The last three Friday nights have been on the grass. I suppose it was inevitable. I was kicking a football around with the boys - refusing to admit football season was over - at Coburg city oval, when an under-tens training squad was setting up for a game down at the grandstand end. The coach came over. "Would you like to join in?" he called to the boys, having seen them running around. "We're short of a couple of players."
Ten minutes later they were fielding, and I was sitting on the grass outside the witches-hat boundary. The game finished about seven, with the ground draped in long shadows from the trees at the western end and the air still warm. The boys enjoyed the game so they signed up. Thomas had hit a boundary, William had taken a catch.
If you're going to join a club, it might as well have a good history. This one does. It came into being two years after Eureka, and a couple of years before the Melbourne Football Club was formed. The cap proudly states: Coburg Cricket Club. Est. 1856. Melbourne University CC was formed the same year and I can imagine cricketers travelling by horse, and possibly cart, up and down Sydney Road on warm summer weekends.
The ground is in walking distance and it's a nice stroll home in the dying light after the game.