Few regrets for Slick in illustrious career

Trademark goal... Anthony Tsalikis snaps a major. Picture by Dan White.
Trademark goal... Anthony Tsalikis snaps a major. Picture by Dan White.

Known to his mates and the Falcons faithful as Slick, he had hoped the team could get to the last day in September to defend the 2013 premiership he cruelly missed with a shoulder injury.

But Saturday’s loss to East Fremantle at Joondalup put an end to that dream and signalled the announcement of his retirement at the end of the year.

‘I wish we had won and we could have had another couple of weeks and maybe gone on to finals,’ he said.

Tsalikis will end the season, barring injury, at Lathlain Park against Perth on 189 games, including a State game and Foxtel Cup games. The 31-year-old civil engineer is a life member of the club and the goalsneak will finish with more than 330 goals, having topped the club’s goalkicking list five times.

His celebrated career includes the story of converting to Aussie Rules after playing soccer until he was 16.

He had played a few years of school football before winning a flag with Ocean Ridge Junior Football Club as a 17-year-old and attracting the attention of West Perth.

His Greek migrant dad, Peter, famously did not want him to play football and said he would not watch his son play. But along with his mum, Helen, and sisters Christina and Kelly, his father has been his greatest supporter, going to every match and even putting in a critiquing post-game phone call.

Also in support have been brothers-in-law Daniel Davini and Wesley Goodlet, and his girlfriend Jessie Bate.

His one regret is not playing in a premiership team, though he realises he contributed to getting the Falcons into the finals last year before they beat East Perth in the grand final.

‘You play league footy and I played with a few of the guys ” Dan Hunt, Matt Guadagnin, Jason Salecic ” there’s a few there I have played my whole time with, so it would have been good to play in a premiership with them,’ he said.

‘So it is my biggest regret, but other than that I have been pretty fortunate. When I first started, I didn’t think I’d play 10 league games, but I have life membership of the club (having played 150 games).

‘Things happen, you can’t help it. You just hope it (missing a winning grand final through injury) doesn’t happen to anyone really. It’s a pretty bad feeling especially when you’ve had a good run. I missed four games at the end of the season last year with my shoulder, but before that I only missed about two games of my whole career through injury.

‘It’s tough not being recognised as a life member and a premiership player but I have been pretty fortunate to play league footy at a great club.

‘Having your name on the locker’bsp;remembers his first league game, a day before his 21st birthday in 2004.

‘It was a Friday night game, it was a really hot weekend so we were allowed six on the bench,’ he said.

‘We had quite a few debut; I think there was myself and Dion Fleah.

‘I played an ok game. In the last quarter Travis McLean kicked four I think and I kicked two. And I took a hanger in the goalsquare for my second.

‘It was a pretty nervous game but I played alright and I think we won by 30-odd points against South Fremantle at Fremantle.’