Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Les 'Jacko' Jackson to play his 1000th game for University on Sunday

Photo:  Les Jackson is a Life Member of the University Soccer Club [PlessPix]

Les Jackson, better known simply as ‘Jacko’, is an institution at the University Soccer Club.

The 67-year-old forward will play his 1000th game for the club this Sunday at Olinda Grove at 2.30pm.

He will turn out for an over-35s Uni team called University Laterals in a match against New Town Eagles.

Jacko played his first game for University in 1970, when he was an undergraduate.  He doesn’t remember who the game was against.

He graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor of Economics degree and is still working as a registered tax agent and accountant.

After graduating, he spent a few more years studying Information Science and Law to add more strings to his bow.

He has no immediate plans to retire from work, or from football, and is heading to the UK in a fortnight, where he will watch an international cricket match being played in Wales with former University striker Michael MacDonald.

Jacko attributes his longevity as a player down to a lack of injuries over the past half-century.

He still keeps very fit and, apart from a weekly football training session, he runs for 50-minutes about four or five times a week.

Jacko has held the position of treasurer for University in times past and still helps organise the club’s social teams, as well as playing.

The biggest change he has noticed since he started playing for University in 1970 and until now is that students have so much more to do these days.

Nowadays, students and social veteran players sometimes say they cannot play on the weekend because they are mountain-bike riding or rock climbing.

It’s sometimes a battle to field teams, but the club generally manages, even if the team may have fewer than 11 players.

Photo: Les Jackson (second from right), with other University SC Life Members (L-R) John Parry, Rod Miller, Michael Sprod, the late Fred Joughin, Matthew Shaw and Bob Mason [PlessPix]

One of his greatest satisfactions during his long involvement with University has been to see novice players improve during their time with the club.

He said he had seen new students take up soccer and, at the first training session, they had no idea of how to pass or control a football.  Three years later, however, many had developed their skills and were passing and controlling the ball and playing regularly in the club’s top sides.

Jacko has never counted the number of goals he has scored, but he said he usually gets at least one a season.

He’s always been an attacker and he had a gentle dig at me for never picking him in the seniors when I was senior coach at the club from 1977-79.

Jacko is a Life Member of the University Soccer Club and hopes to play on for a few more seasons yet.

Photo:  Les Jackson, representing Football Federation Tasmania, presents a trophy to a winning Kingborough veterans' side [PlessPix]

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