SOUTH Mildura’s Anthony Gauci played his 150th senior game last Saturday against Imperials.
A milestone that came and went without any fanfare, no headlines or tributes.
It’s typical of the bloke they call “Gooch”.
The ultimate clubman, Gauci, 31, always puts his club and teammates first.
It’s why he is such an admired and respected figure at Sarah Oval.
“I didn’t even realise it was my 150th for South (Mildura), it sort of snuck up on me,” Gauci said.
“It was just a usual day at the office.
“The boys asked if I wanted them to carry me off I said: ‘Don’t worry about that, it’s not about me’.”
A typical response from Gauci who is one of those selfless people who never stops putting in.
Whether it be as a board member, raising funds for the club through his sponsorship role or as senior player, he never stops giving.
It’s a rare quality these days to find a player like Gauci.
He’s moulded from the “old school”, someone who thinks they owe something to their footy club, not the other way around.
“The off-the-field stuff is more important to me than the actual on-the-field stuff,” Gauci said.
“I just want to see the club prosper. I want the club to be the No.1 club in the region, that’s what drives me from a football point of view.
“Playing footy is a bonus, but if there is anything I can do off the field that I can to help the club – that takes precedence, that’s really what it’s all about for me.”
But what shouldn’t be forgotten is Gauci’s ability to play football.
He attacks the game with the same passion and energy as he does everything else in life.
Gauci believes he only has a couple of seasons left in his ageing body.
But unlike most players, he is looking forward to retirement so he can focus more on helping run the club.
“I probably don’t have that much (football) left in me, not because I would prefer to, but it will allow me to put more focus into the off-the -field things,” said Gauci.
“However, if I am spending more time on behindthe-scene things with the club I can’t do everything.
“Family comes first, then work and then football, so (football) is probably the first thing I give up I suppose.
“When you are a young player you don’t actually realise how much goes on behind the scenes to keep the club running.
“You don’t realise what a big job it is. It’s almost like having a full-time second job to field footy and netball teams.
“So if there is no one helping there won’t be a club.”
I just want to see the club prosper. I want the club to be the No.1 club in the
region. – South Mildura veteran Anthony Gauci
Photo and story courtesy of Sunraysia Daily