Games Played 118
Career 2000 - 2006
Guernsey Number 4
Date of Birth 18/09/1973
AFC Debut Number: 108 AFC Debut Game: Round 1 v Western Bulldogs, 2000
AFC Career Guernsey Number: 4
From Mt Gambier, Matthew Clarke played 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 the end of the 1999 season he was traded to Adelaide. He played only eight games in his first year at West Lakes before a subsequent good run of form saw him earn and maintain a regular spot. Clarke retired in 2006.
His AFL career had one last stop, however, as a few weeks later he was offered an opportunity by St Kilda, and he agreed to join the Saints through the pre-season draft. He played 10 games for the Saints that year, for an AFL total of 258, before retiring (again). Post his playing career Clarke worked as Adelaide’s ruck coach, and in 2018 was named coach of the women’s team with immediate success leading them to the Premiership.