ADAM "Gilly" GILLESPIE
Adam Gilly Gillespie provided the Western Magpies faithful with many great memories with his goal kicking feats and ability to sneak a goal from nowhere. He was short on those stocky legs of his, appeared to be carrying a few kilos and it was suggested a few times he looked like a slow plodder!
However, this appearance lulled many an opponent into a false sense of security as Gilly was explosively quick off the mark, his stockiness was composed of solid muscle and his footy smarts enabled him to outmanoeuvre high quality opponents to take strong marks or manipulate the drop of the ball to his favour.
Gilly certainly knows where the big sticks are and many a time he could conjure a goal at a crucial moment and he kicked 10 goals in senior game twice for the Pies.
Gilly was certainly never one to miss a chance to kick a goal, as shown in the 2008 Grand final win over PBC when Sean Mewing launched a long bomb from outside 50 metres in the Pies third quarter comeback and the ball was about to tumble through for a goal when Gilly thought he would make sure of it and nudged it through with a last second toe poke,thus robbing Mewso of one of the great goals in the Pies Grand Final history!
Gilly arrived at the Pies in 1996 after he moved to Inala from Albury-Wodonga with his mother. He had grown up in Perth until he was 8 years old and he moved to Albury after his parents separated.
After moving to Brisbane he happened to drive past Chelmer and saw the four posts at each end of the ground (a rarity in Brisbane!) and decided to follow up. As luck would have it, he contacted club legend Kevin Kluver.
Kev was never one to let a potential recruit go and he took Gilly under his wing as he joined Sherwood Under 14s.
Starting as an on-baller in the juniors, Gilly recalls Peter Avery as one of his earlier coaches. They won the premiership in his first year at the club.
He played on a half back flank in his first year in Under 18s in 1997 under club Life Member Bob Hoffman. He then captained the Under 18s to a Premiership in 1998 as a ruck-rover in his second year under coach Iain Reid.
Sherwood did not have a Senior side when Gilly finished Under 18s in 1998 so decided to try out for Senior football at Mayne, then a strong QAFL club.
However, soon after starting pre-season training at Mayne at the start of 1999, the Western Magpies were formed and Gilly returned to the fold. He was in and out of the Seniors in his first year playing on a half back flank and back pocket under Des Lashman.
Recognising his strong body work and explosive pace, his next coach Geoff Jennings moved him to forward line - and as they say in the classics - "the the rest is history!!" Gilly went on to be the The Western Magpies Seniors leading goalkicker 4 times and was third in the club's Best and fairest 3 times.
He played key roles in the club's 2006 and 2008 Premierships under coach Paul Grentell.
After the 2008 Premiership, he found it hard to get to training regularly due to work commitments so decided to play with The Woodsmen in 2009 and 2010 and enjoyed another premiership in 2009 and another leading goalkicker award in 2010.
He was persuaded to rejoin the Western Magpies in 2011 but again he was unable to train all the time so played Reserves and won the club's Best and Fairest in Reserves (the John Burkitt Medal).
Sherwood/Western Magpies doyen Kevin Kluver regards Gilly as one of the smartest footballers he has seen at the club.
In 2012, with work commitments affecting training attendances, he decided to join a couple of mates in Michael Podoljac and John Bartels at Ipswich Eagles where he won the clubs leading goalkicker, but just missed the league goalkicking award due to a badly torn calf.
Suiting up again at Ipswich in 2013, Gilly suffered further injury troubles and decided to give the game away temporarily before signing off with a farewell 10 goal haul in mid 2013.
In 2014 Gilly obtained work in the iron mine at Paraburdoo in the Pilbara of WA as a FIFO worker and was able to play 4 matches with Paraburdoo Saints in the 4 team Fortescue league (the other three teams are from nearby Mt Tom Price).
Then in 2015, he moved his family to Paraburdoo and opted to play a full season again, winning the club's Best and Fairest Award in a Premiership winning year, and of course the club and league Leading Goal Kicker Award as well. He was also third in the league Best and Fairest Medal. Gilly reports that the oval at Paraburdoo is quite good and is maintained by Rio Tinto.
Gilly again intends to suit up for another season in 2016, which makes sense after such a great return to full-time footy in 2015.
He is happily married to Casey, with 2 young children, Thomas and Isabella. Young Tom likes his footy but apparently prefers to handball...a trait that must have skipped a generation, as Gilly was never known for his love of the handball!
He says the biggest influence on his career was his mother who encouraged him to keep playing football and stay focussed on the important things in life.
The upside to the story is that Gilly re-connected with his father when he was 21 years old and they became good mates. He says his father gave good advice without being overbearing. Unfortunately his Dad passed away at 61 years old with asbestosis.
Gill says affectionately that Kevin Kluver was a guiding hand in his life and Kevin took Gilly under his wing and was like a second father when Gilly was in his teens.
He has many close mates from his days in Black and White and his Best Man at his wedding was Ian "Easy" Carroll.
He regards Dean Parkin, Brad Williams, Jason Berry, Jim Rozynski, Val Pope and Chris Mihalopoulos as the best players he has played with at the Magpies and among his best mates.
He says he keeps a close eye on the Magpies' fortunes during the season and hopes to be back in town during the season and will look forward to catching up with all his friends at Chelmer, and hopefully attending a Premiership reunion.
This blast from the past was proudly brought to you by Sci Fleet Motors - Taringa, proud sponsors of the Western Magpies.