When I arrived in Australia as an attachment to my parents Document of Identity (10 Pound Poms didnt require a passport – a hold over from the original British settlers) I had no idea the foopball existed. The day after our arrival I was confronted for the first time by Morris Bexley, the boy over rhe road, with ‘Who do ya barrack for?’ I looked blank and he asked me if I was a wog and didn’t know English. After further mutual misunderstandings Morris decided I should ‘barrack’ for Collingwood. I still admit to this on rhe rare occassion when foopball enters my conversation and partisanship is required.
In Blighty I had played soccer disgracefully but had as a result an abhorrence of touching the ball, while in play, with my hands. So when it came to ‘Sport’ at Chadstone High (a three storey cube of sadism and suffering just down the hill from a tiny, newly built Chadstone Shopping Centre) I was at a loss. In the fine Australian educational tradition I was given no instructions on how to play. On the field I followed instincts and kept the ball down kicking it along the ground. This was awkward, at first, as Australia hadn’t worked out how to make round balls yet and still followed the traditional pig bladder shape, This was surprisingly successful, as you were only allowed to scrag your opponent if you were in possession of the ball. I scored quite a few goals. Very soon the other chaps got the measure of my tactics and would kick me in the knees, eventually causing me to end up in hospital. This fine display of sportsmanship got me out of foopy till we changed schools the following year after we moved. I went to Croydon High. It was a school full of Poms and Wogs and bushy grounds where one could hide during sport.
Mallacoota doesn’t have a foopy team, we have four soccer teams that admit both men and women and sometimes win the pennant. Sometimes other teams players complain about women because they are better than them.