© Marcellin Old Collegians Football Club. All rights reserved.

9 July Milestone Games

Congratulations to Reserves Coach Thomas Black on playing his 200th game this weekend. A fantastic achievement for a fantastic member of our Marcellin community!!


Congratulations on 200 Games brother! What a massive achievement that cannot be understated.

As a former premiership-teammate, occasional member of the “blackline”, fellow resident of the bat-cave, and most importantly friend of yours for nearly 20 years, I am truly so proud of you.

Many could write for days about your determination on the field, your addiction to Voltaren, your silky left foot, and your refusal to come off the field even though seriously injured and hampering the team, however, I thought I’d talk simply about your character.

Oft-lauded as the “GOAT” by current and former teammates at Marcellin, I now truly understand why this is. Your efforts to create a sense of belonging at the club cannot be made light of. You take the time to get to know all players, making them feel welcome whether its their first game at the club or if they have been around as long as JB.

You go out of your way to create thoughtful moments for your teammates and appreciate everyone’s contributions. It can be as simple as shouting a couple of “dogs” after the game for the boys or as obscure as getting everyone to sign a themed children’s colouring book to recognise a milestone game.

You are unique in your methods but universal in your consideration and kindness to your peers.

I am looking forward to and consider it one of the highest honours being able to chair you off the field on Saturday. I might even do Fitzy and have a shower with you after the game even though I didn’t play…

Congratulations again. Play once, play well.

Anthony Manakis

It has been an honour to be a teammate and friend of Tom’s across his 14 seasons at MOCFC. Anyone who has been at the club during this time could attest to the incredible impact he has had on the football club and the legacy he will leave behind. Across this week, many of Tom’s impressive accomplishments have been rightfully celebrated, so I’m going to take things in a slightly different direction. To commemorate Tom’s career goal kicking tally, here are 10 things about the man/myth/legend you may not know:

  1. Tom has been very durable throughout his career, playing every game in 6 of his 14 MOCFC seasons. He has missed more than 2 games in only 2 of these seasons.
  2. In contrast to his unwavering loyalty as a senior player, Tom was something of a ‘gun for hire’ as a junior. He played for 5 different junior clubs in all, ranging from the St. Ives Saints to SFX White Horse Colts.
  3. Historically, Tom has been a chronic vomiter before games; I’d estimate he has thrown up before 100+ games (a similarly impressive milestone). As a junior, Tom would throw up due to pre-game jitters/anxiety, whereas as a senior player, it was usually due to his escapades the night before.
  4. Dating back to age 5, Tom has only sat out one football season (2000). It was during this year that Tom embarked on a search for Jesus, signing up for the Holy Family Junior Soccer Club. The Holy Family excommunicated him at the end of that season, and he quickly returned to Aussie Rules.
  5. Tom is something of an encyclopaedia when it comes to footy boots. He is able to recall the brand and type of boots that most AFL and MOCFC players wear.
  6. In total throughout his illustrious MOCFC career, Tom has played at least one game for 16 different coaches. Things kicked off with Craig Tucker in the 2009, right through to now where he chose to DIY.
  7. Over the years, Tom has had an enormous amount of MOCFC teammates buy him a beer. Despite Tom’s feeble efforts to honour these shouts, I’m informed he’s $8732 in the green. I understand the VAFA have rigorously investigated this anomaly, but fortunately Tom has been able to maintain his amateur status.
  8. Across his 200 games, Tom has never worn any number other than #44. He chose this number in honour of Corey ‘Boris’ Enright.
  9. Tom has now attended 13 preseasons in all, his only absence being during the ‘12/’13 summer when he was overseas. This culminated in Tom straying 10-15kg above his playing weight, and the genesis of the nickname ‘Big T’. Thankfully, Tom was able to strip back down by the next season and the nickname has since been retired.
  10. Since arriving at MOCFC, Tom is now onto his 3rd car. He wrote the first two off, something he hates me reminding him about. Somewhat ironically, we now have a teammate with a nickname befitting of Tom: T-Bone.

Congratulations once again legend. Looking forward to having a beer and discussing the many items that didn’t make the list!

Nicholas James


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