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Essay/Term paper: Gilbert mcadam

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Expository Essays

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McAdam's Brilliant Return Continues
By Dave Drahan
ADELAIDE- On Saturday last, the awesome return of one of the best Aboriginal footballers to grace the turf of the AFL's grounds had yet another brilliant game in what seems to be the comeback to the stage that is the AFL. He is dominating the SANFL, and a return to the AFL seems like a formality for the first Aboriginal to win the SANFL's magary medal. On that night, Gilbert cried, but at the moment he is all smiles, and modestly talks of his comeback, "I'd be lying if a said I wasn't happy with the way I've been playing lately, and I attribute a lot of that the time I spent with my people in the Western Australian desert. It taught me a lot about how to approach different situations in life, and a different way of going about things. Its definitely helped my on the football field, no question about that, but more than anything its made me improve as a person".

His performance on Saturday against Norwood was nothing less than sensational. Playing on the half back line, his rebounding and drives into attack were instrumental in the Bulldogs fifth consecutive victory, and his fourth best on ground performance of the season. At the moment, McAdam is the odds on favorite to win the Magary Medal for the second time in his illustrious career which has taken him all over Australia. He managed to pick up an astounding 35 possessions, and set up many Central's goals, and managed to kick two of his own. His attacking style of play from the half back line has played a big role in redefining the position as an attacking one, "The way Gilbert plays makes the player who is on him a defensive player, which can really mess up the oppositions forward line by taking the half forwards out of the game", said Central's coach Steve Wright.

Exactly what drove Gilbert McAdam to the W.A. desert is unclear. To many, turning down $200,000 to play the game you love, in favor of going to the Western Australian desert (one of the most arid places on earth) doesn't hold much logic, but then again Gilbert isn't like most people. One thing that is clear, is his desire to keep his Aboriginal ties very strong, and says that he took the time to go to W.A. for the soul purpose of learning more about the people he originates from, and the culture which he grew up with. Gilbert has been quoted as saying that it was reading some of his father Charlie's works on Aboriginal experiences and life which made him do what he did in returning to his people. Like most people, Gilbert had the desire to return home, and it would seem that the quenching of that desire has transformed into Gilbert playing the best football of his career.

McAdam's professional career began in Sth. Australia with the Central District Football club. One of the great football minds of our time, Neil Curley, saw something in McAdam, and did everything in his power to get him to the C.D.F.C., and eventually carried out his mission. After McAdam won the Magary Medal in 1989, he went to St. Kilda for a two year span, and then to Brisbane where he continued to play the way only aboriginal people can. The flair for the game which Aboriginal people hold is illustrated perfectly by McAdam, who is carrying on the tradition of fine Aboriginal footballers from the Krackouer brothers, and many others.

Gilbert is obviously captivated by the Aboriginal culture, enough to devote the rest of his life to it. He has great respect for the leaders of his people, and spends as much time with them as possible. His Aboriginal culture is obviously a huge priority for him, more so than football. At times, Gilbert has thought about giving up the game he loved to devote his life to his culture, even at the peak of his career when he was playing in St. Kilda.

One experience which really influenced Gilbert, was when he returned to Halls Creek in 1994. The situation for many Aboriginal people living in outback Australia was something that Gilbert was not aware of, so when he did go back, he saw the conditions they were living in and knew he had to do something, "That was the first time I'd been to Halls Creek since I was a kid", explained Gilbert, "so I think it must have hit me a little bit. Some of those poor things are my flesh and blood, and when your aboriginal its a very strong connection. Its just like its happening to you. It freaked me out".

Gilbert won't reveal exactly what he did in the Western Australian desert, but what ever it was, it worked. It is understood that he felt an obligation to return to his people, as many of the tribal elders are no longer around. He one day hopes to become one of the leaders of his people, and feels obligated to do so.

The future, it would seem, will be a balance between his aboriginal culture, and Australian Football culture. Even though Gilbert has a love for the game of Australian Rules Football, its clear where his heart is, and what he hope to achieve with his life. He treasures the time he spends with his Aboriginal family, and obviously enjoys it greatly, " We go and stay with the family, and they show us all the things about our culture that we want to learn", said Gilbert with a glint in his eye and with hint excitement in his voice. For now, football fans Australia wide can look forward to a plethora of exciting games from Gilbert McAdam, and his path surely will lead back to the A.F.L..


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