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Adelaide Football Club - Crows History Locker


Games Won 11

Ladder Position 9

Premiership position: Ninth in 15-team competition (11 wins, 11 losses)
Coach: Graham Cornes
Captain: Chris McDermott

The future seemed so bright Adelaide needed to wear shades, according to the club’s marketing campaign for the 1992 season.

The catchphrase may have helped the Crows sell a remarkable 38,600 season tickets but the supporters still needed some patience with the new team.

Adelaide’s second year in the AFL was tough, especially in the early months, but a strong finish lifted the Crows to 11 wins and 11 losses, to come ninth for consecutive seasons.

Adelaide had beaten four of the six finalists during the minor round but again struggled for consistency.

The premiership season started with a 27-loss to Footscray at Football Park, when 17-year-old Ben Hart and Anthony Ingerson made their AFL debut. An away win against Melbourne was followed by a disappointing loss to Fitzroy, when Tony Modra made his AFL debut. Wins over Richmond and Brisbane were followed by another big loss to St Kilda at Moorabbin, where Tony Lockett booted 10.3.

The May pain continued with further losses to Geelong, by 123 points, Collingwood and West Coast, which would clinch its first AFL premiership on the last Saturday in September.

A last-gasp goal to Darel Hart lifted Adelaide to a thrilling one-point win at the MCG against Hawthorn in round 12 but there more poor performances to come including home losses against Essendon – which kicked ten goals in the last term after trailing at the last break – and Melbourne.

It was too late to challenge for finals positions but Adelaide rebounded with five consecutive wins late in the season, thrashing Fitzroy by 85 points, Richmond (110 points at the MCG), Brisbane (at Carrara Oval on the Gold Coast), St Kilda and then sensationally turning the tables on minor premiers Geelong. Scott Hodges kicked a new club record 11 goals in the stunning 91-point win in front of a club record crowd of 46,540. The Crows finished the season with a five-point loss to Collingwood at Victoria Park.

Coach Graham Cornes wrote in the annual report: “Despite the excitement and optimism generated by our excellent performances in the last six games of the year, my underlying emotion at the end of the season was one of disappointment. We are capable of overall better performances as a team, we do need to understand the pressures of this competition.”

Captain Chris McDermott led from the front and was a clear winner of the Club Champion award, receiving votes in 19 of the 22 games. He was selected in the All-Australian team alongside Tony McGuinness and impressive rookie Ben Hart, who was 17 when he made his AFL debut in the opening round.

The rise of Mark Bickley continued. One of the last players chosen on the original 1991 list, he finished third in the Club Champion voting, won the Best Team Man award and represented South Australia at State-of-Origin level.

Hodges only played 13 games but was the leading goalkicker with 48.

Before the start of the season Adelaide was permitted to list eight players from the SANFL. It signed 16-year-old Mark Ricciuto, from Waikerie, and Central District’s Ingerson made his AFL debut in round one. Modra was another new Crow to make an impression, booting 21 goals in eight AFL outings.

For the first time Adelaide took part in the mid-season draft, adding former SANFL players James West (Sydney) and Alan Schwartz (Essendon), as well as the club’s first recruit with no previous connection to the SANFL, Andrew Geddes.

Adelaide’s 1992 financial results were outstanding, led by soaring season ticket sales. After paying a $400,000 licence fee to the AFL, the Crows reported a surplus of $867,000 and then distributed $627,000 to the SANFL.

Other highlights

  • The infamous pre-season training camp firewalking incident remains a talking point three decades later. Nigel Smart suffered burnt feet after being inspired to walk across hot coals. “It’s no big deal,” said Smart, who notes he played a trial game the following weekend.
  • Crows-listed Mark Ricciuto was named in the All Australian Teal Cup side.
  • Bickley, McDermott, Maynard, Modra, Pittman, Saliba and Smart represented South Australia’s State-of-Origin side when it defeated Victoria by 13 points at Football Park. The side was coached by Graham Cornes.
  • Fielke, Darel Hart, Marshall, Modra, Murphy, Patterson, Pittman, Rowe, Saliba and Tanner played for the SANFL State side against WA, winning by six points at Football Park.
  • Adelaide’s administration staff moved to a new facility at the southern end of the stadium before the start of the season. It also housed the first Crows shop.
  • Key new football appointments included John Condon, who replaced Neil Kerley as football manager, chairman of selectors John Halbert, and recruiting officer Tim Johnson.

List changes

Adelaide was allowed to recruit eight SANFL players before the 1992 season. They were:

Michael Di Biase (Woodville-West Torrens), Chris Groom (South Adelaide), Anthony Ingerson (Central District), Anthony Modra (West Adelaide), Seb Packer (Sturt), Mark Ricciuto (West Adelaide), Mark Viska (Glenelg), Sean Wellman (North Adelaide).

Mid-season draft: James West (Sydney/Glenelg), Andrew Geddes (Strathmerton), Alan Schwartz (Essendon/West Torrens).


Danny Hughes, Bruce Lindsay, Trevor Clisby, Tom Warhurst, Darren Bartsch, Clayton Lamb, Damien Mellow, Damien McCarthy, Allan Bartlett (mid-season), Romano Negri (mid-season), Robbie Thompson (mid-season).

First game players

Ben Hart, v Footscray at Football Park, 22/3/92 (Player 38)

Anthony Ingerson, v Footscray at Football Park 22/3/92 (39)

Randall Bone,  v Melbourne at Princes Park, 4/4/92 (40)

Anthony Modra, v Fitzroy at Princes Park 11/4/92 (41)

Jonathon Ross, v Richmond at Football Park, 19/4/92 (42)

Stephen Schwerdt, v Richmond at Football Park, 19/4/92 (43)

Brenton Sanderson, v Brisbane at Football Park, 26/4/92 (44)

Adam Saliba, v Sydney at Football Park, 26/6/92 (45)

David Pittman, v Melbourne at Football Park, 19/7/92 (46)

Paul Rouvray, v Fitzroy at Football Park, 25/7/92 (47)

Related links

Club Champion top dozen
1: Chris McDermott 295 votes
2: Tony McGuinness 206
3: Mark Bickley 170
4: Shaun Rehn 146
5: Ben Hart 146
6: Andrew Jarman 122
7: Scott Lee 100
8: Matthew Liptak 67
9: David Marshall 56
10: Scott Hodges 48
11: Darel Hart 47
12: Simon Tregenza 47
(5,4,3,2,1 by each match committee member)
Leading goalkickers
48 Scott Hodges
28 Matthew Liptak
26 Tony McGuinness
24 Darel Hart
23 Rod Jameson
23 Michael Murphy
21 Tony Modra
17 Anthony Ingerson
14 David Brown
Brownlow Medal votes
12 Rehn
11 A Jarman
8 McDermott
5 Bickley
5 Weidemann
4 Marshall
4 Lee
4 Hodges
3 McGuinness
1 Tregenza
1 Smart
1 B Hart
Club Champion Chris McDermott
1992 Board: Back row (left to right): Bob Lee, Robert Hoey, Bill Sanders, Adrian Sutter, Rick Allert. Front: Bob Campbell, Leigh Whicker, Bon Hammond (chairman), Bob Zerella.

All Australians

The 1992 squad

Back row (from left): Jarrod Hocking (31), Allan Bartlett (14), Anthony Ingerson (29), Darren Smith (28), Shaun Rehn (52), Romano Negri (1), David Pittman (15), Mark Mickan (25), Chris Groom (50), John Klug (20), Randall Bone (51), Peter Turner, Rodney Maynard (18). Third row: Matthew DiBiase, Sean Tasker (4), Seb Packer (19), Tony Modra (6), Ben Hart (34), Paul Patterson (46), Peter McIntyre (23), Sean Wellman (44), Paul Rouvray (45), Nigel Smart (7), Scott Hodges (17), Michael Murphy (22). Second row: Bruce Abernethy (5), Grantley Fielke (30), Matthew Kelly (42), Mark Ricciuto (32), Simon Tregenza (12), Robbie Thompson (41), Brenton Sanderson (36), Andrew Jarman (2), Wayne Weidemann (33), Stephen Schwerdt (40), Grant Tanner, Bruce Lindner (9), Scott Lee (13), Darel Hart (3), Rod Jameson (35). Front row: Adam Saliba (37), Stephen Rowe (31), Mark Bickley (26), Andrew Payze (24), Tony McGuinness (11), Michael Taylor (assistant coach), Graham Cornes (coach), Chris McDermott (10), Matthew Liptak (27), David Brown (21), Mark Viska (49), Eddie Hocking (8). Absent: Jonathon Ross (39), David Marshall (16).

Photo gallery