Off the Top of My Head
By Paul Murray
As captain of the All Australian Football team and Melbourne Football Club, one of the teams competing for this year’s AFL Grand Final, Big Maxie Gawn is having his best year EVER!.
Born in Australia to West Coasters from Greymouth, Max spent some of his childhood in Greymouth and at now 6’10” (208 cm) and 108 kgs (about 17 stone), had he stayed on the West Coast of the South Island, his now red and blue #11 guernsey would likely be All Black number 4 or 5.
In AFL, being selected for the All-Australian team is a high accolade and Max Gawn was made captain of the team this year after previously being selected four times. All-Australian captain is the gold medal of AFL and is secondary only to the Brownlow Medal for the fairest and best player of the year.
Gawn was working as a pizza chef for Dominos when selected by the Melbourne Football Club as pick #34 in the 2009 draft. He became a stalwart of the team and now its ultimate leader becoming captain in 2020. This year, BIG Maxie has led his team to the Grand Final for the first time since 2000 with a spectacular individual performance in the preliminary final against Geelong kicking five goals. The club hasn’t won the premiership for 57 years.
Ironically, due to COVID lockdown and quarantine restrictions, the AFL Grand Final will be played in Perth, Western Australia and not Melbourne’s home ground the MCG, so many Demon’s fans will not be able to travel to WA to support their team against another Melbourne-based team, the Western Bulldogs.
Melbourne fans have had a long wait for their team to take home the ultimate prize of the premiership cup, maybe this is the year for the Demons to rise under the leadership of Gawn and bring the flag home to Melbourne this weekend (COVID travel restrictions permitting!)
AFL Premiership Winners
|2016||Western Bulldogs||Sydney Swans|
|2006||West Coast||Sydney Swans|
|2005||Sydney Swans||West Coast|
|2004||Port Adelaide||Brisbane Lions|
|1996||North Melbourne||Sydney Swans|