1986 – A Year With The Blacks Round 6: New Kid In The Black

Yet another blessed staff meeting on Monday, this time at the Dover Castle in Archer St. It dragged on for at least 15 minutes, but I stayed on to prepare my preview for Tuesday’s SA v Vic State of Origin match, working long into the night, swapping notes with SA full forward Grenville Dietrich, who was making his State debut the next evening.

Sturt’s John Paynter popped in for an orange juice to settle his nerves before the big game but was easily goaded into a couple of shandies or seven. We poured him into a cab around 9:30pm. I hope this didn’t have anything to do with him being cut from the final side that took the field against Sheedy’s navy and white vermin. Surely not.

After our fifteenth schooner of research, I couldn’t help but notice the tall skinny kid with the Pseudo Echo haircut hovering around the Saloon Bar Business Centre. His ashtray removal technique was solid, although his fifth effort was a bit sullen.

“Who’s the kid?”, I asked mine host Frank Tasker. It turned out that it was his young lad Sean, who should have been swotting for his Blackfriars Year 12 responsibilities. As young Sean had plans to become a PE teacher, Frank thought that he was better off out in the real world, rubbing shoulders with the elite of Adelaide sporting society. But he stayed on when Grenville and I were there too.

It turns out that Sean’s school footy wasn’t as serious as Frank would have preferred, so they were looking for something a bit more challenging. (I think the words “Catholic” and “pea hearts” were uttered, but maybe he was just getting the menu ready for Friday’s BPS staff lunch).

I was about to go outside to the phone box to place the next day’s copy, when I noticed Griff, perhaps taking a break from preparing for this week’s Marryatville Fartlek Eisteddfod, wandering in to the bottle department for a couple of bottles of Sno Top. I advised him to have a word with the landlord, but from the glint on Griff’s forehead, he may have had prior knowledge of the Tasker talents (and it might not have been Sno Top either).

Grenville and I researched into the early hours of Tuesday morning, finishing up with a long discussion of his possible Victorian opponents, John Walker and Glenn Fiddick, outside Marcellina’s.

They’ll be talking about this night in the Dover for decades to come.


May 17th 1986 Round 6

A1 – Griff’s Grizzlers Adelaide Uni 15.8 def SPOC 14.11 (Uni Oval)

Goalkickers: Huston 4, Tasker 3, Griffen 2, Bland 2, Hammond 2, Schulz, Kenny

Best Players: Huston, Hall, S Parker, Bland, Schulz, Kenny

Heads rolled at selection this week. Up from the A3s was Skip Hammond, and Griff decided to lead by example and take up a spot on the flank. In reality, he was running protection for the other big in, Sean “The Kid” Tasker, who repaid Griff’s faith with three goals.

Sandy Cockburn was on overtime after the game though, as several Blacks noses were said to be put out of joint by the sudden selection of the spring-heeled teenager from the Adelaide College drinking hole. Tasker had better kick a few more goals this year if he is to warrant Griff’s flagrant breach of the Blacks traditional pathway to the top flight. Cripes, he wasn’t even at the President’s Keg.

There is some joy to be had from defeating the “Silver Spooners” by a slender margin, but this was almost the third Blacks loss since their opening trio of wins. Boz seemed a bit more frazzled than usual after a week of Team Managering the Uni team at the Intervarsity Football Carnival and Progressive HangSleepover in Melbourne.

I.V. All-Australians Dadds (AU), Basham (SPOC) and White (SPOC) were not sighted today.


A8 – Glamour Side Adelaide Uni 11.3 def by Salisbury Central 14.7 (Salisbury CAE)

Goalkickers: Graetz 3, Maddern 3, M Watson 2, Bey, Raschella, Rushed

Best Players: Coleman, M Watson, Krcmarov, Verrall, Dutschke, Bassanese

The Glamour Side were brought undone by two foreign  concepts, Salisbury and CAEs. Only BD knew where Salisbury was and CAEs were places you went to if you didn’t pay attention in Matric at your local state school.

Coach’s Notes – Six members of the Glamour Side return full of piss and wind after a week at I.V. and are then sent to visit Satellite City and get more of the same. Alleged A3 champion Handbag Holiday Valdameer Valdamaar The Dane Hansen has 8 possessions for the day – his 2 boots, 1 jumper, 1 sock and 4 toasted pizzaettes at the opposition’s government funded bar after the game. McGregor Watson puts the sucking mouth piece into orbit and is never seen again.


A9 – Sty Council Adelaide Uni 18.15 def Para Hills 6.3 (The Paddocks, Para Hills West)

Goalkickers: Taylor 4, Priest 3, Goodwin 2, Harcourt 2, P Pattison 2, Leyland, Mellen, G Pattison, Richardson, Schwerdt

Best Players: G Pattison, Thomson, Davidson, Richardson, Culley, Goodwin

What’s with the League sending my favourite Uni teams so far north on the same day? I got as far as the Bridgeway, so I have no idea what really happened. Apparently Tim “Plug” Harcourt kicked two goals. Now they are being silly.


With the minor round already one third over, I thought that I should document how the other Blacks teams are faring. Blow that for a joke, instead, I got young Gucci to prepare this in depth assessment of the Blacks’ other five teams.

Young Tommy Birchall

A3 – Young Tommy Birchall

A3 – Always a tough job when the AUFC second side faces up to the firsts side of the other A3 clubs. Which is absolutely no excuse for the feeble efforts of Ross Bourne’s mob (1 win so far). Shameful.

The Brothers Wellington

A1R – The Brothers Wellington

A1R – Sticks Fanning, with Egils ‘The Latvian Warhead’ Olekalns as the second best credentialed boundary umpire in Blacks history (behind Prof Harcourt), has a 3-3 record as captain-coach. Pretty good considering they play the opposition’s second team each week, but let’s face it, this side is a haven for old blokes who should have given the game away years ago, Rocks.

Mike Papadopoulos sans guernsey

A3R – Mike Papadopoulos sans guernsey

A3R – (Digby) Hancock’s Half Hour is well placed with a 4-2 record. Not bad for a youngish side with the added handicap of having to play a couple of hours after they arrive home on Saturday morning. Mike Papadopoulos’ clever ploy of shaving a white V into his chest each week may not work as well when the colder weather sets in.

Graham Blue

A10 – Graham Blue

A10 – Coach Bill McHenry must feel like a nursing home attendant. Bob Neil, Jethro de Boer, Graham Blue, Quick Mick Schapel, Herbie Martin. Someone tell these blokes it’s not 1978 any more. Two wins and a draw so far, gives them something to talk to their teenage kids about on the way home.

Wennie van Lint

A11 – Wennie van Lint

A11 – Wennie van Liniment played VFL for the Swans, what’s he doing in charge of The Scum? He clearly has no idea, guiding them to a very un-Scumworthy 5-1 record to date. Someone stop him before they make the finals.


Gordon “Super Supreme Please Grenville, No Olives” Agars

FAlmanac banner sq

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. In the words of Frontline’s Mike Moore “Swish you’ve done it again”

    some clarification – did they have a pool table at the Dover Castle or was that Grenville Dietrich’s bed on a Friday night?

  2. A classic line. “..rubbing shoulders with the elite of Adelaide sporting society. But he stayed on when Grenville and I were there too”
    Great photojournalism… Rocks and Pebbles together in one frame!

  3. Gordon – I know none of the personalities, but all of the landmarks. Your pieces are a timeless treasure trove of people and places best forgotten.
    The goal of every Saturday night in the 70’s was to survive Globe Derby trots with enough cash to afford a pizza and a drink at Marcellinas in Hindley Street. The waiting line to get in. Rubbing shoulders with the seedy end of town (though it was a step up from the ‘red hots’. Kings Cross in short pants.
    Had to check up the Dover Castle. So many pubs. So little brain cells remaining. I’m sure I must have dropped in for a flutter with mine host Jimmy Burrows after being denied credit at the usual haunts.
    Did you ever get to the British, Gordon? Cook your own steaks were very fashionable among those of us seeking to save $5 for the quaddie.
    Or the Buckingham Arms? First time I met a dazzling “lady” who was so easily convinced. Though my mates did warn me about her adam’s apple. So confusing for a young man. You set out for the Queens Arms and end up in the Kings Head.

  4. Haha magic again Gordon! Hard to believe Boz “managed” the intervarsity team. My memory (what there is of it) is we were completely directionless that entire testing week. Boz’s report notes we “shifted residence” after 1 night. A tidy euphemism, I suggest. Zero memory of the SPOC game. Pleased to see we won by 3 points and that others played well / contributed. I see Huston was BOG. That performance aptly reprised at the long lunch / reunion last Friday (Lingy and Hamish McLachlan were stars).

  5. Dan Hansen says

    Pizzaettes are almost as good a hangover cure as pie floaters.

  6. Grenville Dietrich – what a talent.
    He could reverse punt a footy barefoot further than any of us could do a normal torp in footy boots. And in summer he wicket kept up to the stumps for the quicks.
    With just a liitle bit more dedication he could have been anything.

  7. Shame on you Gordon. How could you have forgotten the essential ingredient to Valdemeer Valdamaar Val de… HA HA HA HA HA HA…. Hansen’s proper nick. Your memory must be failing you!

  8. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    It was remiss of Gordon not to talk up Grenville’s 4 goal haul in SA’s 10 point win over the Vics.

    Thanks Plug, it might have been under, not on.

    6%, that was probably Joe Nurk’s nifty camerawork

    PB, I met Mrs Swish at the Buckingham Arms. Better just leave it there.

    Daddsy, how was Burger’s bus driving?

    Handbag, only the meat lovers ones apparently

    Blandy, but would we still be talking about him?

    Big Jim, blame Young’s notes for the oversight, don’t think he was in a singing mood that night.

  9. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Yes crook as a dog from iv it hailed out as Salisbury the glamour side were terrible and I as worse remember the bloody day. thanks Swish entertaining as always

  10. Best CAE line ever. The misplaced arrogance of Gordon is writing dexterity at its finest.

    Just loving these.

  11. These are now a weekly highlight Swish. I’m going to celebrate by popping by a corner store (not milk bar or deli) to buy some Sno Top.

  12. Tim SUTER says

    Swish, great article.
    Hope “the Kid” gets a read. 1986 was so much fun, training warm ups included trying to kick more goals than the Kid, from outside 50 from the grandstand flank, the only flank with lighting. No-one could beat Sean Tasker.

    In the Div 1game that week, SPOC had some ring-in ex Carlton ruckman/forward. Our boom recruit, “the Kid”, proved to be far greater value.

    As landmarks go, suggest the Venue needs to enter the conversation, the 86 team was represented by Proprietor Steven Moy and head bouncer Corey Williams, with various other players from all grades making up the clientele.

    Tim Suter

  13. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Wow, praise from one of Australia’s most admired sportswriters, thanks. Thanks to John and Mickey too.

    Tim, appreciate your comments on ‘The Kid’, who I think has seen this piece (thanks Rulebook). The Venue wasn’t one of Gordon’s regulars, but maybe the boys dragged him there one night during bye week. Time will tell.

  14. Best footy days
    Friday nights at the Institute bar with Daddsy too
    Sorry I couldn’t get back

  15. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Those Friday nights at the institute bar Wally wallet never received much damage great times

  16. Grenville Dietrich says

    Thursday night was Dover Castle night thank you, Friday’s were normally reserved for the Reepham

  17. Thankyou Grenville for that clarification for the historical record

    I hope you know that the author Swish Schwerdt wore a Grenville Dietrich t shirt to the Almanac Grand Final day lunch

    Tim Harcourt

  18. Grenville says

    And it fit perfectly too I see….lmao

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