K.M.Bennett Oval - Whyalla, South Australia, Australia

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Graham Cornes    

 

 

 

 

 

Graham Cornes will be forever remembered for his clutch mark and goal for Glenelg in time-on of the 1973 Grand Final against North Adelaide, the last ever played at the Adelaide Oval.

"Studley" Cornes came down from Whyalla and made his debut for Glenelg in 1967. He thrilled crowds with his spectacular high marking and was part of an era of outstanding individual champions in the 70's such as Robran, Ebert and Bagshaw. In 1979, he played five games for North Melbourne, but found it difficult to shine in a forward pocket.

After an outstanding career over 15 years at the Bay, Cornes became captain-coach of South Adelaide and steered the Panthers into successive finals series. He returned to Glenelg to lead the Tigers to back-to-back premiership glory in 1985-86. This side was indeed of near-AFL quality - Kernahan, McGuinness and McDermott were some of the stars. It was also during this era that Cornes led the South Australian State-of-Origin team to some great triumphs - understandable with the likes of Platten, Motley and Bradley at his disposal in addition to the afore-mentioned trio.

In 1991, Cornes was chosen to be the inaugural coach of the Adelaide Crows. He served with distinction for four years, leading the fledgling AFL side into their first finals series in 1993, when they finished third.

 


Neil Kerley
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Whyalla through it's officials, Bill Sutherland, Colin Rodda and President Jim Milne recruited Kerley to be captain coach of North in 1954 at the ripe old age of 19. North won the premiership in 1954 and 1955. Kerley won the clubs Best and Fairest in both years and represented Whyalla 7 times in combined matches winning the Best and Fairest trophy on 4 occasions.

In 2001 Whyalla named it's team of the century and Kerley was selected as a ruck rover and vice captain.

Neil Kerley is a genuine legend of South Australian football. He played over 300 games in a career spanning from 1953 to 1970 with three clubs - West Adelaide, South Adelaide and Glenelg - and captain-coached them all. Following his retirement as a player he coached Glenelg, West Torrens, West Adelaide and Central District.

Born at Barmera in the Riverland, Kerley first captain-coached a premiership team at Koolimylka, near Woomera, at the age of 18. The next year he repeated the effort with a team in the Whyalla competition. At 19, he made his debut for West Adelaide.

Three years later, he was captain. The next year, he was captain-coach and led the Blood'n'Tars to a premiership in his first season. Grand finalists again the next year, he was inexplicably sacked as coach.

In 1964, Kerley was appointed captain-coach of South Adelaide, who had been wooden spooners in 1963. The Panthers went top for the only time in their history in his first year.

Glenelg appointed Kerley as captain-coach in 1966. The Bays had been a bit of a social club, with only one premiership in 1934. By 1969, Kerls had got them into the first of two successive grand finals. Unfortunately, they ran into the famous Sturt team that was completing its five consecutive premierships. But in 1973, Glenelg won one of the all-time great SANFL grand finals and Kerley had coached three different clubs to premiership glory.

Kerley went on to coach West Torrens in the late 70's (the club's Rocky Roberts era), before returning to West Adelaide and coaching them to another premiership in 1983. After a spell coaching Central District, he became the Adelaide Crows' inaugural football manager


Barrie Robran
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barrie Robran was born in Whyalla. He first played juniors at North in 1966 and started his League career the following year.

Barrie Robran is the greatest player ever to be produced by the North Adelaide Football Club. His career spanned 14 seasons and he won South Australian football's highest individual honour, the Magarey Medal, on three occasions - 1968, 1970 and 1973.

Coming down from Whyalla in 1966 to play juniors, he began his League career in 1967 and was runner-up in both the Magarey Medal and North's best and fairest, as well as representing the state. Robran was instrumental in North Adelaide's premierships in 1971 and 1972, as well as the Roosters' Australian Championship win over Carlton. From 1968 to 1973, he was best and fairest at North, but making the move to the VFL never interested him; a quiet country boy, he never aspired to a life in Melbourne.

After the 1972 grand final win, the late Keith Butler wrote "... A footballer is not placed on a pinnacle by virtue of one outstanding gift. Barrie Robran is richly endowed in all that goes to make a champion. His attributes are far-reaching

 A serious knee injury sustained in an incident with Leigh Matthews in an interstate match in 1977 severely curtailed his career, and he was to play only 8 more games before his retirement in 1980. He played 201 games for the Roosters and made 17 State appearances. Robran was coach of North Adelaide for three years, but enjoyed little success.

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