and have a run with these guys! The rest of the day consisted of relaxation.

Sunday, March 14th:

Originally, Jeffa’s family and I were planning on going camping and fishing after the game on Saturday. However, due to an AFL game drawing a large crowd near the grounds plus the fact that the trial game didn’t end till much later than anticipated, we decided to go fishing on Sunday morning out in Moonta. The beaches there are the kind you’d see on a postcard. Clear water, a nice breeze, and sunny skies. The only problem was that I didn’t put lotion on my legs. Everything else was covered and protected, but at the end of the day, from the back of my knees down to my ankles and my shins, there was nothing but hardcore sunburn, which is just starting to go away–about a week later.

Fishing was a great getaway, peaceful, and serene, but didn’t pan out to be as fruitful as we had hoped. After Jeffa rigged my fishing rod with a new sinker and gave it a bit of “the magic” as he calls it, I immediately caught two fish as did his little girl, who by the way puts me to shame. She may only be 7 years old but she can cast a line out there better than most people on the jetty. However, after that short burst of catching fish too small to really eat, we came up empty handed the rest of the day. Jeffa was persistent and determined to at least catch a squid or two. However, our efforts proved unsuccessful. All in all it was an enjoyable day.

Monday, March 15th:

I went to the local shopping mall in the city center, walked around, had lunch, and read a little bit. Training was at the Port Adelaide clubhouse today rather than the stadium. Our training consisted of just lifting and running, which was pretty easy. I was lifting just as much if not more than most of the guys on the team and the running drills were medium paced 80m runs followed by 40m recoveries. Little by little my fitness has been improving so this was no big deal.

Tuesday, March 16th:

Since this is my only vacation for the whole year, I have been making the most of my free time by reading, relaxing, and enjoying the weather. That being said, I went to the public library and village shopping area for lunch and to send out some postcards to my family.

Around 5 o’clock, Jeffa drove me to train with the Port Districts team, which is the club I played with the previous Saturday. That practice turned out to be a great workout. We did a lot of quick hand and foot drills, where we’d do over and under hand passes, then switch sides left to right with two balls going at the same time. Then there knockdowns, pickups, multi-partner handpassing, half-volley kicking and marking, which were followed up by some quick sprints starting out in 3 point stances. This was very familiar to me having run track and played football. The purpose of these sprints was to have explosive starts, which is important in leading and after marking or picking up a ball.

The rest of the practice consisted of a lot of ball movement around the 50 meter line, goal square and flanks. Each station worked on some aspect of the game, whether it was running multiple leads, to kicking goals, to kicking across the field or hitting low kicks as a teammate would lead across the field. There was a good bit of running involved, which helped with our fitness and proved to be quite tiring. We finished off practice with a little more skill work, which was similar to the beginning of practice.

Wednesday, March 17th (St. Patty’s Day):

I don’t have training on Wednesdays, so Jeffa and I went out to the Claire Valley just outside of Adelaide to do some wine tasting. I had never gone wine tasting before, so it was a completely new experience for me.

To start the day off, Jeffa and I woke up, and headed directly for the bakery for our Kitchener buns, Meatpies, and Pizza. After having our fill with spare Kitchener buns for later, we were ready to go. It took about 1-2 hours to get out there. We tasted some really good Shiraz and some pretty terrible Shiraz as well. We also ran into some strange folks, to say the least. One trailer park couple, who was a true motley crew, seemed to follow us everywhere. They were a little haughty and obnoxious at the first place we went to, where the guy who hosted the wine tasting had the most ridiculous overbite and ugly wooden teeth I have ever seen – so bad that it caused him to have an unidentifiable accent. It could have been British, it could have been Australian, and it could have been Chinese. Jeffa and I were quite disturbed by this poor soul, so we got the hell out of there quickly. At first Jeffa wanted to tell him to “buggar off” but had a hard time restraining his laughter, so instead motioned to me that it was time to get out of there.

We stopped by a few more wineries, and finally had a nice lunch at Skillagalee. It was an indoor/outdoor restaurant with picturesque backdrop. The only problem was that every wasp in the entire country had gone on holiday to Skillagallee as well. So when our food came out we were swarmed by these annoying pests to the point where we had to go inside just to finish our food. The waitresses there were a bit on the nutty side as well. After lunch, we took off and headed back to Adelaide. Jeffa and I learned two things that day: 1) Australian Wine is cheaper in a liquor store than directly from the suppliers and 2) living out in the country in a very rural area with few people is NOT A GOOD IDEA.

Now, since the Magpies are just over a half-hour away, I don’t really know anyone locally to go out with. However, being that it was St. Patrick’s Day, that was a non-issue. Jeffa dropped me off in the city center at some Irish Pub. I pulled up to the bar and had nice cold Guiness from the tap. Shortly after assessing the scene, I met a group of Aussies that were my age and spent the rest of the night partying with a handful of Sheilas and Blokes. I was just looking to go out and have a drink or two, but the night turned out to be a lot crazier than I expected. For more in-depth details, you’ll have to wait till I return. On the whole, it was good fun.

Thursday, March 18th:

Due to the fact that I got in after 4am, I slept most of the day. I went out for a nice extended lunch followed by a nice afternoon nap. Training was only an hour and was a bit disappointing. We had some hard sprints in the beginning with a little bit of working the ball around the field. Then practice ended. Due to it being much lighter, I didn’t really seem to get much out of it. [Ed note – most trainings on a Thursday night during the season at Australian clubs are lighter, skill session, as the teams seek to be fresh for the weekend’s game.]

Thursday night I went out again and was tutored on “HOW TO SPEAK AUSTRALIAN.” That is a work in progress.

Friday, March 19th:

On Thursday night I met up with several Aussie mates that I met on St. Patty’s Day. Since the Clipsal was going on this weekend, tons of people were out partying. So, the night extended into morning, leaving me exhausted and tired. Luckily I was able to find a Mackers (Australian’s nickname for McDonalds) to keep me going. Since Friday was pretty much shot as a result, I bummed around the house, read, checked emails and before I knew it, it was time for the Friday night feast at the Farnhams’ once again. Dinner consisted of Jeff’s famous Lamb Shanks with potatoes, vegetables, and some vino. I went to town on about 4 or 5 shanks until I could barely move. Jeffa then dropped me off in town to have some coffee with me mates. Since I had a game Saturday afternoon, I cut the night short and made my way back to Tusmore.

Saturday, March 20th:

I woke up feeling refreshed after the Thursday night/Friday morning’s debauchery. Jeffa, his son Jasper, and I drove out to the second trial game with Port Districts. I played with the B side again as a halfback flank for one quarter, and then since we were short 2 men, the coach moved me up to a half forward position. We didn’t have as many guys as the week before and the ones that did show up, I didn’t really recognize. As a result, we got our asses handed to us by a team from a place that sounds like “No longer.” I feel as though I played pretty well and stuck it to the forward I was guarding in the first quarter and then won a few contests as a half forward. However, there was no harmony on our side, little leading and communication, so our standard was a bit on the messy side. All in all, I had a good run and learned a few lessons in each position, one being to never stop moving and always run through your kicks ! This lesson came after I got laid out from behind about a second or two after I won a contest and kicked the ball upfield.

After the game, Jeffa, Jasper and I went to the beach for a bit and then he dropped me off at the Port Adelaide Magpies stadium to watch the rest of their trial game. When the game was over, I showered up and got ready to go on a boat cruise around the harbor with the Magpies. The boat cruise was meant to be a fun social activity for all of the fellas to kickback and get to know everyone on the team a little better. This turned out to be a blast. I got a chance to talk to just about everyone at length. Several of the players kept buying me drinks which would be a recipe for disaster under normal circumstances given my low tolerance. However, due to the fact that I cleaned off every tray of food they brought out to us throughout the cruise, I wasn’t really affected by the exorbitant amount of alcohol that I drank.

By the time the cruise was over, just about everybody was pissed. Some of the guys wanted to stay locally and other wanted to into the city center. It was a tough choice because everyone was promising that they were going to show me “THE BEST TIME EVA IN ADELAIDE.” When it came down to it, Port Adelaide is a $50 cab ride back to Jeffa’s house, so I opted to go with the blokes who were citybound. Those Magpies came through as it turned out to be one of the best nights EVER.

To be continued…

March 20th-Saturday Night Continued…

After the booze cruise around the Port Adelaide Harbor, a few of the Magpie blokes took me out to a fancy lounge/club called Savvy. 5 of us roll up to the joint and cut the line because we thought we were hot shit. We brought a few girls in with us to speed up the process and then continued our debauchery inside. I scoped out the scene and the ladies for the first half hour. After that, I thought I recognized a girl from the night before and so started talking to her. Apparently I was mistaken, but it didn’t matter anyway as we talked for a while, danced, and whatnot. After a while, I decided that I needed another drink. That’s when the rest of the story begins.

As I walked up to the bar, I saw this really pretty girl throwing me some serious eyes. She then threw me a wink and a smile. Now, I am not used to having one of the hottest girls in the place checking me out like that, so I incredulously look over both shoulders to see who the hell she was winking at. I couldn’t believe it was me. I had a shaved head, a cheap ass beard, etc., – basically, I was not in my usual form. But when I realized that it WAS me she was flirting with, I decided not to let this opportunity pass.

So I approached her and said, G’day in my best Australian accent. No, actually I don’t really remember what I said due to the state of shock that I was in at the time. All I know, is that she and I clicked immediately and I spent the rest of the night sitting with her and having seriously deep and philosophical conversations in the corner of the place. At the end of the evening at 6am she and her friends offered to drive me home so I accepted without hesitation.

Now comes Jeffa’s favorite part…Just before I get out of the car, she asks me for my number. I reach for my wallet and pull out the number to read off to her. Not even a minute later, this lovely Sheila and I get out of the back seat of this two door hatchback, and say goodnight. The girls pull away and I open up the gate to the driveway. Just then I reach for my wallet, and I realize, that it is no longer in my pocket. Several possibilities raced through my head –

  1. I must have dropped it in the back seat of her friend’s car,
  2. It must have fell out when I got out of the car or opened up the gate,
  3. She picked my pocket.

Problem was

  1. The key to the house was in my wallet
  2. All of my money and IDs, insurance cards, etc. were in there,
  3. I didn’t have her contact info.

So basically, I was screwed. I had no way of getting into the house now. It was 6:30am and still dark out. I felt like a schmuck and so didn’t want to ring the doorbell and wake anyone. Therefore I searched the entire area of the gate and driveway about 47 times hoping to find that I dropped it on my way from the car to the gate. Unfortunately, that was a fruitless search. So I walked around the block and then decided to lay down in the backyard looking up at the stars contemplating what the hell just happened and why. If I had been played by this girl, then I would have been really pissed. If I dropped it as I got out of the car, then I would feel much better, but still foolish. So the ball was in this girl’s court and it was now just a waiting game where I had to hope she called me. I had to pray that the Discepola charm worked well enough to keep her interest.

Sunday, March 21st:

8am rolls around, I am freezing my bollucks off and just want to sleep, so I ring the bell and Jasper, Jeff’s son, answers the door half asleep to let me in. I crash for a while and then decide to worry about the problem after I woke up. I told Jeffa and he and I proceeded to search the white pages. Unfortunately she wasn’t listed. Fortunately, the Discepola charm worked and she called around 2pm. Ironically, her friend who had driven me home, crashed the car into a tree after dropping off the girl I met. Luckily, she wasn’t injured. But, now, it was a Sunday afternoon and the car was impounded in some lot that was closed. When Jeff overheard this conversation, he lost it. He found this almost as funny as the wooden-bucktoothed-bandit who tried selling terrible wine to us in the Claire Valley the week before. In actuality, it was pretty ridiculous so then I started laughing hysterically with him.

This girl was a champ though. She got her friend’s spare keys, drove over to this lot, climbed on her friend’s shoulders, hopped over the barbed wire fence, got into the car, and found my wallet on the floor of the backseat. She called me with the good news. I was sooooo pumped. In turn, I went out with her that night to celebrate. And the next night. And the night after that…until I left. Basically, she turned out to be an amazing Italian Aussie Sheila…and I think she might find her way to New York City soon, so hopefully you guys will get to meet her.

Monday, March 22nd:

I went to training at the Port Magpies clubhouse. I had strained my shoulder in the game on Saturday and so had the trainer and doctor look at it. It turns out that I had sprained ligaments. Therefore I didn’t lift, but rather did the running drills. This workout was exactly like the week before where we formed 4 groups and ran in rectangles. We would sprint about 80 yards, slowly jog for 40 meters, and repeat in the rectangle for 3 sets of 5 minutes each. I worked these sprints hard with the backmen and lead the pack each time. There was no ball work.

Tuesday, March 23rd:

I lounged around all day and then went to training with the Port Districts. This workout was all about drills and game situations. It was much more intense that the Port Magpies practice the day before.

We worked the ball up and down the field running in packs, taking marks, and doing goal kicking with a backmen kicking out of the goal square to get the ball moving back in the opposite direction down the field. Towards the end of practice we did full-on sprinting and marking. It was an awesome workout.

Wednesday, March 24th:

Jeffa took me to Victor Harbor, a seaside town about an hour outside of Adelaide to walk around, take pictures, and also see some Kangaroos, Koalas, Dingos, Crocs, etc. in a near by animal farm/zoo. That was pretty interesting. While there we had fried and breaded leather sandwiches for lunch disguised as Beef Schnitzel marinated in a liter of bacon fat and oil. The price was right, and the bar included a beer and a ticket for a horse race so we couldn’t complain too much. On the whole we had a good time and thought of a creative and artistic internet enterprise. You can ask Jeffa for details on that business venture. I’ll give you a hint-it has to do with crack, and I am not talking about the narcotic.

Thursday, March 25th:

During the day I did some shopping for a few souveneirs, relaxed, and got ready for the last day of training.

Training was light since the last trial game was coming up on Saturday. We did a lot of goal kicking and marking. Practice ended after 45 minutes, I said my goodbyes, thanked Paul Belton (the CEO), the rest of the club, and the players for giving me the chance to train with them. They gave me a Burley Ball to take home and a nice collared Port Adelaide Magpies shirt. I gave them our NY Magpies t-shirts on behalf of our club as a token of appreciation.

Since Jeffa and Malou had been cooking amazing dinners everynight, I took them and the champ out to dinner that night. We went to an Italian Ristorante around the corner. Dinner was excellent and we had a few good laughs.

Friday, March 26th:

I woke up, packed, and headed off to the airport with Jeffa and his brother Richard. We had planned on going to watch the Collingwood vs. Richmond opening AFL game at the MCG in Melbourne. As soon as we arrived, we unloaded our things and decided to get our drink on. Strangely, our hotel was located near some of the queerest bars/pubs, if you could even classify them as that, we have ever been to. The first drinking hole we went into had an open room with no tables, chairs, or stools. Just a bar and a couple of back rooms with 2 other people there. They served us urine sample sized plastic cups of beer. We tried to figure out what the hell was going on, came up without any real answers, and so left.

The next place we went to was trendy, but had the motliest crew of patrons in all of Australia, and possibly the southern hemisphere. I mean, it looked like a four-eyed, buck-toothed, large nosed,, hairy armpit and buttcrack convention in there. I think the name of the bar might have been called REJECTS, and Jeff, Rich, and I were caught staring with expressions of utter disgust several times. We couldn’t stay there long due to the lackluster ambiance so we thought we’d find a decent place on the other side of town.

We walked quite a distance to a main drag. We stopped in several other disappointing places and saw several disappointing faces as well. We started playing the “yes/no” game which turned into the predominantly “NO! NO! NO!!!” game. Prior to coming here, my impression of Australian women was that they were very attractive on average. Better looking than the average Americana. I guess that is because they kicked all of the homely folks out of Sydney and Adelaide and sent them to Melbourne. Melbourne had the highest concentration of horrendous looking people that I have ever encountered. We were only there for a day, so I could have just had a bad impression. But the three of us concurred, so I feel confident in that statistic.

By the time the game was about to start, I was ready to pass out from all of the BEEEEEER I had. Jeffa and Rich were just getting warmed up though. So we headed for the MCG, found our seats and got our game faces on. The game was awesome. I have never seen a crowd so into their teams. Everyone was dressed up, carrying flags, painted, etc. just to support their teams. Apparently many fans had agreements with management to serve as unofficial coaches during the game where they could yell out instructions which the players were supposed to follow. The Richmond Tigers dominated the Collingwood Magpies. It was incredible to watch the game live and at such a high level with so much energy surrounding it.

After the game, we headed back to the hotel, called up Robbo but weren’t able to get in touch with him, and then after about two hours of kicking back, we made our way to the Crown Casino. While there, we gathered more supporting data that our initial statistical commentary on the Melbourne scenery was extremely accurate. It was like being in Reno, which leads me to making two suggestions: 1) Never go to Reno 2) If you happen to go to Melbourne, bring a lady friend with you or drink yourself into oblivion until your standards disappear. And even then, still say NO!

Saturday, March 27th:

I woke up and headed for the airport. I flew back to Sydney, then to Los Angeles, and finally to Newark. It was a long and tiring journey back home. One that was not nearly as exciting as the trip to Australia.

What I learned from my HOW TO SPEAK AUSTRALIAN lessons:

Cheers, G’day means Hello/goodbye
Throw another Shrimp on the Barbie is bull because Aussies call Shrimp PRAWN and I never heard anyone say it
Straightaway means straightaway
Full-on means all out or hardcore
Mate means friend or buddy
Bloke means guy
Sheila means girl
Buggar, Buggar-off, Buggar-all mean many things, but usually used as an expression out of anger or frustration
Bollucks means B.S. or Balls
Trackydaks means Running pants
Mackers means McDonalds
Hungry Jacks means Burger King
Chips means French Fries
Tomato Sauce means Ketchup
Pasta Sauce means Tomato Sauce
Noooooyyyy means (No),
Whateva is self-explanatory
Bum means butt
Tosser means fagela
Tah means your welcome/goodbye
Oy – Hey (I am not sure)

And that is the end of my journal entries. That being said, I had an awesome time down under. It went perfectly. The only thing that could have made my trip better would have been to been asked to play in the AFL. My scholarship trip was that amazing. I’d like to thank the New York Magpies for offering me this incredible opportunity. It was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had, and one I will never forget.

I’d also like to thank Ojas (Juicer) for introducing me to Footy and setting a fine example, Pato for taking the time to work with me on all aspects of the game, Doug and the rest of the executive board for believing in and supporting me, Gazz for helping arrange all of the finances to make this trip happen, Chucky for starting the club in New York and helping me train, Rob Oliver for helping organize tickets to the Collingwood vs. Richmond game, Matty B for getting the journal entries up on the website, Guzz for looking out for me while I was in Sydney (Thanks to you and Jo for sending my digeridoo CD), and last but certainly not least, Jeffrey Farnham-Super Chef Extraordinaire and his family for being such tremendous hosts. You really made me feel like part of the family. Thanks for taking such good care of me while I was there. I’d also like to thank everyone else for all of your help and support since I first joined the team. If I failed to mention anyone I apologize, but there are just so many.

Sincerely,

Joseph P. Discepola

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