“And he doesn’t mind telling me about it either, ” Matt joked after being drafted.
“He always had a bit of a joke with me: ‘Are they drafting you or are they drafting me?’ He was a bit of a legend. I never got to see him play but he went all right, Dad.”
Brian’s cousin is Brett “Fruity” Allison, a dual premiership forward with North Melbourne who kicked 276 goals in 219 games with the Kangaroos, slipping around Wayne Carey’s feet to pounce on whatever the champion centre half-forward dropped, as well as winning mark of the year in 1991.
Another cousin of Brian’s is “the Buzz”, a nickname familiar to all footy fans of a certain age, but particularly fans of Perth and Carlton where Bosustow played in four flags.
Bosustow was VFL’s Halley’s Comet, appearing in 1981 to win mark and goal of the year on his way to back-to-back premierships in 1981-82 under David Parkin before returning to Perth in 1984 with 65 games and 146 goals at the Blues to his name.
The 63-year-old “Buzz” laughs when he says he doesn’t mind talking about himself but all his thoughts this week were for his cousin’s son, proud that he will get a chance at the Saints.
“This is quite a unique [family line]. He will be the fifth one in the Bosustow-Allison clan if you want to call it that,” Bosustow said.
That clan extends to Peter’s late father Bob, who played 20 games for Carlton wearing the same No.4 as Peter in 1955-56, and married Victoria, or Vicky as she is known, who was an Allison.
Her brother was Brett’s dad and Peter and Brian’s uncle, Tom, who went to St Kevin’s and played for West Coburg before playing 106 games for North Melbourne between 1963-1970.
He represented Victoria and was placed in a best and fairest before he moved to Canberra for work, which is how Brett came to grow up in the nation’s capital before becoming a shinboner who ended up playing nine games with Sydney in the final year of his career.
Matt knows that background won’t help him get a kick in a Saints’ jumper, but when you hear him say that although he is happy to play anywhere he feels most comfortable playing as a high half-forward, you understand why.
Allison has always had good hands but growing about 10 centimetres in the last 18 months has helped him outreach his opponents in the air more often.
He has good speed and endurance too, posting a sub-three-second 20-metre sprint at the Vic Metro combine and recording the seventh-best time in the two kilometre time trial when measured nationally.
Most of all he is a grateful character with a booming smile who appreciates his dad’s role and his mum’s, Sharon McLeod, in preparing him for an adult life that starts at St Kilda.
And he might find a role in the marketing team too, such was his enthusiasm for what lies ahead at Moorabbin.
“I’m so pumped. They had an awesome year, the Saints, and they are only going to keep getting better. Fingers crossed they can win the flag next year,” Allison said.
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.