Ode to Simon Prestigiacomo



The skills of Jarman are absurd,
and Aka on his non-preferred,
and Ross Glendinning in full flight,
and Barker reaching for the heights.


But let us not forget those men
who turn up time and time again
and duly sacrifice their game
to guard the best and biggest names.





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About Damian Balassone

Damian Balassone is a failed half-forward flanker who writes poetry. He is the author of 'Strange Game in a Strange Land'.


  1. Damian, a great job to recognise the unheralded and unfashionable Presti. I’m a true ABC footy fan but you can’t help but respect a bloke who, in his final season, stood aside from the replayed Grand Final team to put his club first. There lies the measure of the man.

  2. Great work, Damo.
    Did you write this in 2003?

  3. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great stuff DB. Early on Presti was a whipping boy. He got the best out of himself and became a terrific clubman.

  4. DBalassone says

    So true Phil. I think the value of the miserly stand-your-man full back has been forgotten in this era of interceptors. Smokie, 2003 Presti was at his best. It’s often overlooked that he took the honours against Jonathan Brown in those 2002-03 Grand Finals.

  5. Daniel Flesch says

    This ode prompts two thoughts .1) Prestigiacomo is one great surname , but Dipierdomenico is just that bit better.2) Has there been a team of Italians selected and published? (In nigh on three score and ten years i’ve heard all the jokes(sic) about my inherited Hungarian surname. Several times each.)

  6. Andrew Starkie says


    One Saty at the G, Presti ran over to pick up the King at the first bounce. Carey laughed and from my seat in the stands, I could lip read, ‘You’re playing on me?!’

  7. DBalassone says

    Daniel, there’s definitely an Italian Team of the Century…


    …with Presti just being pipped for the full back position by SOS.

    Starks, I remember Bucks doing the job on the King in ’96, only to be smashed the next 3 times he played on him. Experiment over. Presti probably got the job thereafter. Unfashionable but very effective.

  8. Luke Reynolds says

    What a player. Would be named at full-back without question if was to name the team of best Collingwood players I’ve seen.

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