1986 – A Year With The Blacks Round 1: Off To A Flyer

April 12 – 1986: Round 1

A1 Griff’s Gorillas – Adelaide Uni 17.14 def PAOC 12.9 (PAC)

Goalkickers: A Hancock 9, Dadds 3, Bland, Eckert, Huston, Miller-Smith, McDonough

Best Players: A Hancock, A Parker, Huston, Gallagher, Eckert, Schulz

I spend a pleasant Round 1 afternoon with the Blacks’ President, Mark Schwartz (not to be confused with that unfunny bandy-legged Swish bloke who makes up the numbers in the Sty Council). The Ones, who are still searching for an appropriate nickname (Griff’s Gorillas is the current epithet), are playing away against Prince Alfred Old Collegians, or in Uni-speak, the “Tarnished Spooners”.

Schwartz’s father Merv was a long-time colleague of mine at the Adelaide Agitator, SA’s quality broadsheet and valued alternative to the News Limited afternoon chip wrapper (long may it continue).

Schwartz tut-tuts at the lateness of many of the Blacks players, wistfully recalling the years before Gough Whitlam opened up the world of free-ish tertiary education, when a trip to PAC was virtually a Uni home-game, if not home-coming. They didn’t need a Gregory’s to find their way to (or spell) Dequetteville Terrace in those days. Goodness, a couple of them arrived in one of those frightful locally made Holden vehicles, a Commondoor I think they are called. Lord knows what PAOC does with its bicycle racks when they have to host Kilburn.

The game itself was a comfortable enough win, with spearhead Alexander ‘Sandy’ Hancock just falling short of a decuplet of majors, a characteristically insouciant Bridesheadean flick of the fringe prefixing and suffixing each set shot. On this showing, the elusive century of goals would seem a certainty for Hancock. He could prove to be the rock upon which the Blacks forward line can be built, as long as the goal square can be kept open.

However coach Griffen wasn’t too pleased about the last quarter fade out and hinted to me post-game that he was about to utter the words that no Uni footballer wants to hear, “Bring your sandshoes to training next week fellas”. From what I hear, these blokes have trouble remembering their shorts.

Bob ‘Boz’ Maloney, in his managerial debut, failed miserably, leaving behind his team sheet carbon paper supply, but bringing along Anchor raspberry flavoured cordial rather than the preferred Bickford’s Lemon Barley. Craig ‘Sarge’ Schulz was more excitable and Ian Miller-Smith even less interpretable at the final siren as a result. Brenton ‘Nose’ Eckert treated Boz with the appropriate level of deference.


A8 The Glamour Side – Adelaide Uni 15.13 def West Croydon 10.12 (Park 9)

Goalkickers: Lee 4, M Watson 4, Ashwood, Drummond, Egan, Graetz, Maddern, Raschella, Schultz

Best Players: Lee, M Watson, Kidd, Bassanese, Passaris, C Watson


I missed the Glamour Side’s match, but ‘Young’ (as we are all obliged to refer to him) left his notebook open at the Queen’s Head so I scribbled this down.

Coach’s Notes – The first shock of the season – the fragile Uni heart muscle did not go “twang”. The second shock of the season – Eric ‘Sniffer The Greek Kangaroo’ Passaris (aka The Human Experiment) completes the game with hamstring intact. The only time he does for the season.

I’ll make sure that I get to their next game.


A9 The Sty Council – Adelaide Uni 14.13 def St Dominics 7.7 (Fitzroy Tce, Fitzroy)

Goalkickers: Taylor 4, Mellen 2, Priest 2, Wachtel 2, Warren 2, Davidson, Martin

Best Players: Warren, Thomson, Taylor, Gough, Neil, Wachtel

Well if this is football, count me out. I’ve never seen such a disrespectful display of contempt in all my years as Adelaide’s number one sporting journalist. But enough of Andrew ‘Sty’ Fahey’s pre-match address.

From the first bounce, where Big Jim Richardson forced the newish Faulkner down Swish’s throat, who promptly and characteristically shat himself when jumped on by three Catholic thugs dressed in bottle green and black, it was typical Uni parklands footy. Except we were in the rarely used Northern Western Parklands, adjacent the anachronistic horse agistment reserves. Can’t those snotty girls from Menindie drive into the Adelaide Hiwws to give their ponies a go like everyone else? And why name a footy club after a girl’s school?


Highlights included Gary ‘Gazza’ Martin’s performance at deck-chair left and Bob Neil’s one and only Sty Council appearance in the venerated 130 guernsey (and grey shorts). Justin ‘Pee Wee’ Taylor slotted a lazy four and Matthew ‘Rabbit’ Warren was the Council’s shining light (solar of course).

Assistant Coach Reg Pattison, when asked about his Blacks debut, quipped “It’s football Gordon, but not as we know it”.


Gordon ‘The Horrible’ Agars


You can view Gordon’s 1986 Preseason impressions here


About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. Dear Gordon,
    Get a life.
    Why is this so funny when I know all of the geography, but none of the personalities? I thought “Dequetteville” was a Plate not a street – for 2yo’s in October down the Straight 5 at the Victoria Park racetrack/thunderdome/equestrian centre. Permanently appropriated to CS Hayes mantelpiece in Angaston.
    You can see where my 1986 allegiances lay.
    Brilliant – but I suspect Gordon is using a ghost writer. His fat brother Blair was much funnier, and he could really play the piano.

  2. Who is this Gordon Agars? Any relation to the great Merv Agars of the daily fish wrapper? Weren’t Gordon and Blair the Schwartz brothers of TV infamy? Too many questions and too little memory, need a Bex and a lie down now.

  3. Rabid Dog says

    Thanks Gordon. A beauty to start the minor round. Great to see legendary names like ASHWOOD, ECKERT and NEIl in the BPs/goalskickers. Did you manage to ask the Ox his thoughts? Or was that FAR too scary?
    BTW – Blacks A1a open this season with game v Tarnished Spooners – an omen perhaps?

  4. Mark Duffett says

    “Matthew ‘Rabbit’ Warren was the Council’s shining light (solar of course).”

    Really? The same bloke? Well there you go.

  5. The Ox was standing behind the goals: “Goals Blacks, Goals Blacks”

  6. Week 1 – time to set the cunning Gunning strategy in motion. Head-butt the Brick Sh*thouse’s hand and break it – he’s out for the next 5 weeks. Perfect. Cutla stitches in Andrew Puddy’s RAH rooms post-match (those were the days, sans-red tape), but worth it. Barely discernable scar above the right eye 30 years later – thanks Puds. Griff’s team rules (a freakin manifesto – “the Winning Edge” – infinitely preferable to reading the Franklin Dams case ho hum) seem to work. Opposition confused by the kick-in “huddle” a la Kennedy / Jeans / Griffen. Post-training hill runs starting to bite. “You’ll remember this, mark my words”. Yeah right.

  7. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great stuff Swish I reckon it was this game re Chocka watching changed,Alistair Lee the chinaman nickname to Barry Robran surely the greatest compliment ever

  8. All credit to you Gordon for reliving the halcyon days for those of us who weren’t around.

    Your journalism knows no bounds so I for one, wait in anticipation each week now for your recollections.

    Many of the key protagonists have certainly talked themselves up over the years re their roles in the premiership so thankfully you will provide the necessary facts and balance to counter many of their fanciful claims.

    Go Blacks.

  9. At The Races says

    8’s result to be expected – with home ground advantage.
    Not a bad start for the Ones and Sty Council – considering they had to travel.
    At least St Dominics was one away ground I could find before Quarter time.

  10. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks for the comments.

    Daddsy, Gordon obviously wasn’t watching the game too closely if he missed that incident. Hope he does better in future weeks.

  11. Tom Martin says

    Great stuff Swish, and a fine time for revival of the State’s jubilee year.

    In sporting terms, the biggest impact of the sesquicentenary celebrations was that citizens of the fair city under the age of thirty could finally understand why the Adelaide 36ers were referred to as such. As a ten year old I remember teeming with embarrassment that our basketball team was named for an historical event rather than the much cooler and more conventional choice of predatory beast or bird.
    Despite the lack of any sensible team mascot (a tradition which continues to this day), the 36ers’ sound appreciation of colonial chronology fittingly led them to their first championship later that year.

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