Collingwood has taken the extreme measure of recruiting aging marathon runners Steve Moneghetti and Robert de Castella in an audacious bid for the 2012 AFL premiership.
The Public Apology understands that the middle-aged athletes – who have no prior Australian rules experience – have both been locked into a 23 season contract valued at some A$20 million in total. And while it is not known where the players will line up on the field, some are speculating that they will play a “running role” – whatever the fuck that means.
Collingwood recruiting manager Derek Hine said the decision to scout the legendary marathon duo was not taken lightly.
“Football isn’t about kicking, handpassing, gathering possessions or tackling anymore; it’s just about being able to run non-stop for four fucking quarters,” he said.
“We are reasonably certain that Monners and Deeks will be able to see us out until the 2035 season. Whether they’ll actually rack up any possessions over the next 23 seasons is utterly irrelevant in modern footy.”
Hine added that Monaghetti could even turn out to be the buy of the year.
“I mean, have you seen him lately? Geez, he looks like [former Czech tennis star] Petr Korda – so gaunt and frail, looks like he’s got some form of eating disorder. Perfect build for AFL.”
De Castella told The Public Apology that he was “champing at the bit” to pull on a Collingwood guernsey.
“Yeah, it’s gonna be fucking awesome. I’ve been taking heaps of Centrum multi-vitamins over the past decade, too, so that’ll definitely help with my recovery and general feeling of vitality and wellbeing.”
The move comes following the news that Geelong had recruited 20-year-old middle distance runner Mark Blicavs, a 198cm athlete currently in training for the steeplechase event at the 2012 London Olympics. Blicavs has not played football since the age of 14 and will spend the summer combining both athletics and football training.
And The Public Apology understands that other clubs are mulling similar moves to recruit long distance runners.
Greater Western Sydney coach Kevin Sheedy is believed to have begun talks with famed Kenyan gold medalist Haile Gebrselassie. The idea, according to Sheedy, is to have the 10 kilometre specialist run anti-clockwise laps for four quarters straight on the off-chance the ball comes his way.
“We’ll just get him running laps, barefoot, around the ‘G’ – these bloody Africans love a good run,” he said.
“If he racks up a few possessions then good luck to him. But that’s not what AFL is about, is it? It’s about having a ‘good engine’ and being able to avoid body contact with other players while impressing statisticians with the number of kilometres you rack up per game.”
“We’ve had [former NRL star] Israel Folau on a rigorous training program since we recruited him – and he’s fucking unrecognisable now. Weighs 38 kilos. He’ll be able to run all day.”
“Ideally, the team would be comprised solely of Kenyans – that’s something we’ll look to in the future. Shit, that’ll get us under the salary cap every year – no more rorting!”
By Dave Edwards