Gifford: Please Santa, pay Kiwi stars a visit

16:15, Dec 21 2013
Ernie Merrick
FRUSTRATED: Wellington Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick can't figure out how his side have yet to notch a win.

I know you'll be busy this Christmas Santa, making sure, for a start, you don't feed the reindeer anything left over from what you gave the Cronulla Sharks last year.

But if there's still time, maybe you could consider these gift suggestions for next Wednesday.

T-shirts saying "We Call Him Steve" for the All Blacks. A nice souvenir of a great season, and a great coach, which also reinforce the in-house campaign for the boys to stop using his nickname in interviews.

An arm brace for West Indian cricketer Shane Shillingford, who is sad, sidelined, and a long way from home. Maybe you could pick up the one you gave Murali a few years ago. By the look of his action he's never used it.

A season pass to the Chiefs for the judges of the New Zealand rugby awards. For the second year in a row the Chiefs win the tournament, but none of their men can win Super Rugby player of the year. Did the judges not see how Aaron Cruden and Liam Messam played when it really counted?

A coach, or maybe a magician, to get the All Whites and the Kiwis winning again. Because of a cash shortage it may have to be one person, multitasking.


A very solid shelf for Valerie Adams. A fourth Lonsdale Cup this week, three Olympic gold medals, four world championship trophies, six Halberg awards, and almost certainly another Commonwealth gold next year. If her trophy shelf broke and hit the ground, it'd sound like a gas main exploding.

A new Superman suit for Keiran Read. The one he wears under his All Black jersey now must be getting pretty sweaty.

A compass for Sonny Bill Williams. So when he scores a try he turns first to the players who helped set it up, not the adoring fans in the crowd.

A dictionary for TVNZ executives. The next time there's an America's Cup it may help them realise the difference between a journalist (even a good one, like Martin Tasker) and a commentator.

Could you arrange a visit by the victory fairy to the Phoenix? Just one call would make the day for the long-suffering Wellington fans. And if there was time, getting her to drop into the North Shore to the Breakers would be appreciated too.

A Scrooge McDuck-sized money bin for Lydia Ko. There'll be plenty of room in it for a start, but the way she's begun her professional career she'll need a bigger one before her 21st birthday.

An insurance policy for Steven Adams. So the Oklahoma Thunder will release him to play for the Tall Blacks, and we can all see first hand the Kiwi who has made the most astonishing leap in skills and presence over the past year.

A Lazy-Boy for Shane Cameron. This is a personal one Santa. Having spent a day with Shane in Gisborne before their sports awards in July I'll vouch for him as a 100 per cent true blue good bloke. It's his call, but I think I'm like a lot of his fans, hoping he might decide to give boxing a swerve in the future.

Finally, you'll pass over Jimmy Spithill's house in Auckland, but don't bother stopping to give anything to him. There's this guy called Larry Ellison, and he's already given the little bugger everything he wanted in 2013.

Sunday Star Times