Bally deep in retirement

To Ballbags aka Wombat,

ball-josh5First impressions in life are so important, but unfortunately with your height and body stature you sure as hell didn’t set the world on fire. But boy, what you lack with height, you sure as hell made up for it with your ability to make those around you have a laugh (albeit at your own expense at times), and bring joy to each person you were with.

Your resume speaks highly for the short amount of time you were involved: 60 VFL, 7 VFLW, 13 TAC Cup & 3 TAC Girls games, which also included 3 VFLW finals, a TAC Cup boys Grand Final and the inaugural TAC Girls Grand Final. On top of this, you’ve completed 2 AFLW seasons with 4 finals in that time. For a bloke that came down to the Buffalo Centre in 2018, you sure as hell achieved so much in a short period of time.

Your bouncing was elite, one of the best we had. Your decision making was right up there with the top echelon of the group and the way you handled yourself when something arose in a game was ‘composure’ at its finest. They’re the things I think we all noticed of you on the field.

But for me, it’s not so much about what you did on fielball-josh3d. It’s the off field antics that I’ll be remembering you for. Your performances at 2 Mad Mondays won’t ever go unnoticed. The Queens’s Birthday weekend night out was a favourite but it’s the off season where I think you found your best form. From attending Pol & Sarah’s wedding in QLD to the infamous ball pit of Bedroom or bopping our heads away at a ridiculous time of morning, there are many countless memories that I will cherish forever.

Thankyou Bally for bringing so much joy to the job we do, for giving me heaps of good gags to say in coaching, which I end up regretting hence why you told me to say them and for making every Tuesday and Thursday that little bit more bearable.

We all miss that energy you brought to the group but I know you’ve got so much to look forward to in your life whether that be work, family, horse racing or the Packers. And I probably shouldn’t forget Mia and the dogs. I and the whole umpiring fraternity wish you guys nothing but the best and all the happiness in the word.