Toodyay, Western Australia

Patience is the key for scoreboard attendants according to Blue, the man in charge at Toodyay. Blue is helped by a team of enthusiastic youngsters who listen carefully to his instructions and get the scores up quickly. He’s not the kind to get too worried about making mistakes: “The goal umpires keep you in line,” he said.

Recent contouring work at the ground reduced the height of the scoreboard and made things easer for Blue who parks his car next to the board for shelter on rainy days. Blue’s motivation for looking after scoreboard at home games is pretty simple: “It’s a way of helping the community.”

Community spirit has been in high supply in Toodyay since 38 homes were destroyed in bushfires late in 2009. Then Perth Football Club coach Andrew Jarman took his whole squad to Toodyay to help in the clean-up effort in January 2010. The Demons were particularly focussed on helping team mate Michael Patching whose family home was destroyed in the fires.

Toodyay was sitting second on the Mortlock Football League ladder when we talked to Blue but he wasn’t getting carried away: “We’ve gotta do it at the end of the season,” he said.

Les Everett

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