Games Played 118
Career 2000 - 2006
Guernsey Number 4
Date of Birth 18/09/1973
From Mt Gambier, Matthew Clarke had a run at the under-19 level with Richmond before joining South Adelaide in the SANFL. Drafted by Brisbane, he played only four AFL games in 1993 but then became an important ruckman for the Bears, finishing runner-up in the best and fairest in the next three seasons and winning the award in 1997.
Regarded as one of the competition’s best tap ruckmen, he represented SA in State of Origin. Clarke played regularly in the next two years but was traded to Adelaide, who needed a new big man. He only played eight games in his first year at West Lakes before a good run of form saw him earn a regular spot. Clarke retired in 2006, confident the Crows had young ruckmen ready to emerge.
His AFL career had one last stop, however, as a few weeks later he was offered an opportunity by St Kilda, and agreed to join the Saints through the pre-season draft. He played 10 games, for an AFL total of 258, before retiring. He has worked as Adelaide’s ruck coach since playing, and in 2018 was named coach of the Women’s team.