Almanac (Footy) Poetry – The Rhymer: Ode To Cyril



Ode to Cyril Rioli


If footballers were horses he was destined to succeed
His bloodline in the Territory made him a special breed


His father, Cyril Junior, was a local footy legend
so the talent of his offspring was guaranteed – predestined


With blue-blood on the dam’s side, this line could do no wrong.
She’s sister of the Bomber star the mighty Michael Long.


The talent was identified when Cyril went to school
he was nurtured early on, they recognised a jewel.


When Hawthorn signed the tyro, in the year of 2007
He wasn’t a bad draft pick, taken at eleven –


or maybe it was twelve, it didn’t matter to the Hawks
They’d decided they would take him after they’d had talks


But it wasn’t what he said that made Junior such a catch
It was the magic that he showed when he played his first match


His vision was extraordinary, his skills they were sublime
agility he had in spades, he seemed to have the time


to pick out teammates anywhere, by either foot or hand
he could take a hanger – hand off it before he’d land


and players couldn’t catch him – as slippery as an eel
his goals and passages of play make a one man highlights reel


he’d duck and weave his magic, leaving champions in his wake
he’d sell ’em candy , twist and turn, he really took the cake


four premierships and a Norm Smith, that set him well apart
and tricks we’ve seen on every ground, I don’t know where to start.


Bouncing up from tackles, hangers of renown
goals shot out from anywhere, mate you earned the crown


Then just as he burst on the scene, as quickly he’s retired
He’s gone back up to Darwin, his tenure has expired


He’s left us with great memories of a champion of the game
We hope there’s more Riolis with talents just the same.


Send ’em down to the AFL you bloody little champ
reward us with another who displays a similar stamp


as you and your relations, all who have left their mark.
But you’re good as anyone who ever graced the park.


© The Rhymer 2018


  1. Rick Kane says

    Lovely tribute to a footballer who could and would again and again win the ball, the contest, the game and hell yeah, even the premiership for your club!


  2. The poetry is nearly as good as the footballer. — highly evocative, captured the essence.

  3. None sublimer; thanks Cyril and Rhymer.

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