Crows leader scores life membership goal

Crows leader scores life membership goal

Former Mount Gambier resident and current Adelaide Crows AFLW coach Matthew Clarke has been awarded life membership of the club.

Clarke was one of five Crows to receive the honour alongside fellow stalwarts of the club.

The former West Gambier player, who also took the court for the Mount Gambier Pioneers prior to following the AFL path, was recognised for more than two decades of service to the Crows.

Clarke was a talented junior footballer and basketballer, playing for the SA Country under 16s. He spent two years playing for the Pioneers, notching up 15 games for the club.

When it came to football, Clarke made his senior debut for West Gambier in the former Western Border Football League, playing six games in 1990 before being drafted by Richmond at pick 56.

Despite playing 20 out of 23 possible games in Richmond’s under 19 side and finishing runner up in the best and fairest in 1996, he was delisted as that under age competition was abolished, before being picked up by the Brisbane Bears in the 1992 pre season draft.

He returned to Adelaide, despite being drafted by Brisbane, and played for South Adelaide in the SANFL.

Clarke debuted for Brisbane in 1993, finishing runner up in the club champion awards in 1994 and 1996, as well as winning the Merrett-Murray best and fairest award in 1997.

He moved to the Crows in 1999 and continued until 2006 before retiring at the end of the season having played 248 games across 13 seasons.

His retirement was short lived, as Clarke was taken by Saint Kilda in the 2007 pre season draft, where he racked up another 10 games with the Saints before officially retiring.

Clarke became assistant coach with the Crows in 2008 before being appointed head coach of the club’s AFLW team in 2018 – the position he still holds, having guided the team to premierships in 2019 and 2022.

Also recognised with life membership were All-Australian and Club Champion Matt Crouch, Matthew Wright, Phil Harper and Mark Nagel.

It followed an announcement in December that premiership captains Erin Phillips and Chelsea Randall had become the first AFLW players to be awarded Adelaide Football Club life membership.

Why wait? Get more stories like this delivered straight to your inbox
Join our digital edition mailing list and stay up to date on the latest news, events and special announcements from across the Limestone Coast.

Your local real estate guide - every Thursday


You might also like