Instead, you would've noticed it was the familiar site of Andrew Last whirring around the training track wearing what may be the only pair of non-Goanna shorts he has ever owned. A fluoro orange garment that in a past life might have belonged to a Hooters employee.
Sadly, those iconic shorts will be seen no longer, for last weekend, the man affectionately known as 'Firsty', played his final game for the club with whom he won 2 premierships. Add to that a prestigious Bebbington (club B&F) and countless other JAFL accolades including a Grand Final MVP and a Japan Cup MVP, you'll get the sense the Goannas are farewelling one of their finest. For him, Poland beckons
His former coach and now club President Tom Bowes was effusive this week when speaking about the vitality and vigour of the half back-cum-midfielder.
"Old Firsty he’s like a perpetual motion machine. I think he might be the answer to Poland’s energy crisis. He’s got this same deadpan look on his face while the engine is running at top speed to down below, whether he’s running the length of the field, kicking goals, tap dancing, clubbing in Mallorca, you name it."
Back to those orange shorts though. When asked about his much-loved training attire, Firsty explained it was more a matter of necessity.
"When I signed up to play for the Goannas, I was promised a cost of living allowance comparable to Sydney. For some reason, that never eventuated, and I've only ever had enough money to buy one pair of shorts from the Adidas Family Sale. They've grown on me. Literally, I can't take them off. They're like a fungus. Still, I like to think they bring a certain amount of good luck."
Now that his fashion guru-ness has been well and truly established in Goannas folklore, what does he think about the attire of his fellow Goanna brethren?
"I'm always impressed by the wide range of jerseys that get worn to training. Pete (Chalmers) and Dan (Last) have some pretty raucous outfits, and Yuji (Yamamoto) must have had his jersey tailor-made to look like Poppy's (Chris Poppe) six-pack. Another one of the reasons why I wear my patented orange pants-blue shirt-green shoes combo is that I know I won't be put on the same team as most of those guys during our mini-games. They never pass the ball!
"The true fashion guru of the team, though, would have to be Jared Barnes—and all of the other lads who wore footy boots into Muse (Owen Kearney approved night club) ."
After his final game for the club ended in an unfortunate hard-fought loss, the team offered to immortalize those shorts by framing it in the clubhouse. Firsty was having none of that however. "These shorts come with me wherever I go."
Instead, he offered to leave his equally fluoro green boots behind for somebody else to take over. Understandably there were no takers. Those boots were simply too sizeable to fill.
Those very same boots followed his brother Dan 'Lasty' Last's familial footsteps to Tokyo in 2015 and after finding employment in the same school at TIS, Firsty certainly blazed his own trail thereafter.
"I came to Japan specifically to meet an Italian woman so that I could eventually move to Poland."
With that rather paradoxical equation working out quite well, he soon put his focus into his other goal.
"I also wanted to play football against people my own size".
With that journey having also worked out quite positively, Firsty sat down with us while re-enacting the Basic Instinct leg cross-over in his orange shorts, and brought us back to the very beginning of his Goanna's expedition.
"I laced up for my debut game alongside some of the Goannas' now-favourite sons and fathers: Woody (Jarrod Woodward), Sozza (Soren Lummis), and Daud. This was back in the Gordon Jones era, during the great Tokyo Bay Suns- Tokyo Goannas rivalry.
"It took some months for me to come to terms with the workload associated with being an amateur Japan Australian Football League footballer. That is, I wasn't quite up to hitting Muse three nights a week - the O-Frequency. I was much more partial to consuming post-match icy poles and checking Gordon's DIY Goanna game stats.
"My first impression was that a lot of players seemed to have a lot of time on their hands. The club's finances were like one of Peter Chalmers famous forward-50 entries: just floating around. Case in point: At the first Goannas social event ever attended, I won a cycling tour of Kyoto that never originated. My hard-earned Magners always seem to disappear, too."
On the flip side, the club had already formed its own impression of Firsty as well before he had even kicked a ball in anger. There were a lot of rumours flying about as to him being the 'more talented Last'. His brother Dan didn't do much to dampen those expectations, instead fanning the fire into an inferno as bright as those famous orange shorts. Firsty explained his thoughts on how he handled those overwhelming expectations.
"'Talented' is a relative term. I think that (Japan Samurais coach) Brett Qualtrough summed it up best from the sidelines when he noted that 'Dan can't kick for shit'. Understandably, no one really ever had high hopes for me, which has perhaps contributed to the general opinion that I'm 'the best JAFL player to have ever lived' (Ghirardello, S. et al. 2018. Conversations With Firsty: The Best JAFL Player to Have Ever Lived. Tuttle. Tokyo.). "
Goannas coach Sam Ghirardello himself only served to re-iterate exactly those words this week.
"I don’t think I’ve met many people as athletically gifted as Andy. I’ve never seen him lose a contest regardless of what position he’s playing, but the most amazing thing is how effortlessly he does it. He moves so smoothly and uses the ball so well, that it’s almost as though he’s only operating in second gear. He’s a man of few words, but when he does speak everyone listens, such is the respect that his teammates have for him. I personally think he’s the best player in Japan, and replacing him will be an impossible task."
Even his brother Dan Last, 3 years later, is still fanning that flame when speaking about his sibling.
"Firsty is the ultimate JAFL footballer! The most athletic Goanna I have seen, the cleanest around the contest and the best kick. He has won almost every accolade in the competition and was the driving factor in two premierships in two years. Considering we never played footy together back in Australia (he was in rep teams, I was in Auskick), it’s been a joy and a privilege to take the field together for three years!"
When asked to speak about his own game, Firsty compared himself to one of his St Kilda hero's. Surprisingly, it wasn't Lenny Hayes.
I see myself as a classy, Jack Sinclair-esque midfielder, my favourite position is naturally about a metre-and-a-half off the pack. Not only does this put me in the perfect position to get the handball receive or swoop on a loose ball, I also get the best seat in the house for the 'Oceans Is Face-Down in the Dirt Again Show.'"
So how does he see the Goannas being able to cope without his outside silk?
"As well as Nick Riewoldt coping with a shoulder injury."
Last year the Goannas in an ultimately futile campaign had a taste of life without their citrus-color-loving talisman. The year started positively going undefeated until Firsty had to abscond to Mallorca. Upon his return, he immediately broke his wrist in his comeback game prematurely ending his year - and some say that of the clubs as well.
"Sadly, I had to resign myself to the same fate that ended Woody's 2016 Grand Final campaign. I like to think that I handled it a little better than he did, though. I barely even screamed the C-word from the sidelines during the elimination final.
"It was tough to watch the team bow out last year at the hands of the Lions. In many ways, though, it made the whole competition a lot more even, so in that sense, I'm sort of like a martyr."
If that was the trough of his Goannas career, there were plenty of peaks.
"Obviously, the comeback victory in the 2015 Granny will go down forever in Goos folklore. Drinking from the Japan Cup chalice (twice!) was also something special.
"Probably my most chivalrous moment was when I didn't go all Kanye West and burst Lasty's bubble for being 'named' in the 2016 All-Japan Team ahead of me."
As the Goannas now come to terms with a Last-less squad, we can only hope the Polish will appreciate the magnificently accoutred footballing maestro that is Andrew 'Firsty' Last. There have been calls to permanently change the Goannas match-day shorts to bright orange in honour of the great man, the person who has done more for shorts than any other footballer since Warwick Capper.
In his own words, "Long Live the Goos."