Games Played 312
Career 1993 - 2007
Guernsey Number 32
Date of Birth 08/06/1975
One of the most awe-inspiring careers in modern-day football, Mark Ricciuto played for the Adelaide Football Club from 1992 to 2007. It was his tenacious work ethic and sheer natural talent that captured some of the most esteemed awards and honours surrounding the sport of AFL.
Adelaide hit the jackpot when it used a draft concession to secure the 16-year-old country footballer from Waikerie. Yet to play any SANFL football, Ricciuto was an under-17 All Australian and 1991 senior premiership winner with Waikerie. He continued to live at home once signed, travelling to and from the city as he juggled training, high school and West Adelaide commitments.
Then, in round six of 1993, he played his first of 312 AFL games for Adelaide. He earned All Australian selection in 1994 but it was not until 1997 that his career took another step under new coach Malcolm Blight. Fitter and lighter, Ricciuto was a vital player in the Club’s push towards the finals and was named in the All Australian side. Unfortunately, he cruelly suffered a groin injury late in the season and could not play in September. He returned in 1998 with extra motivation and this time was successful in collecting a premiership medal, also clinching his first Club Champion title and third All Australian selection.
Ricciuto took over as Adelaide’s captain in 2001, a role he held for a Club-record 147 games, and continued to be one of the AFL’s premier players for many years. In 2003 he became the Club’s first Brownlow Medallist, sharing honours with Sydney’s Adam Goodes and Collingwood’s Nathan Buckley by polling 22 votes in 10 games. He claimed further Malcolm Blight Medals in 2003 and 2004, selection in a total of eight All Australian teams, and won the Club’s goalkicking award after booting 44 goals in 2006.
Back and leg injuries restricted him in his last two seasons, but he starred in his 300th game before becoming the then Club game record holder (312) in what turned out to be his last AFL appearance. When he reached 300 games, Roo became the second-youngest player to notch the milestone at 31 years, 44 days, while he reached it in the shortest period of time, 13 years and 82 days.
Ricciuto returned to the Club in an official capacity as a Board director during the 2014 season and has been a football media presence in radio and TV for many years.