The Adelaide Uni Blacks have scored a a major coup in signing former high-flying Crow Nick Gill to play in the SA amateurs. Screamer specialist Gill has recently returned to Adelaide, where he played for North Adelaide and the Crows, for a breakfast radio gig with Triple M.
Gill’s signing by the Blacks follows last year’s recruitment of Magpie Sean Rusling, no mean feat considering the cash spilling around SA suburban and country leagues. It restores one’s faith in humanity to see talented blokes like these opting to play for the love of the game. The allure of a purely amateur experience, playing with a good bunch of bright young fellas on beautiful University Oval, not to mention post-match beers with Bob Neil, is obviously not to be underestimated.
The bookworms certainly had to call on all their guile and cunning to secure Gill’s signature in the midst of some hot competition, most notably from Andrew Jarman’s Ironbank in the Hills League. Blacks Football Director and Adelaide media powerbroker Cameron Mudge played his part, plying Gill with generous lashings of the famous pistachio gelato at Cibo Espresso on the Parade. But the clincher may have been a special poem that the Uni lads snuck in front of Gill, an unusually literate footballer and journalist. The untitled composition read as follows:
Sit comfortably, and close your eyes,
Recline, and we shall hypnotise,
Sink back and down and just relax,
And ponder playing for the Blacks.
On field of green, in guernsey black,
You dominate a feral hack,
Suffused in scent of barbied sanger,
You soar skyward, take a hanger.
You kick the goal, we win the game.
Contentment rivals new found fame,
Pure destiny is what you feel,
And then post-game, you meet Bob Neil.
A fantasy, a lifetime’s pleasure,
Experience worth more than treasure,
To lead a club, that’s full of loonies…
Just wonderful. So sign with Uni’s.
Very few clubs would resort to rhyming couplets to get a boom recruit across the line. The last time a club adopted a tactic of this sort in SA was during the halcyon days of the Kilburn ‘Maim and Destroy’ Football Club in the early 90s, when the Chics filled their formidable team by writing numerous Haiku for each of their illustrious targets. Kilburn’s effort was all the more impressive when one considers how difficult it is to compose Haiku entirely of monosyllables. Of course, it helped that they were written on fifty dollar notes.
The beauty of the Blacks is that even if Gilly doesn’t ever slot that mythical match-winning goal (which on past form may not be entirely unpredictable), he will certainly enjoy his year on the paddock. The Division One team is shaping as a decent outfit under SANFL legend Jack Paynter. New lights have just been installed at Uni Oval for night games, both to bring the crowds back and avoid the hellish AFL game day parking expected around Adelaide Oval. Bob Miles ‘High’ always has the Long Room well stocked with West End Draught and Stone’s Green Ginger Wine. The Blacks Ball and Super Sunday will be crackerjack occasions, and the club’s social calendar is as strong as ever.
As Gilly is about to learn, the difference between winning and losing at the Blacks . . . is about five minutes.
Captain SAPSASA’s brilliant Adelaide Uni yarn is in this collection which is available through the Almanac online shop.