Monday, April 03, 2006

Gavin Wanganeen, legend

Freakishly talented, ludicrously beautiful, and reputedly the nicest bloke you could ever hope to meet.

Oh, and the first-ever Aboriginal player to chalk up 300 AFL games.

Here's a call from his early days:

"10 mins Salisbury picks up the ball at centre half back, but on this occasion he is caught flat footed by Wanganeen, whose tackle jolts the ball loose some 15 metres nearer to goal. Showing Salisbury a clean pair of heels, Wanganeen sprints forward, taps the ball ahead of himself once, and then gathers it up before arcing 'round onto his left foot and, from 25 metres out straight in front, prodding a low, purposeful drop punt right through the centre of the goals. Port Adelaide 11.8; Glenelg 7.8

14 mins Hodges comes careering out from goal to meet the ball at centre half forward. Crashing through a pack of players, he scoops the ball up and feeds off to Ginever, whose quick, almost reflex handball finds Gavin Wanganeen running in towards goal. Wanganeen closes to within 35 metres before, with great deliberation, stabbing the ball over the head of Ross Gibbs in the goal square for a magical 6 points. Port Adelaide 12.8; Glenelg 8.8"

Third quarter of the 1990 SANFL Grand Final.

He was seventeen.

10 comments:

ThirdCat said...

Brilliant post. And now I am completely ashamed of my first footy post of the season. When my family berate me, I will send them along to your blog.

Pavlov's Cat said...

LOL ... still, I thought I'd let the shame die down for a day or two before I posted this.

Thrashed by the bunch of scrubbers my friend Deej calls Far North Melbourne. I ask you.

comicstriphero said...

Just declaring my Swans allegiance right now so you can proceed to ridicule.

Go on! I can take it!

Pavlov's Cat said...

Hell no, wouldn't dream of it. Reigning Premiers. Respect where it's due. Go you good thing. Etc.

(But I suppose they could always be called, hmmm, North South Melbourne?

Sorry.)

comicstriphero said...

(But I suppose they could always be called, hmmm, North South Melbourne? Sorry.)

No, I understand that completely.

My league team (Balmain) was the victim of amalgamation/relocation and I will never stop hating it.

Oh wait, they won a premiership last year too!

Go sports!

Footy Club said...

Didn't get to appreciate Gavin Wanganeen's brilliance until he was with Essendon, but yes a great player and a top bloke by all accounts.

AFL said...

As good as he was at Essendon, in some respects Wanganeen played even better football when he went back to SA.

Speaking said...

What a bloke and what a footy player. Doesnt get any better

Auto1 said...

I agree. What a player!

Declutter said...

There are some much better players around i think.