The great Gilbert McAdam is Alice Springs football royalty and one of the greatest football players to emerge from Central Australia.
Starting his football career with South Alice Football Club as a junior where he won the Best and Fairest in the inaugural Under 15 competition in 1979, Gilbert moved his way through the ranks to the senior teams, following in the footsteps of his older brother Greg.
Gilbert was part of the Northern Territory Primary School Representative team coached by Brian Deslandes that defeated South Australia in 1979 to win the first National Title by a Territory team.
Gilbert moved to South Australia in 1982, joining the North Adelaide Football Club at fourteen years of age.
In 1984, Gilbert represented the Northern Territory in the Under 17 Teal Cup team, before returning to live in the Northern Territory in 1985. He played two seasons with the Waratah Football Club in the NTFL in 1985/86 and 1986/87, winning the Club’s Best and Fairest award in both seasons and finishing third in the Nichols Medal in 1985/86.
In 1986, Gilbert headed West for a short stint with Claremont Football Club in the WAFL, playing three games and kicking five goals.
Gilbert returned to the NT and coached the Waratah Football Club in 1987/88, a season which also saw him selected to play for the NTFL representative side against Essendon in 1986 and the Sydney Swans in 1987.
Gilbert the joined SANFL club Central Districts where he was coached by the legendary Neil Kerley. He won the prestigious Magarey Medal in 1989, a year that also saw him win a Premiership with Central Districts as well as winning the Club’s Best and Fairest award.
Drafted by St Kilda in 1989, he played 53 AFL matches including finals, before joining the Brisbane Bears where he played a further 58 matches before retiring in 1996, after 111 AFL games and 89 goals.
He continued to be a true Territory footballer, representing the combined Northern Territory and Queensland team against Tasmania in 1993, the Allies against Western Australia in Perth and he was a member of the 1994 Aboriginal All-Stars team that played against Collingwood at Marrara Oval.
With his passion for the Territory and the Waratah Football Club still strong, Gilbert returned to play for Tahs in 1995/96 and was a Player Coach in the 1996/97 NTFL Grand Final.
Gilbert retired to Alice Springs, where he Coached South Alice Football Club to the 1999 CAFL Premiership. He is also member of the SANFL Indigenous Team of the Century and host of the Marngrook Football Show on NITV.