With apologies to Banjo Paterson.
The Man From Manning River
There was movement at the Tigers for the word had passed around
That their roster moves had freed up lots of cash,
There were players in the market – and some good ones could be found,
If they found the best they’d sign them in a flash.
All the noted players’ managers from clubs both near and far
Assessed the list of clients on their books,
For the “ten-percenters” love it when the cash box lid’s ajar,
Even players within contract get the sooks.
There was Moses who had made his pile when Jimmy joined the [censored]s,
His stable full to brimming with the stars,
Although young, with hair receding, he had hookers, halves and locks
On million-dollar deals plus teeth and cars.
And one was there, a newby with a small but growing list,
He was something like a boy amongst the giants,
But he had an ace card up his sleeve – that no one would resist –
A kid called Mitchell on his book of clients.
This kid was tough and speedy – with an attitude as well –
At twenty-two he’d almost done it all
And he wore the badge of “winner” and the rest could go to hell,
So he looked up Uncle Nick and made the call.
But still so young and needy, one would doubt he’d leave the club,
And the old man said, “That course will never do,
There’s a contract on the table – lad you’ll end up in the scrub,
If you knock back now the red and white and blue.”
So he waited sad and listful – only Rushton stood his friend –
“I think you ought to let him go,” he said,
“To look at all his options – see what other clubs can spend,
We see him at the back in place of Ted.”
“He hails from up the Manning – all his folks are from Taree
Where shooting pigs and fishing is the go;
Where boars the size of horses roam the paddocks wild and free,
With bream the size of sharks in Manning’s flow”.
So they went to test the waters in the marketplace at large
And Mitchell headed home and went on leave.
Rushton put the rumours out how much he’d have to charge;
Smiling smugly at the comm’s that he’d receive.
The Tigers made first contact with their pockets full of dough,
And promised him the spot he wanted most,
And the money that they offered – someone told me “in the know” –
Would pay the whole backline up at Gold Coast.
But Rushton played his cards close and the rumour mill began,
He was learning fast this game of show and tell;
He was aiming at the stars to get the millions for his man,
But from there things didn’t seem to go as well.
The Tigers needed answers and they needed answers now,
But Rushton just sat back and called for offers,
So the Tigers pulled their contract – but they said that they’d allow –
Some future talks depending on their coffers.
The moral to this story is not quite yet set in stone,
The pantomime continues playing out;
Fans’ forums are in meltdown – but there’s one thing that is known –
In the marketplace the Tigers have some clout.
And the cliché’s on the forums will get trotted out for now,
The consensus is we’d really like to add him;
Some on here are positive but some will still avow,
“Here’s another one! Goddamn we thought we had him!”