Aptly they were called the MP’s All-Stars.
Upper house MP Adem Somyurek and federal Communications Minister Senator Conroy in particular formed a strong bond on the field despite much discussed differences in the political arena between their respective sub-factions.
Somyurek – an SDA aligned warlord who led the way in the south-east in the destruction of Leftist forces – is a highly skilled player on and off the field. Equally skilled and despite filling Senator Robert Ray’s shoes is a frighteningly fit chap who far too sensibly declines to drink, Senator Conroy.
So they dominated the play and found occasion following the game to have a laugh over the past few months of internal Labor Right feuding.
THERE’S ONLY ONE PLUGGER LOCKETT
The team was organised by John Eren who is an intimidatingly skilled striker. Those familiar with the career of AFL thug Plugger Lockett would understand the full dimension of Eren’s attacking power.
Others who took the field included Corio MP Richard Marles, a very fit Roads Minister Tim Pallas, lefty Carlo Carli, star photographer Telmo Languiller, Sports Minister James Merlino, Gavin Jennings and the Industry minister Martin Pakula.
RICHARD’S RAGS TO RICHES STORY
The rags to riches story of R. Marles attracted particular attention.
In order to advance his claim to be goalie, Marles had boasted frequently of his exploits at a local school in Geelong where he recalled that he was a highly skilled goal-keeper.
As such he made successful claim to the jumper emblazoned ‘1’ and established himself as goalie wearing black.
Sadly, Marles proved to be not quite the goalie that he had promised to be, incurring the wrath of team promoter and factional ally John Eren.
Fifteen to twenty goals were scored off Marles in the first round of hostilities, before state MP Carlo Carli feigned injury so that he could make a case to replace Marles as goalie. A wily move. Carli was a stronger presence for the MP All-Stars and improved the flow of goals scored against them from one a minute to about one every ten minutes.
THE COMEBACK KID
Marles was not impressed with his atypical fall from grace. A Rocky Balboa/Bullwinkle style look of determination was adopted as he returned to the field for the next game.
He didn’t do a lot better.
That is until Channel 31 established themselves filming the game.
Under the spotlight of possible television broadcast, Marles became a man possessed. Out of nowhere, showing skill that would have left Ronaldhino gob-smacked, he stole the ball, turned on pace not seen in years, dribbled past a couple of players with the ball and shot for goal from metres out scoring in a manner unprecedented in the modern history of the game.
“GOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL!” he was heard to say.
It was a magnificent display that left all around him stunned. And yes it was all filmed. And just like that other tape formerly in the possession of Jake ‘the Snake’ Della-Vedova, we’re sure we’ll find it some day.
The All-Stars didn’t kick a lot of other goals. Although master-blaster Senator Conroy got two, John Eren one in an uncharacteristically quiet, remarkably restrained effort and of course Marles’s goal – which will live in sporting history.
A fine day out for patriots that culminated in a greeting of affection or kiss of death – depending on your point of view between footballing friends Conroy and Somyurek.