Games Played 312
Career 1992 - 2007
Guernsey Number 32
Date of Birth 08/06/1975
AFC Debut Number: 51 AFC Debut Game: Round 6 v Hawthorn, 1993
AFC Career Guernsey Number: 32
Mark Ricciuto was part of the Adelaide Football Club from 1992 to 2007 during which time he completed one of the most awe-inspiring careers in modern-day football, It was his tenacious work ethic and sheer natural talent that captured some of the most esteemed awards and honours available in the 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. Once signed, he continued to live at home, travelling to and from the city as he juggled training, high school and West Adelaide football 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 for a second time. Unfortunately, he cruelly suffered a groin injury late in the season and could not play in September and hence missed out in playing in the Club’s Grand Final triumph . 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 Medalist, winning jointly with Sydney’s Adam Goodes and Collingwood’s Nathan Buckley. As Club Champion, he claimed Malcolm Blight Medals in 2003 and 2004, selection in a total of eight All Australian teams, and won the Club’s goalkicking award with 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 and so earning AFL Life Membership, 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 was named in the AFC Team of the Decade 1991-2000. He was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 2011 and made an inaugural member of the Adelaide Football Club Hall of Fame in 2015. His contribution to football in South Australia was further recognised in 2014 by the naming of one of the grandstands at the Adelaide Oval the Mark Ricciuto Stand.
Ricciuto returned to the Club in an official capacity as a Board director during the 2014 season.
AFC Team of the Decade 1991-2000