Stats courtesy of the Ranger Info Centre.
Ranger #: 50
Club Debut: 2000
Premierships (4): Div. 2 (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011)
CSL Cup: Div. 1 (2008)
Players Player: Div. 2 (2006, 2007); Div. 3 (2017)
Dino Mancini Shield: 2012
Life Member Inductee: 2014
Words by Daniel Porter
Arguably no one in the history of the Rangers has anyone dedicated as much time to the place as the bloke that notches up 300 games this weekend. He is and has been the go-to man for every club president for at least 10 years. Need a shed built? Austin. Artificial turf laid? Austin. A BBQ fixed? Austin. In fact, he fixes and improves the place without even being asked – if he sees something he thinks could be better, he will probably just do it because he wants the place to be the best it can.
Many Rangers have come and gone from Ranger Park and not given a second thought to how the infrastructure got there or is how it is looked after. Austin did it.
The first life member not to have been an Unley Old Scholar highlights just how important he is to this great club. Comfortably more B-grade games than anyone else. He has captained for more years than anyone else at the club including a remarkable stint of 7 consecutive years skippering the B-grade from 2005-2011 when the team won 4 premierships and finished no lower than 3rd. Success starts from the top and this bloke oozes it.
I’ve had the pleasure of Austin playing CB in front of me for much of playing career and he’s probably the first bloke picked every week. He is organised, tenacious, lighting fast and has a tremendous ability to read the play and snuff out danger before most players have even sensed it. He is rarely beaten 1-on-1 and has a trademark stepover that fools everyone.
There just aren’t enough superlatives for this guy – he puts the needs of the club and his teammates first without question and leads from the front like no one else I’ve ever played with. I’m sure we don’t recognise his efforts enough but I know that doesn’t bother him – his enjoyment is measured by playing with his mates and making sure everyone that wears the double blue has the best experience possible. Just the best bloke. Ever.
- It’s a lot.
Words by Troy West
If there is one person you want on your team – it would have to be Austin Brandon.
Especially when you’re a defender like me. A defender who sometimes (rarely!) makes mistakes. And who is there to tidy up from those mistakes? Austin Brandon. I played with Austin in the 2’s when he first joined the club. He went up the grades, I went down.
But now we’re back playing in the same side and it’s fantastic! Once more I get to watch him make last ditch tackles to save a goal, stride forward to score a back-post header and flatten opposition players twice his size.
And now he’s taken on coaching as well. So maybe I’ll learn how to play like him too. Never too late to learn! There aren’t many people at Unley who have done more than Aussie to make the club what it is. He’s the person that puts in 100% effort all the time, both on the field and in helping the club tick.
The club needs more Austin Brandons!
Words by Steve Pipicella
The thing with Aussie is, you know exactly what you’re gonna get 99% of the time, 100% of the time. Seeing the ball out of play, with the famous step over that has blokes jumping in the opposite direction like synchronised divers. The other 1%? He’ll kick you into deep left field, clear the fence, and smile from the top of the swing, to the end of the follow through. You just don’t mess with Aussie.
When we’re talking in the good human department for the Unley Rangers, Aussie is the gold medal winner. He’s got Richo breathing down his neck, but he’s kept him at bay through repeated whacks with his brief case to stay in the clear. Honest, Reliable and loyal are the words that immediately come to mind when I think of Aussie as off field member of the clubs history. The first one there to lend a hand when a job needs to be done, regardless of how much it sucks. See pitch replacement, shelf building, shed creation. Undoubtedly each of you have utilised a bit of equipment, turf et al that Aussie has had an influence in creating/fixing.
On field, the story is pretty clear cut. As keeper of UOSFC stats, I’m happy to let them speak for themselves.
– 5th bloke to reach 300 games
– Enters his 20th year of UOSFC service in 2019
– 4x Premiership Player
– 3x Players Player
– 1x Dino Mancini Shield
– 1x Drink of Regardless (definitely ask him about it)
– 2014 Life Member Inducted
– 11 (yes 11) seasons as captain of UOSFC teams
– 2 years as a committee member
– Has crawled through a bathroom window to gain esky access
The more I read that list, the more stupid it is. And… it’s from a non-Unley High School graduate (thanks Putric)
But there is more to it than just statistics. He’s the highest capped ever B grade player, but would’ve been in the mix for a stack of A grade if it wasn’t for Messrs McAllister and Richards. His ability to read the game, time a tackle, crash a bloke when he needs it and lead from the front is stuff of Ranger history. No mixing his words when there’s a team talk and not mixing his actions when its time to show the way. Wiry, yet rock solid, Aussie is the man you want leading your troops.
On and off field, this bloke is a legend. And someone we should all look up to.